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Your Nervous System, Manifestation, & Health

*I want to note that this is the second version of this post. The first began with me pointing out all of the reasons that a dysregulated nervous system can influence life to be less than you want it to be. I was walking you through all of the effects of a dysregulated nervous system, all with the intent on ending with hope and telling you all of the ways that you can heal your nervous system! But, even though I know the information is important and I know how helpful this has been for me…something didn’t feel right. It felt too negative. This version? We’re only focusing on the positive.


Now, this isn’t ignoring the very real effects of a dysregulated nervous system. This is simply choosing to focus in the positive direction, the direction of healing.


As I list the benefits of a regulated, healthy nervous system, you can imagine the opposite, right? And right there you will know the effects of a dysregulated nervous system! However, I still would urge you to not focus there.


Even when we know healing is possible, when we saturate our minds with the effects of something we do not want to be experiencing, it can still bring us down. We don’t need that.


We can be aware without being drug down in vibration, in feeling, in emotion. No, I do not agree that you have to look at what you’re healing in order to heal it - not beyond being aware of what needs healing! I mean, you’ll have to look at it enough to know what to do instead, right? Of course! But we don’t have to focus, focus, focus on it. We have to focus, focus, focus in the direction of healing! That’s it. I promise.


Now, we can all choose different ways of healing. I honor whichever way you choose. However, I just want to offer you a path of ease and joy. Perhaps ease and joy are fuel sources for healing? I certainly think so.


My dears, with that being said, let’s jump into the second version of this post! Now, we will begin as the original post began:


Nervous System Popularity


It seems that talking about nervous system health is just blowing up now, right? Meaning - it’s popular!


I believe this has to do (just a little bit!) with the trendy nature of things circulating throughout society (we humans all love to do the same thing when something is new!). But, I also believe it has to do with people discovering how important the health of the nervous system truly is, both on a personal experience level and a scientific discovery level.


We know that we humans thrive in safety. But what we are now coming to realize is that we can be walking around feeling very unsafe, even when we truly are. We’re not going to be diving into the many possible root causes for those untrue unsafe feelings here! Instead, we’re diving into why the health of the nervous system is so important and how we can go about caring for it.


Specifically, I want to dive into two big areas for which nervous system health is important:


  1. Manifestation

  2. Health


At the end, I will walk you through some practical ways that you can care for your nervous system daily! I’m going to tell you both what I have learned from others and what I am doing for myself.


This is not a detailed informational post on what the nervous system is and how it works! Sorry, my friends. No technicalities here. It is such a popular topic that I am going to assume that you already have a basic understanding of the nervous system and our sense of safety; what is called survival mode; and our fight-or-flight responses. If you want more specific information, please email me a question and I will be happy to help you understand or point you to other resources! I’d love to put my psychology degree to use! :)


The Nervous System & Manifestation


(If you would like a little crash course on manifestation before diving into this section, check out my page here where I break down the basics!)


We know that manifestation is, foundationally, an energetic process. The energetic shifts always come before the physical actions and physical changes. Everything we see in reality was once only existing in the energetic, quantum field of possibilities!


To manifest anything at all, you align your energy (embody the energy) with what you’re calling in before it becomes a part of your physical reality. (Remember that all possibilities exist!)


When we are in a healthy, calm, regulated state (speaking in terms of the nervous system here), we are in control of our energy.


We are free to dream, to visualize, to consider the energy of all that we are wanting to manifest.


We are then able to carefully and intentionally consider how to embody that energy and bring it into our everyday lives now - before the physical representation of the manifestation! The physical can’t precede the energetic, remember?


We then can carry out the embodiment and energetic implementations!


We can feel the freedom, the fun, the joy, the bliss, the peace, and the calm that comes with knowing that a manifestation is on the way and we are helping to bring it through with our energy!


We can sit back, relax, and allow the Universe to do Its part in bringing the manifestation into our physical reality. We can be receptive.


We can feel safe in allowing life to change, in allowing there to be flow and freedom, in allowing ourselves to move away from whatever has been unaligned (no matter how familiar and comfortable it has been!).


This is how we manifest, my friends! This is it in a nutshell.


And for this process to fully take place, the nervous system must be at its healthiest.


Listen! I promise you that manifestation is not impossible if you are in the midst of healing your nervous system. Magic happens right alongside healing and magic happens in the healing. You get to keep right on with your manifestation processes AS you heal! I’m just telling you that, as your nervous system returns to its healthiest state, the manifestation process will just keep getting better and better…


Well, that didn’t take much time to go over, did it?


