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Navigating High-Anxiety Days: A Nervous System Regulation Pocketbook



In the intricate dance with anxiety, some days feel like an uphill battle, pushing us to the

edge of our coping capacities. On these high-anxiety days, having a pocketbook of nervous system regulation tools can be a lifeline, offering tangible strategies to ground and find balance. Let's delve into the why, the in-the-moment skills, and lifestyle-based techniques to navigate the storm.


Why Nervous System Regulation Matters:

Understanding the profound impact of nervous system regulation is the first step to empowerment. The nervous system, our body's intricate control center, responds to stress and anxiety. Dysregulation can lead to heightened emotional responses, fatigue, and a persistent sense of unease. By actively engaging in regulation practices, we create a buffer against the storm of anxiety, fostering resilience and well-being.


In-the-Moment Skills:

  1. Box Breathing:

  • Inhale for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold for four.

  • This technique engages the parasympathetic nervous system, instantly calming the mind.

  1. Grounding Techniques:

  • Feel the texture of an object, name five things you can see, and take a few deep breaths.

  • Grounding brings awareness to the present, anchoring you in reality during moments of heightened anxiety.

  1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR):

  • Tense and release each muscle group, starting from your toes to your head.

  • PMR helps release physical tension, signaling to the nervous system that it's safe to relax.

  1. Sensory Distraction:

  • Engage a sense intensely, like smelling a calming essential oil or listening to a favorite song.

  • Redirecting focus to a positive sensation interrupts anxious thought patterns.

  1. Mindful Walking:

  • Focus on each step, the sensation of your feet meeting the ground.

  • Movement coupled with mindfulness redirects excess energy and promotes a sense of control.


Beyond the in the moment skills, its important to also recognize how our lifestyle can play a role into our nervous system regulation and how the choices we make can really help support our lives overall.


Long-term nervous system regulation game-changers:

  1. Hydration and Nutrition:

  • Sip on water consistently throughout the day, and incorporate nourishing meals.

  • Proper hydration and balanced nutrition support overall well-being, influencing the nervous system.

  1. Regular Physical Activity:

  • Incorporate daily movement, whether it's a brisk walk, yoga, or dancing.

  • Physical activity releases endorphins, acting as a natural stress reliever.

  1. Quality Sleep:

  • Establish a bedtime routine, ensuring 7-9 hours of quality sleep.

  • Sleep is a cornerstone of nervous system health, aiding in emotional regulation.

  1. Mindful Tech Use:

  • Create tech-free zones or time blocks to minimize sensory overload.

  • Mindful tech use prevents constant stimulation, allowing the nervous system to rest.

  1. Breath-Centric Practices:

  • Incorporate breathwork into daily routines, like taking intentional breaths before meals.

  • Consistent breath-centered practices fortify the nervous system over time.


Plus, its important to have quick skills that we can access any time. Here are two that I often use.


Quick Skills for Anytime:

  1. Quick Body Scan:

  • Take a moment to check in with your body, releasing tension from head to toe.

  1. 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding:

  • Name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one positive affirmation.


On this journey to anxiety healing, having an array of nervous system regulation tools is like having a pocketbook of wisdom.

As we navigate the complexities of high-anxiety days, these techniques become beacons of stability.


For a deeper exploration and a comprehensive guide to nervous system regulation, consider joining my 10-Day Nervous System Reset Challenge. Together, let's create a sanctuary of calm within the storm. Learn more here.


I hope this pocketbook is helpful for you any time you need extra support.

Sending love,

Carly

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