The human nervous system plays a vital role in regulating and maintaining overall well-being. It coordinates essential bodily functions and enables us to respond to external stimuli. However, certain habits and lifestyle choices can negatively impact the nervous system, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and reduced overall health. By identifying and eliminating these detrimental habits, we can work towards regulating our nervous system and promoting a healthier, more balanced life.
Let’s get into it!
In this blog, we will explore five habits you should quit to regulate your nervous system effectively. These 5 things are huge culprits for anxiety and nervous system dysregulation for me personally and for many of my clients. Avoiding and letting go of many of the things on this list have been game-changing for me and my clients, and I hope they are for you too.
Looking at your phone first thing in the morning or late at night
In the digital age, excessive screen time has become a common habit that can disrupt the nervous system. Prolonged exposure to screens, including smartphones, computers, and televisions, can strain the eyes, disrupt sleep patterns, and increase stress levels. The blue light from your phone doesn’t just disrupt circadian rhythms. Looking at our phones first thing in the morning and right before bedtime is incredibly overstimulating and increases our risk of being triggered by social media or anything else.
As a rule of thumb, I like to stay away from my phone until about 8 a.m. and put it away by 8 p.m. Like intermitted fasting for technology.
Coffee on an empty stomach
To regulate your nervous system, consider reducing your caffeine intake and exploring alternative beverages such as herbal teas or decaffeinated options. Stop drinking coffee on an empty stomach. It elevates cortisol, unbalances your hormones, and keeps you in your stress cycle all day long. Instead, have a high-fat and high-protein breakfast and then have your coffee. It’s changing the game for me and my patients.
If there is one thing that has regulated my nervous system and calmed my anxiety more than anything else,
Skipping meals and irregular meal timing
Skipping meals or eating at extremely irregular times can also vitiate the nervous system and Vata dosha. Vata wants to know what is happening. It likes routine. When we do this, it confuses our bodies and can create blood sugar issues, which can be an underlying cause of rapid anxiety or regulation. Like Hangxity
I’m even going to take this one step further and tie it into restricting your food intake (nourishment). We need to be eating more healthy fats, proteins, and fibre to deeply nourish our body, not restrict it.
I will do a more in-depth post on this, but essentially, alcohol depletes B-vitamins (essential for the nervous system and mental health), damages the liver and therefore clogs up detox pathways, is pro-inflammatory or neuro-inflammatory, disrupts the microbiome, and more, all leading to decreased mental and neural health.
I have found in myself that even small amounts of alcohol are incredibly deregulating. It’s a super person’s choice, but factually speaking, it’s best to avoid it.
Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can negatively impact your nervous system. Such a diet can lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired brain function. To regulate your nervous system, prioritise a balanced diet rich in whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Regulating your nervous system is crucial for maintaining a balanced and healthy life. By eliminating these five detrimental habits, you can positively impact your nervous system’s functioning. That being said, another thing to give up for nervous system regulation and calming anxiety is stressing about every little thing. Don’t obsess over it being “perfect”, or stress that there’s a little dairy in something, or if you look at your phone one morning, etc.