It’s quite simple, my loves! Don’t overthink it! Don’t overthink this next section either…(nor let fear enter the picture)


Health


Best Decision Making - EVER!


When you’re improving your health, working toward a certain body goal, optimizing your workout routine or diet, etc., you’re going to have to make certain decisions. Likely, these decisions are going to be different than the ones you’re used to making! (If they weren’t, if you were already making these decisions in alignment with your health and body goals, there wouldn’t really be anything to change now would there?)


Making new decisions takes intentionality - without intentionality, it can be so easy to fall back into old habits! Simply because you’re just not thinking about it. It’s okay! That happens. If that happens to you, just give yourself from grace and hop right back on track in the next moment.


When you are calm and centered, with a healthy nervous system, your energy can be focused on the new. You have energy to implement the new. You have mental energy to build new neural pathways, forming new habits - new habits to get you achieving and maintaining your goals!


You are also more able to be focused on your identity - the version of You that you are now embodying and becoming. This is key because identity is at the foundation of all aligned decision making! (Meaning, you make certain decisions because that is just who you are.)


Any time you approach building something new with new decisions from a calm, centered place - you are guaranteed success, my friend! (Now, when I say “calm” and “centered,” I certainly do not mean there is no joy and excitement! I mean calm and centered as opposed to stressed and overwhelmed.)


Digestion


Healthy digestion is key to feeling good and being our healthiest. Why?


First, we feel good overall with healthy digestion! Pain free. Bloat free. All that good stuff! We always feel good when our systems are functioning properly. 


Second, healthy digestion means we are breaking down and absorbing (as we are meant to!) the nutrients from our food that our bodies need to thrive. It doesn’t do any good to eat nutrient-dense foods if the body doesn’t get to use them because of poor digestion!


Third, we know how intricately tied our gut health is to our mental health. Healthy gut = healthy mind. There is constant communication going on between the gut and the brain via the vagus nerve (one of the cranial nerves). When the nervous system is calm, regulated, and at peace, that’s how the digestive system will be. Again, pain free, bloat free, all that good stuff! (And, may I mention [I know not everyone loves to talk about it!]...regularity. You know what I'm talking about.)


No part of the body exists in isolation - we are a whole system working together. 


But no doubt about it, my friends, a healthy nervous system is vital for healthy digestion!


Sleep


A healthy nervous system is also vital for deep, quality sleep. See, it’s not always about the amount of sleep - it’s about the quality as well. We need quality sleep to allow processes of repair and healing to take place (while we sleep!), to replenish our energy, to give certain systems (like the digestive system, the thinking mind, etc.) a chance to chill out and take a break.


We need quality sleep to be fully present in the next day; to make the decisions that matter most to us and our Truth and our goals; to have the energy to stay active, a state in which we humans thrive.


We need quality sleep to have a thriving metabolism, regulated blood sugar, and healthy hormone levels.


We need quality sleep for happy, calm brains.


Did you know sleep was this important??? This is why it is certainly NOT a badge of honor to get very little sleep and just push on with working and other things. 


Now, one night of lesser-quality sleep is not going to plummet you into disrepair! Fear not, my loves - it’s okay! Just notice patterns. And, I promise, caring for the health of your nervous system will FOR SURE be a key player in quality, awesome, kick-a** sleep.


Relationships (More Present)


Our relationships ARE a huge part of our health. We are social creatures, everyone to a different degree! You don’t have to be a social butterfly or else you’re failing. You don’t have to be hanging out with a big group of friends every week in order to be a “good social creature.”


No, we are just meant to be in relationship with other humans to some degree! Quality, loving relationships.


We all have “our people” that we find throughout life! And, when we find them, we get the most out of these relationships by being fully present with them.


Quality relationships, in themselves, help to regulate our nervous systems. When we are around those that make us feel loved and safe, we experience peace and calm. We relax. We become more of our True selves. (The soul is able to more fully come into a relaxed, calm body with a healthy nervous system.)


Quality relationships bring about physical changes in the body, as well. For example, when around those we love (particularly when we are in physical contact with them, such as hugging or cuddling), we release the “love hormone” called oxytocin. Other neurotransmitters are released, like dopamine, as well. And we all know that dopamine is something we like! 


So, don’t discount finding and being with your people when it comes to your health!


Let’s take it back down to the individual level now.

   

Muscularity


Wow, we are learning about so much about the benefits of skeletal muscle nowadays! The protective effects, the longevity effects (i.e., the more muscle you have, the longer you are likely to live), the metabolism effects…it’s wild! We can talk more about those benefits another time, because I want to keep it to the nervous system here.


