One of my most powerful secrets for helping my clients get faster results has almost nothing to do with food and everything to do with how we communicate with our bodies.
The people that truly embrace this concept and commit to incorporating it throughout their day see results far more quickly than my other clients.
Here is what I do:
I teach them how to give their body permission to focus on healing and thriving. Yes, permission.
Your body WANTS to do amazing things for you. It WANTS to digest that food and get more nutrients. It WANTS to kill off that virus. It WANTS to make you more good-mood neurotransmitters so you’re happier and can handle stress more easily. It WANTS to make you feel more frisky so you go make whoopie. Etc.
If you’re stressed all the time, you’re literally telling your body that life out there is risky and dangerous and there is no time for the "luxuries" of good moods and fighting illness. You're telling your body that it needs to focus on something else: SURVIVING, not THRIVING.
Here are the basics of why:
Your nervous system has two “channels”: Sympathetic & Parasympathetic.
They are meant to be used in balance to provide you the nutrients and attention you need given your situation.
Depending on what is going on in and outside of your body, your brain will decide which channel it should be tuned to. Each channel has priorities and will “turn on” and support certain organs, systems, and hormones to support that priority and “turn off” other organs, systems, & hormones in order to preserve energy and nutrients.
Your “sympathetic” channel (NEED TO SURVIVE) is for when you are stressed and in “fight or flight” mode. Long ago, this was for when a tiger was chasing you, or you needed to run away from or kill an enemy in battle.
These days, things that would turn on your fight-or-flight mode are more like your boss or spouse yelling at you, driving, overdue bills, deadlines, stress, worry, etc. As you can tell, we are likely experiencing way more of this stress now than in the past.
Your “parasympathetic” channel (PERMISSION TO THRIVE) is for promoting digestion, fighting illness, rebuilding, making good moods, making babies (feeling frisky), etc; all things that you don’t need to survive, but need to thrive.
The more you are in “sympathetic” mode, the less time and nutrients your body is getting to heal, fight illness, digest, create good moods, detoxify, and build healthier cells.
So spend more time communicating to your body that you want it to be in parasympathetic mode instead.
How to Tell Your Body to Chill:
- A walk
- Breathing exercises
- Massage, skin brushing
- Stimulating the vagal nerve: Singing loudly, gargling water, or gagging slightly on a toothbrush (for real)
- Cuddling or sexual activity
- Avoiding sugar and caffeine, eating balanced (fat, carb, protein) meals
- Aerobic exercise or focused weight training (not high intensity)
- Interactions with people you love that help you feel “filled-up”, not “emptied-out” afterwards.
I recommend that the more stress you have in your life, the more you need to schedule in and focus on adding parasympathetic activities throughout your day in order to make sure you are giving your body the message that it doesn’t need to worry about SURVIVAL, and it can spend more resources on helping you THRIVE.
Pick one or two activities that help you switch back into parasympathetic mode to start with and make room for them in your day.
As you start building these into habits, try adding another! The more balanced time you spend in parasympathetic mode, the more good stuff will be happening!