Saturday, April 15, 2017

Wanted: Rest and Digest Mode, um...NOW!!!!

Time moves at super warp speed. And because time moves so fast, our thoughts and decisions move fast.One Facebook posts sends us unfriending in anger, one thought can make us want to cry in our bed, one comment can crush our esteem. Don't let that happen to you.  This fast moving energy can be for your benefit or your detriment. It's sink or swim time, baby! This means you must keep yourself up, mentally and physically, so you don't get trampled in the downward spiral of the drama of a stress-induced life. Your solution: The nemesis of an over-worked mind and body: Welcome Rest and Digest Mode.

Rest and Digest mode is where rejuvenation of the human body occurs. It's where the "bad" cells are kicked to the curb. Rest and digest is the opposite of fight or flight mode. Rest and Digest is where magic fairy dust is sprinkled upon your organs and tissues, it's where health happens. Rest and digest, or parasympathetic mode, is where your body feels "at the beach" like everything is OK and there is nothing to fear. It's where you see your life as an observer and you can decide what you behaviors you want to change.  Your goal is to find this feeling place everyday, more moments than not. Your job is to sooth your body into that place.

How to Release the Stress and Get On with Living
There are millions of ways to reduce stress, but these are tried and tested by me like a charm. Thus, my immune system is stronger, my actions are intentional instead of reactive, and my direction is life is forward instead of sporadic and circular. Physically, it means my digestion is more on point, my body is not holding onto toxins and I can think with a rational head. Awe. Life is so much better on the other side of stress.

  • Soothe your thoughts like you would to a little child. I think the most powerful way we avoid stress is with controlling our thoughts. Notice when you think something that doesn't feel good, you know it because your emotions change. Then switch the negative thought to something that feels better. Make excuses for yourself, soften the blows of anger you send to yourself. Every one of your cells responds to each thought you think, it creates biological chemicals based on what you're thinking. So be kind. Create a mantra that sends the message to your body that "everything is OK." Don't think for a second that high-level CEO's and professional athletes are wasting their time thinking negative thoughts about themselves. If they were, they wouldn't have succeeded. Think Responsibly. The article, How Your Thoughts Program Your Cells, explains it this way:
    There are thousands upon thousands of receptors on each cell in our body. Each receptor is specific to one peptide, or protein. When we have feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, excitement, happiness or nervousness, each separate emotion releases its own flurry of neuropeptides. Those peptides surge through the body and connect with those receptors which change the structure of each cell as a whole. Where this gets interesting is when the cells actually divide. If a cell has been exposed to a certain peptide more than others, the new cell that is produced through its division will have more of the receptor that matches with that specific peptide. Likewise, the cell will also have less receptors for peptides that its mother/sister cell was not exposed to as often.
  • Move. Anytime we can be inside our body, through exercise and movement, we can reaffirm to our body that we don't want to hold onto negative emotions. So move your body - walk, do yoga, throw a one-man dance party, try a handstand or drop and do ten push ups. So, take up Tai Chi or kickboxing, or my favorite - get in the box and do some Crossfit. If you like being alone, find an activity you can do solo. Hiking is an activity where I can be alone but I don't feel lonely. This physical movement moves negative energy OUT while welcoming in endorphins and positive thoughts.
  • Breathe and sigh. Your breath is your connection (internal world) to the
    environment (eternal world.) If your external world is stressful, how does your body pick up on that? The majority of it is through your breathing. Remember to sigh it out or focus on your breath for a few seconds. Work on making your exhales twice as long as your inhales, while you pull in your gut to get it all out. Release the carbon dioxide and toxins through long, meaningful exhales. Give your body oxygen and it will reward you by keeping your spirts up and your digestion flowing. Try taking three deep breaths before, during and after your meals. This way you can get full on life and then you can relax your intestinal nervous system to avoid an upset stomach and poorly assimilated nutrients.
  • Count Your Blessings. We're beyond-privileged in the Western world. Two cars per household, clean running water, a refrigerator and freezer (sometimes two!) a cozy, safe home, clean air to breath, the ability to think your own thoughts, satin sheets to mold to our bodies, police and ambulances one three digit dial away, unlimited possibilities at our fingertips to create businesses, free will to write blogs and books on any topic. Airplanes to fly us across the world, Amazon to ship a product in two days.Holy crap! Can you recognize that? Gratitude brings about a hormonal cascade of dopamine and serotonin to soothe you. Start waking up thinking of 5 things you're grateful for, right away in the morning. Gratitude can create a bliss state because it points your focus in the direction of appreciation which brings you to joy. And where your attention goes, things grow.
  • Put your legs up the wall, damit. This is one thing I find so much peace through. Because life does not give us the ability to go to yoga class or walk away from my screaming kids in order to change our mood. You can't rely on your circumstances to change your mood, that only works a portion of the time. All you need is a wall or just the floor. But get your legs up above your heart and just breathe. You want to get the blood flowing to your brain and heart again, and this sends fresh blood to those areas. I sometimes do this before bed for restful sleep or when I need to read a book for school. Putting your legs up the wall activates rest and digest mode within 5 minutes and you'll feel it. I pinky swear. 
Last Thoughts
Have you ever heard of muscle testing? Known also as Applied Kinesiology, during muscle testing, when you say a sentence, or have a patient hold a product, the body responds physically by becoming weaker or stronger? There's a measurable response, and the client doesn't even have to know what product or sentence is being tested. I've seen this with my kids. When they get angry and irrational, they get clumsy, often tripping over their own feet. They've weakened their senses with negative emotions. So realize that with every thought you have the opportunity to become stronger or to weaken you systemically.

Just to finalize: get better digestion, a happy body and a clear mind with happy thoughts, moving your body, breathing deeply and minding your mind.