First, having muscle is going to (indirectly) be tied to caring for the health of the nervous system. How? Because having muscle is healthy for the body, and when the body is in a state of health, it is thriving. Thriving = safety = a healthy, regulated nervous system.


But we can’t build all the muscle we’re capable of without a healthy nervous system! This is the case for a myriad of reasons, such as not having energy for workouts because of stress or due to a lack of sleep. But the biggest reason I want to home in on right here is the body’s inability to actually build the muscle, even with the proper stimulus (i.e., strength training) and supporting conditions (i.e., food & rest). 


Now, I said I was going to keep this positive. And I am! But we have to state a couple facts.


A dysregulated nervous system = more cortisol production (the stress hormone, which we do need some of - just not too much and not at a constant high!). Too much cortisol = the body not being able to put on more muscle. In actuality, there’s a possibility that the body starts to break down muscle in the presence of too much cortisol! Let’s talk about why really quick.


When cortisol is at a higher than healthy level, this is signaling to the body that something isn’t right and there’s some sort of threat out there. It will start to prioritize other processes in the body that are essential to survival - and extra muscle is not! Muscle is a very energy-expensive tissue (meaning it takes a lot of energy [calories] to build and maintain). If resources could be scarce, the body doesn’t want to be prioritizing what isn’t absolutely essential.


But, just because this is the case, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you! Knowledge can be power. Awareness doesn’t have to feel scary when you know that there’s another way - and there’s ALWAYS another way.


With a healthy nervous system, you will be able to train, rest, and nourish your body and reap the rewards with the muscle you’re wanting to grow and the strength you’re wanting to build!


Hormone Health


Lastly, in the health section, let’s talk about hormone health.


Hormones are more than just our sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. There are thyroid hormones, stress hormones (like cortisol and adrenaline), and so many more.


Balanced levels of these hormones (unique to each person and each stage of life) is what leads to a thriving body. When the body is not in a healthy, nervous system state, certain hormone production will be prioritized above others (i.e., more cortisol and less sex hormones). Remember, when the nervous system is out of whack, the body is sensing threat. It is responding as if survival is at stake. If this were truly the case, reproduction wouldn’t be a priority! So, sex hormones production can be slowed way the heck down. This leads to a multitude of problems, as you can imagine!


That’s just one example with sex hormones. Just know that a healthy nervous system is needed for thriving, balanced hormone levels (ALL hormones) - which are necessary for a thriving human being! Which is what you want to be, right?


Moving On


Wow! That was a lot! But important. See, as I said before, we are an intricate system! No part existing in isolation. Every part of the body is working together.


And the good news with ALL of this is that we can care for the nervous system! No matter what has happened, we can all have healthy nervous systems that support our thriving as humans and full soul embodiment. 


Shall we talk about how? Oh, it’s super easy. You’re going to love this. (These were inspired by a social media post from The Holistic Psychologist! I only got the actual practice ideas, NOT the content! You can check out her and this particular post here! She’s amazing.)


Nervous System Care


Being Social


While a regulated nervous system helps us be fully present with the awesome people in our lives, just being with those awesome people to whatever capacity possible is healing in and of itself!


As I said above, relationships and being social trigger actual physiological changes in the body.


Being around people we care about and that care about us, creating community, cultivates a sense of safety. A nervous system heals and thrives in safety (as does the whole human organism!).


B Vitamins


Oh how our nutrition plays a role in everything (one reason I adore being a nutrition coach)! B vitamins are essential in the proper functioning of an incredible amount of processes in the body - including the proper functioning of the nervous system!


Many people are not getting enough B vitamins through their diet, and supplementation is one route you can certainly go! This would be something to discuss with your doctor or other healthcare professional, just to make sure you’re getting the right supplements, taking the right doses, etc. Although, it is perfectly okay to do your own research and begin taking vitamins on your own. Do you and be safe! (*Note: Even though B vitamins are water-soluble and it is often said you cannot take too many as any excess gets excreted in your urine, you CAN have too high of B vitamin levels [I know from personal experience!]. So, more is not always better!)


Apart from supplementation (if you fear you are low in B vitamins or you have seen evidence of this in bloodwork), there are tons of B-vitamin-rich foods like…


  • Fish

  • Almonds

  • Eggs

  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Chicken

  • Beef


& many more!


*Even if you are not low in B vitamins, we still need to prioritize eating vitamin-B-rich foods, as this is an essential vitamin for our health!*


Nutrition Coach Tip: It’s always optimal to aim for getting your micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals from whole food sources. Your body loves this! Try this first, and if you need supplementation, know that it’s always there for you!


But, yes, B vitamins are necessary for a healthy nervous system!


Relationships (Cut the Toxicity!)


