Stress + Healing
Healing and restoration happen when the body is in a relaxed, resting state - with the parasympathetic nervous system activated.
When the body is stressed or senses danger, muscles tense up as an unconscious reflexive response and the body guards against potential danger; injury and pain (or to ready itself to run, hide, or fight the perceived danger, i.e. saber-toothed tiger).
However, in our contemporary lives, the tiger can be a diagnosis, work stress, finances, or relationship challenges. These stressors activate the body’s sympathetic nervous system and the hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and neuropinephrine are released in the body to bring more energy to protect itself. Chronic stress causes the muscles to be in a state of guardedness - or low grade fight or flight - all of the time. When the body is in this state of fear (or anger) and anxiety, healing is not possible. Unfortunately, many people are out of touch with their bodies, so much so that they are unaware of which system is on at any given time. We can be in this stressful, low grade readiness ongoing and not know it. (It is important to note, the body is either in fight or flight, or rest and digest mode.)
That is why meditation is so important for wellbeing. It helps you become more attuned and sensitive to your bodymind so that you can begin to shift yourself out of destructive stress and into healing mode, signaling your body that it is safe to repair and rebalance. Meditation slows the breath, tones the vagus nerve, and changes your perspective.
Simply by bringing attention to your heart, breathing through this area of the body, and cultivating gratitude will boost your immune system for 6 hours!