The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates over ninety percent of your body's internal functions including the hormonal and immune systems, digestion, metabolism and sleep.
The ANS consists of two branches:
- The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which accelerates the heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and raises blood pressure. Think of it like stepping on the accelerator of your car.
- The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity and relaxes sphincter muscles. Think of it like stepping on the brakes in your car.
By learning to balance the two parts of your autonomic nervous system, you begin to feel better emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. You can also add in other "ly's"; once you feel better, you'll do better. Oh the places you'll go - energetically, financially, socially, habitually, efficiently!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to become aware (another A!) of whether you are stepping on your "gas" or your "brake". Is there a chance that you're "driving" like my Opa did Gas-Brake-Gas-Brake-Gas-Brake? I can see you rolling your eyes, because at one time or another, you've been in a car with this type of driver! If you are this type of driver, it's time to adopt some new habits. This is hard on the car and it's certainly hard on your ANS.
As you begin to realize that you are not operating optimally, it becomes a powerful driver of change, leading you towards stress, undressed!
Start your engines!