Wait, didn’t we just talk about relationships when we talked about being social? Kinda.


That section involved healthy, supportive, loving relationships. This section is about the opposite.


Do you have any toxic relationships in your life? People that when you’re around them they do not add anything positive? Perhaps you even feel unsafe around them?


If the relationship is harmful, it’s not doing your sweet nervous system any favors. Toxic relationships do not serve to create a safe environment for nervous system healing and health.


You want to be around people who inspire you, love you, support you, help you feel safe & calm, and who promote your healing & health journeys.


To whatever extent you can, sweet loves, cut those toxic relationships out!


Sunshine & Nature


Getting out in the sun is essential for healthy vitamin D levels, which are vital for our mood! This is a huge reason SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, or wintertime depression) is a thing. When we don’t have the sun, we don’t feel as good! The sun is healing. It is also essential in our cortisol-melatonin cycle, specifically morning sunshine.


When we get morning sunshine, that helps to kickstart the cortisol-melatonin cycle so that when it comes time for us to go to sleep we are in the proper place in the cycle where cortisol is lowering and melatonin levels are rising. Pretty cool, huh? (The cortisol-melatonin cycle refers to the cycle we go through every 24 hours where cortisol is highest in the morning [helping us wake up and get going!] and melatonin is lowest in the morning. As the day goes on, our cortisol levels slowly drop, allowing melatonin [a hormone essential to sleep!] levels to rise, hitting their peak when it’s time for us to go to sleep. These two go in this cycle every day! And sunshine timing is essential to its proper functioning.) We know proper sleep is essential to a healthy brain, healthy body, and healthy nervous system (we’ll talk about this more in a second!). It’s all connected.


Plus, being outside in nature and the fresh air is healing in and of itself. Get out there in the sun, sweet souls! Your body, and nervous system, will thank you. (Your soul will, too.)


Move! (Your body, That Is)


I don’t love this point just because I’m a personal trainer or because I’m a fitness nut myself. Exercising moves energy! Exercise serves to move stuck energy or stored stress. Exercise helps to lower cortisol levels (even though it is a stressor [good stressor!] in and of itself!).


Humans are meant to be active.


Activity serves to quiet the mind.


Activity brings us into the present moment.


You can call it exercise, movement, activity - whatever! 


It doesn’t have to be going to the gym. It can be dancing, walking, running, hiking, pilates, yoga, etc.


Exercise serves to get you out of your mind and into your body, connecting to your body. When we healthily connect to the body, this serves to heal the nervous system. This serves to create a sense of safety in the body.


Oh, and exercise can also be fun. Fun is healing, did you know that? Because, when are we having fun? When everything is good and we are safe. The body and brain want to know they’re safe. We get to show them that they are safe through our actions.


Also, exercise serves to build a healthy body. A healthy body is a body that handles stress differently and feels safe. It’s all about safety, huh?


One more thing exercise can do…it can get us into a flow state.


Creativity & Flow


I was listening to a podcast interview with Daryl Anka, the man who channels Bashar (a higher consciousness being). Now, say what you will about channeling - whether it’s real, an act, what have you. I personally believe in it 100%! I’ve done it myself, so far just with automatic writing. Are there people who CAN fake it and probably do? You bet! But we get to ignore those people. And only focus on the ones with true gifts. Trust your intuition, you’ll be able to feel the authenticity. And, some channels you just won’t click with, and that’s okay! That doesn’t mean they’re “fake.”


Well, that was a bit of a tangent! Haha 


But Daryl was talking about channeling, and how everyone does it.


One of the times that we are all channeling is when we are in the flow state. The flow state is described, in human terms, as being fully immersed in an activity to the point that you lose sense of time and the outside world fades out of your awareness. Think about an athlete with their head completely in the game; or an artist in the midst of one of their most exciting creations; or a musician playing with utter joy and passion and depth; or a writer who seems unstoppable for hours on end, information coming and coming and coming. That, my friends, is flow.


On a spiritual level, Daryl stated that this is channeling because it is us tapping into our higher selves, the Truth of who we are, what we came here to do and be. In flow states, we are able to allow spirit to move through us. (And that's what channeling is - tapping into spirit, higher consciousness, etc., and allowing it to flow through you into this physical world!)


On a physical level, this helps to heal and care for our nervous systems because it gets us out of the stress state. It brings us into joy and peace and passion - healing energies. It brings us into love - you can’t be in flow without doing something that you love!


On a spiritual level, you are allowing your soul to flow into and through you. You are spiritually tapped in. Anytime we are spiritually tapped in, so long as we allow, healing is taking place. Spirit is the ultimate healer of all.


