What if your headache, neck, back pain, or other unexplainable health concerns were due to a
suppressed emotions and a dysregulated nervous system? If you have been struggling to find out why you get headaches, or there seems to be no relief to your stomach upset, you may need to look at the possibility that this stored energy is causing you physical discomfort.
Let me first explain what your nervous system does. According to the National Institute of Health, the nervous system plays a role in nearly every aspect of our health and well-being. It guides everyday activities such as waking up; automatic activities such as breathing; and complex processes such as thinking, reading, remembering, and feeling emotions. The nervous system is essential to our well-being. Now, if you live with constant stress, such as a stressful job or, an abusive relationship, your nervous system can become dysregulated. Instead of your sympathetic nervous system (the system responsible for putting you into fight or flight when you feel threatened) and parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for putting you into a rest and digest mode) being equally balanced, they will become unbalanced. When your body is continually exposed to stress, your nervous system stays in a state of high alert (sympathetic nervous system). It does not return to its rest and digest mode (parasympathetic nervous system). Over time, an overactive stress response can result in hypervigilance and overwhelm, and your nervous system will not work correctly. You are left feeling edgy and uneasy, and the world becomes an unsafe place. This is also when you may start experiencing insomnia, headaches/migraines, an upset stomach, sore/stiff muscles, high blood pressure, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, fainting, an inability to sweat, Epilepsy/seizure disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease . You can also develop anxiety, depression, ADHD, and poor memory due to a dysregulated nervous system.
There are ways that you can regulate your nervous system. The first is to increase your vagal tone. The Vagus nerve is the largest nerve in your body, and it connects your organs, like your lungs, heart, and stomach, to your brain and is the main component of your parasympathetic nervous system. When the Vagus nerve is healthy, it slows your heart rate and breathing, stops the release of stress hormones, and regulates your mood. The Vagus nerve is a target for many relaxation therapies like meditation and yoga, and increasing its activity is a powerful way to heal your symptoms.
There are many ways that you can activate your Vagus nerve. Some ways are:
Humming and singing
Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique)
Splashing your face with cold water or plunging your hands into cold water.
Regulating your nervous system also involves looking at what is causing the dysregulation. If your job is causing your stress to rise, it may be time to evaluate if this job is worth it. Perhaps you need to think about changes to your career. If the stress is from a toxic or abusive relationship, then it might be time to seek some outside support and end this relationship. Whatever is raising your stress level, your body is telling you with these physical symptoms that, change needs to happen.
Evaluating what you let into your life is also essential when regulating your nervous system. To keep yourself balanced, you might want to consider evaluating hidden stressors like:
Reality TV and horror movies. This type of entertainment is known for causing an adrenaline dump in its watchers. This dump can lead to higher amounts of the stress hormone being released and activating your sympathetic nervous system. You might want to limit how many of these shows you watch.
Aggressive, fast, and loud music. Music is known to affect our emotional well-being. As you heal, you may want to listen to classical or new-age music that will tend to calm your nervous system.
Remove excess clutter. Living in a disorganized environment with a lot of clutter can increase your feeling of overwhelm.
Social media. Limiting your access to social media can calm your nervous system. Social media's constant "on," with its bright lights and loud videos, can significantly affect your nervous system. Taking a break now and then is a healthy choice and will help level your nervous system.
Toxic relationships. Being surrounded by toxic or negative people daily can affect your health. Instead, find relationships that lift your soul and bring you joy. This may mean you need to cut off or distance yourself from some relationships. I know that that is not always easy but it is necessary for your overall health.
Going to therapy. I would like to mention that there are two types of therapy that I am trained in that can help you regulate your nervous system. Root-Cause Therapy and Embodied Processing are two forms of trauma therapy that have you focusing on the emotions/energy that is trapped within you following a trauma. Sometimes it is not safe to fully release all of the energy or emotions we feel during trauma. When that happens that energy or emotion becomes trapped within your body causing your nervous system to become dysregulated. Both of these therapies help you focus on what emotions or energy you are still storing and will help you safely release them, therefore healing from those events which can help regulate your nervous system. If you would like to talk to me more about either therapy please book a free 30 mins Discovery Call on my website at www.rhodestowellness.com No commitment, no pressure.
I hope that these suggestions will bring you relief and that you will start feeling better. Remember, it takes time and effort to heal. I would like to note that I am not a doctor so in no way is this blog medical advice but a suggestion of what you might want to look into if you are experiencing the physical symptoms I mentioned.
Janet Rhodes BA, CTP, NLPP, RC.t, EWC, EFL