When We Think About Nourishing the Brain, We Can’t Do It Without Thinking in the Central Nervous System (CNS).
The CNS is divided in 2 systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system is the fight or fly system we experience every time we go into survival mode.
The parasympathetic nervous system is the one that kicks in when we are happy. What makes the CNS so intelligent is the fact that only one of these two systems can be active at any given time. Let’s break it down, shall we?
The Sympathetic nervous system is always alert, which it should be.
It is the primal nervous system. It is the one that helps us to survive when we are in extreme or life threatening situations.
It is the nervous system that kicks in when we are in danger even if we don’t realize it.
Today, this system gets activated when our brain recognizes stress as survival. In this moment our brain sends the message to the CNS and the sympathetic nervous system gets into action, often for no major reason.
The parasympathetic nervous system is the one that gets activated when we do things that makes us happy, when we enjoy something.
This system kicks in when we feel loved or give love, when we hug our children, when we play and have fun, when we enjoy ourselves doing whatever brings peace and joy to our mind.
In today’s world we have to force ourselves to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Back in the day, the parasympathetic was the system that was always active unless men were hunting or were in danger.
There are things that we can do to bring up our parasympathetic nervous system throughout the day that will train our brain to not stay vigilant at all times.
- Take 5 minutes break every hour.
- Mindful breathing in your desk.
- Exercise daily.
- Practice gratitude, written or thought.
- Take a 15 minutes walk during your lunch time.
- Call your best friend to have an easy conversation.
- Hug your loved ones. Or the ones you don’t love so much.
- Pet your pets.
- Enjoy preparing a healthy meal.
Practice whatever brings joy, peace and happiness into your life as often as you can and enjoy!
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