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Pushing yourself to the limit, staying up all night, procrastinating, or pursuing activities under pressure can lead to unreasonable and unhealthy work expectations, often stunting company growth and straining both body and mind.
Most entrepreneurs and executives have no idea how much pressure they have in their heads and how stressed their nervous systems get – the mind-body connection is often overlooked and not paid attention to until it affects our ability to continue in hinders our work.
Related: 5 Ways to Stay Sane and Healthy on Your Entrepreneurial Journey
At one point in my life, I was climbing the corporate ladder while building a business on the side, and I wasn’t listening to my body or mind. This led to an emotional, mental and physical breakdown that landed me in the hospital. My anxiety was high and I had a mild case of depression. I didn’t take care of myself, had bad eating habits, hardly moved my body and left no room for fun, spending time with family and friends or resting and relaxing. My body shut down, my nervous system was out of whack, I was in survival mode and I didn’t realize how great my pain tolerance really was, taking it all in at once.
I didn’t realize how powerful the mind-body connection is, how important regulating the nervous system is and how it can dramatically trigger and create more success in every area of your life.
Many do the mentality work, but leave the body and nervous system to work without the ingredients to grow the business, go for that promotion, or move to that next level.
What is the Nervous System? How does it contribute to success? How can we regulate it for sustainable success?
Related: 5 ways to protect your mental health
Over the years I have learned about the nervous system and hired experts to help and support me in this area of my growth, and have practiced some of these techniques. I have seen incredible results in my overall health, wellness and business.
Your nervous system is the command center of your body. It consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Originating from your brain, it controls your movements, thoughts, feelings and automatic reactions to the world around you.
Stress, poor sleep, traumatic events, depression, chronic illness and relationship conflicts can cause a disrupted nervous system. You can down-regulate your nervous system when you are in a stressed state or up-regulate it when you are in a lethargic state.
Your body is a living library of stored experiences and emotions. And when various stressors are present, they act as messengers for the body. You can be in a fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response or in a rest and digest response.
When you experience anger, stress, or anxiety, your brain automatically kicks into high gear and pumps cortisol into your adrenal glands. Your heart rate can speed up, your mind can race, and your body can tense up — resulting in a dysregulated nervous system that can be regulated.
Related: Entrepreneurs struggle with mental illness. Here are 5 ways to manage your mental health as an ukbusinessupdates.com
Our brains and bodies want to keep us safe; however, different situations, people and environments can put us in survival mode. I lived in survival mode for years. Keep in mind that everyone’s tolerance range is different.
How did it go when your last meeting didn’t go well? Worried about a friend or family member or worried about signing up with that client?
So, how can we move and manage from survival to safety? How can you guide your nervous system?
Here are a few ways I’ve found to regulate my nervous system.
- Make time for yourself. It can be easy to get caught up and neglect your own needs. However, it’s a game changer if you’re mindful of how much sleep you’re getting, how much water you’re drinking, what kinds of foods you’re eating, and how you can create downtime for yourself. How can you make 1% adjustments in any of these areas?
- Take a deep breath. Deep breathing is a simple yet effective way to regulate your nervous system and let your body and brain know there is no emergency. Box breathing has been very powerful for me. This is inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for four counts, then hold for four counts. You can repeat this for a total of 10 rounds.
- Feel the sensation for 90 seconds. When something happens, it takes about 90 seconds for the first emotion to be felt and not so charged. After this initial period, take a deep breath, create a safe space and release it by yelling, journaling and getting the emotion out or moving through your body.
- Bring in more positive, happy and fun thoughts – these create and cause a great feeling in your body. These could be happy memories, future plans you’re excited about, incredible people you love, books, movies, or activities you love.
- Go outside into nature – consciously tune in to your body and take in all of nature while you are with yourself. You can even sing while walking or sitting. Using and hearing your voice is powerful and healing.
There are so many other ways to regulate your nervous system (up and down). The most important part of the process is to become aware of when you are disorganized and to start practicing these tools. It may not feel like anything is happening at first, but see what happens over time.
Both your body and brain will thank you.