In addiction recovery, there are many highs and lows. This is all part of the process. But it’s also important to know that you don’t have to continue experiencing the same lows. By paying attention to them, you can make adjustments so that you can heal. If you keep doing this, you’ll eventually have far more good days than bad days.
Furthermore, when your nervous system is out of balance, it can also affect your psychological and emotional states. People often assume that physiological problems only affect the body, but this is not true. Everything is connected. Your nervous system all affects your ability to make good decisions, experience pleasure from healthy activities, and regulate your mood.
We see many of our clients struggling with an unbalanced nervous system, so we wanted to take the time to teach you how to bring it back to stability. Remember, these are just basic tips. You may need specialized therapy to work through deeper issues like trauma.
What Happens When the Nervous System is Stressed?
When the body is stressed, the nervous system enters ‘fight or flight’ mode. While this response is meant to protect you in times of danger, it can be set off from normal, everyday stimuli. Unfortunately, this keeps you in a state of stress and causes your body to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
With an uptick in these hormones and stress on your body, you are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, clogged arteries, anxiety, depression, increased blood sugar, addictive behaviors and more. This is not a fun way to live, and while there are medications to help calm your nerves, it’s also helpful to know how to manage things on your own.
How to Support a Healthy Nervous System
When you’re recovering from an active addiction, you are taught to slow down, embrace the moment, and take things one day at a time. These strategies will help you support your new, healthy lifestyle.
There are simple things to do to help your body relax, and smells are one of them. Calming scents like lavender, peppermint and rosemary stimulate the olfactory system, which sends messages to the brain’s limbic system. This is the region that controls emotion and memory, promoting relaxation and decreased stress.
You may not realize what a profound effect sound can have on your body, but it does. Sounds affect hormone secretions, as well as your breathing, heart rate and brainwaves. This is why some music energizes you and other tunes calm you down. To embrace your current state, listen to music that relaxes you.
Touch is another important regulator of the nervous system. Being touched by someone who loves you reminds you that you are cared for. A hug is the simplest example of this. In fact, you can actually hug your way to better health!
Hugs release oxytocin, a hormone that plays an important role in social bonding, slowing down heart rate and reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, warm baths, massage therapy, etc. can promote a healthy nervous system.
Your sight can also calm your nervous system. Take yourself out for a visual treat whenever you need it — beauty exists all around! You can enjoy the sunrise or sunset, watch the leaves on the trees move in the wind, or capture the constellations under the moonlight. As a matter of fact, studies show that going to the beach and watching the waves can change your body chemistry by triggering a state of meditation!
Holistic Addiction Recovery Services in Agoura Hills
You aren’t just in recovery for an addiction. You are on a transformative path to healing. By caring for your nervous system, you can balance your body, making it easier to regulate your emotions and make smart decisions that support your recovery.
Awakenings Treatment Center is a holistic healing center that treats substance use and mental health disorders. Contact us today and discover the ways we can support your journey to sobriety.