Stress versus relaxation, a fight between two systems

Stress versus relaxation

Did you know that inside our body there are 2 nervous systems that are very important for us?

Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System

The sympathetic system, activates in conditions of fear, anxiety, stress and accelerates the functions of most organs: the heart beats faster, respiratory rate increases, and breathing becomes more superficial, muscles tense, sweating becomes more abundant.

It involves an action such as “Fight or run!“, It helps us in the short term to accelerate automatically in order to avoid the perceived danger, giving us a surplus of energy needed to counteract it.

When triggered, stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline are released. Heart rate and blood pressure increase, and digestion slows down or stops alltogether, as the blood is directed from the internal organs to the limbs, preparing us to react quickly to danger.

Intense and / or prolonged stress is felt by the body as a real aggression and exhaustion that also produces indirect activation of the adrenal glands, whose hormonal secretion in turn stimulates respiratory, cardiovascular and renal functions. Under these conditions, it can lead to hormonal disorders, thyroid, diabetes, gastric ulcer, eczema, autoimmune diseases or even chronic adrenal insufficiency, and in extreme cases to manic-depressive syndrome.

Are you at the traffic light and a second after it turns green, are you already honking? Or does it annoy you that someone is slower in traffic? You are already on the wave of stress and you are working on the sympathetic system and that is not good at all …

Many people are always stressed and stuck and getting sick. Some live in a constant state of alertness and anxiety. Causes of these conditions include time pressure, performing several activities simultaneously, or speeding up activities.

Thus, we realize how important it is to learn and master the thorough procedures of relaxation in order to put an end to all these unbalanced manifestations. Physiologically speaking, relaxation activates the switch to the parasympathetic nervous system.

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for activating the immune system and stopping the process of inflammation and stress. Basically, the processes of healing and maintaining health are activated only when the body is in a parasympathetic state.

These systems work alternately, never at the same time. When one is on, the other is off.

How does this information help me?

First of all, it helps us to understand that it is healthy for us to be in a “parasympathetic state” for as long as possible because it brings the nervous system into balance.

Because in this state the body’s rhythms are slowed down, allowing us to relax, regenerate and recover after the danger has passed.

All processes of healing and maintenance of health (digestion, detoxification, immunity, tissue regeneration and arousal) are activated only when the body is in a parasympathetic state.

Healing processes take place only in the parasympathetic state, “Rest, digest and heal!”.

Normally, the person should be in a parasympathetic state 80% of the day. Almost all diseases and dysfunctions result from the fact that we can not enter the parasympathetic state.

How to do the switch?

The switch between these two states is made by the vagus nerve, which regulates the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

It is an important nerve that connects the brain to our body.
Defective functioning of the vagus nerve is due to chronic stress and toxic thoughts, but can also be caused by physical toxins, infections or viruses, especially those in the dental area.

What are the activities that put us in a parasympathetic state?

  • Take it easy and do any activity at a slower pace. If we usually read the emails in 20 minutes, we allocate 40 minutes.
  • We aim to breathe deeply (we exhale slowly all the air from lungs and then, to relax the chest muscles, we will inhale deeply ans slowly, dilating first our abdomen and only then our chest, and we will pull our shoulders back. We repeat a few times.
  • Meditation is one of the most effective methods of activating the parasympathetic state. If you don’t know how to do it, find a guided mediation online.
  • No multitasking (performing several activities simultaneously). This may “seem” to save time, but in fact, using more sensorial organs in a shorter time, tires us very quickly and brings us maximum stress. “When you read, just do it. When you eat, just eat, and when you think, just think.”
  • Relax as often as possible: go to a massage or spa, read a book, do stretching or yoga, walk in nature (but not extreme and dangerous sports), close your eyes and imagine that you are in a place very nice.
  1. Do not listen to negative news or violent movies in general and especially before bedtime. Better watch optimistic, romantic and motivational movies, read a beautiful book before going to sleep.
  2. Sigh whenever you feel, smile and laugh out loud as often as possible.
  3. Reduce as much as possible of the time spent in front of the “blue screen” monitors given by the light of the laptop, TV, mobile phone screen etc.
  4. The first muscular signs of stress are the sensations of tension in the neck. So, we can do self-massage with our palms or with a massage device. We can slowly turn the head, incline it at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal, without forcing, to the left and to the right; then, with the hand resting on the top of the head, we will press, for a second, the chin on the chest. Repeat the exercise five times on each side.
  5. We aim to catch the “good hours” of sleep in which melatonin is secreted: between 10 pm and 2 am.

This are important keys to switch to improve very much the quality of your life and for editing it we put a lot of effort to study, practice and make a short version for you. We hope you will really appreciate it and, most important, you will be more often in the parasympathetic state.

Good luck!