Improve Energy Levels with Mind-Body Exercises
Are you a typical American pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion?
Are you a parent with small children (or even grown children) who cannot get enough rest?
Do you feel like a zombie walking through life? Sometimes even moaning as you walk through the door for the day?
You might have adrenal dysfunction or adrenal fatigue.
I am a huge believer in adrenal dysfunction, and I believe many Americans suffer with it. For me personally, treating my adrenals appropriately has made a huge difference. I want to save you some exhausting steps by sparing you some heartache. If you plan to take supplements and herbs for your adrenals without working on your mind-body connection, you will not make much improvement. While the adaptogenic herbs work very well for adrenal dysfunction, you will not recover if you do not work on the perceived stress that you are applying to your body.
In a sense, your body is brilliant. It can adapt to any stressor. The downside: No matter the stressor, it responds the same way.
A tiger jumps out of the bushes in front of your house, your sympathetic system activates (blood pressure goes up, heart rate escalates, pupils dilate – all systems go!).
Someone on the interstate is texting and nearly hits you. You get angry and your sympathetic system activates (same as above).
Your boss tells you that you haven’t hit the numbers that he was expecting, and you are in line for the firing squad. Your sympathetic system activates.
You have a fight with your spouse over cleaning the laundry. Your sympathetic system activates.
…Are you getting the picture?
The moral of the story is that multiple things activate your “fight or flight” system called the Sympathetic Nervous System (SANS), and this causes adrenal dysfunction in the long run.
You can take as many herbs as you want, but nothing quenches the hunger of the sympathetic nervous system like its counter-part, the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the yin and yang in your body. You cannot lower your yin unless you increase your yang.
How do I increase my yang (parasympathetic nervous system)?
You increase your parasympathetic system by increasing relaxation.
When driving in to work, instead of thinking about the mountain of things on your to-do list, look at the weather, trees, clouds, and birds. Think to yourself about how awesome it is to be alive and experiencing these magnificent things.
When sitting down to eat a meal, turn off the TV and enjoy the food and people around you. Chew slowly. Think about the unique tastes in each bite of food.
When winding down for bed, don’t think about sleep as another thing on your to-do list. Clear your mind before laying down. Perform some breathing exercises and focus on air entering and exiting your body.
Focus on mindfulness and relaxation throughout your day. Remember that every time you let a stressor affect you, the sympathetic system is activating. Ask yourself: Is it necessary for me to act like a tiger jumped out of the bushes? Probably not. …if it is necessary, then you should probably run like hell.
Yoga (and other similar activities) is an excellent activity for mindfulness. It includes mindfulness practices like breathing and focus. Plus, it allows your body to stretch into unusual and different planes that you have not encountered throughout a regular day. For the busy American, it is an excellent activity as it allows you to get exercise and parasympathetic activation at the same time.
If you have adrenal dysfunction, focus on mind-body peace before swallowing handfuls of pills