Find something you enjoy and can get into flow with! For me, it’s coming (right now) with my writing and podcasting.


Don’t put pressure on yourself. Let this be free and fun. It’s about joy, remember? Experiment!


Prioritize Sleep


Okay, if a healthy nervous system is important for proper sleep, how can we prioritize sleep FIRST?


Well, there ARE things that you can do WHILE your nervous system is healing to help your sleep - which is going to help the nervous system even more!


Yes, a healthy nervous system does help our sleep, but quality sleep is not impossible without it.


There are supplements that you can always try for temporary support - melatonin, l-theanine, inositol, chamomile (well, this is more of an herbal remedy in the form of tea!), etc. And the ultimate goal is to have these be truly temporary, as we want the body to be able to sleep well on its own! We don’t want to be reliant on anything for a lifetime, but there are so many things available for support while we need it (IF we need it).


Make sure you’re sleeping in a cool environment! 65ish degrees (Farenheit) is usually talked about as the gold standard. But just find what “cool” is for you!


Sleeping in a dark room is also key. Blackout curtains, turning off electronics, turning off other lights are all ways to help this happen!


Mentioning light…yep, let’s do something about those electronics right before bed! We know that blue light (of which electronics are one source) inhibits our body’s ability to produce sufficient melatonin to help us wind down and go to sleep! It serves to actually keep cortisol higher. Why? Because blue light signals that it’s daytime! We want to wind down with the sun going down. So, yes, you can turn off electronics a couple hours before bed. OR you can also utilize blue light blocking tools (glasses, screen covers, etc.). Just make sure these tools are amber-colored and not clear! The amber-colored ones block out the most blue light. The glasses are super affordable depending on where you buy from!


Two more sleep tips!


Remember how we talked about sunlight? Particularly morning sunlight? Yep! To the best of your ability, get at least 10-20 minutes of morning sunlight to kick off the cortisol-melatonin cycle!


Okay, last sleep tip. Keep a consistent schedule! Research shows that this is the healthiest way to go about sleep. If you wake up early during the week but then sleep in super late on the weekend, you’re essentially giving yourself jetlag! We don’t want that.


So, to recap, sleep is healing! And there are tons of ways to support the body and brain for restful, quality sleep WHILE we’re working on caring for the nervous system in other ways.


Oh! One other thing I love - sleep meditations! You can find tons of those on Spotify. (Hmm…maybe I can create some??? That’s a cool idea!)


To Put it All Together


I hope you understand how important the nervous system is! It is a beautiful part of our body that supports our thriving and full soul embodiment. It is a key player in our manifesting. It is essential for…everything we talked about this whole post!


I also hope you see that hope is NEVER lost - no matter how dysregulated you feel you are!


There are many amazing practitioners out there who can also assist you through the healing process, if you feel that would be best! I would love to be one of these practitioners one day, adding this knowledge and skill set to my tool belt, but we’re not there yet! Search Instagram. I’ve seen SO many! 


We can always heal. We can always keep caring for. We can always keep showing love to.


Alright, as we end, let me tell you the things I’m doing to help my nervous system heal and return to a state of regulation! I’m just going to list these, so the post isn’t going to get much longer! (Kudos to you for making it this far!!!)


  • Taking breaks throughout the day (where I used to go, go, go until I just couldn’t go anymore)

  • Consistent sleep schedule

  • Proper nutrition and consistent eating (extreme hunger and wonky blood sugar levels do not help the body feel safe!)

  • Prioritizing my spiritual practices and spiritual connection

  • Doing things I love and enjoy and that are fun! Making time for them, not just doing them “when I have time”

  • Making it a goal to get outside into nature every single day! (A little bit tougher here in VA in the winter…for a girl who doesn’t love the cold…)

  • Cooling down after a workout (I like to think of this as showing my body that we’re not prepping for battle! We’re just doing this for fun and health.)

  • Similar to the last point, thanking my body after a workout. AND thanking my body for all the awesome things it does all throughout the day!


Sweet souls, I will support you any way that I can! If you have questions, please send me an email of a DM on Instagram. If you are interested in nutrition coaching or a nutrition consultation, you know where to find me! If you are interested in my books, check them out here! If you want to listen to my podcast, check it out here.


All of this, all I do, is to support you, help you be your healthiest, and assist you in waking up to your soul truth and then embodying that soul truth. That's why I'm here!


Thank you, sweet ones, for being here on this earth at this time. You chose to come here for these important times, and I'm really glad to be sharing these wild times with you! We're here to be the change together. Let's do this.


Until next time...


XOXO Katie Anne

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