There is a counselor I know who pays great attention to how the body holds experiences. In conversation with her, I gained an entry-level understanding into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is basically the fight or flight mechanism that serves to protect us when needed. The parasympathetic nervous system calms things down and steadies us. The benefit of knowing a bit about these functions is that we can use such information to partner with our bodies to intentionally help regulate them and increase health.
I am grateful our bodies have a built-in alarm system that can warn of impending danger, putting us on high alert when necessary. With such a cue, we can meet the challenge at hand and persevere. I’m also grateful our bodies have the intelligence to know when the threat has passed, allowing us to detox, rest and rejuvenate. This is the space we hope to live in most of the time, which allows for openness, creativity, and growth. The best thing we can do to achieve optimal balance between the two systems is to communicate with our bodies — listening to what may be active or unresolved within them — and respond to any needs that surface.
If we don’t take the time to tune into our bodies on a regular basis, we risk getting rundown or sick, even to the degree of a chronic or life-threatening illness. Healthy self-care requires us act on behalf of the messages they send. Let us appreciate and cooperate with such bodily wisdom!
How do you communicate with your body?
May you be inspired!