18 Aug Nervous System Basics: the Path To Better Brainwaves
The science of neuroplasticity tells us that the nervous system records everything that ever happens to us, and then uses that information keep us safe in our daily lives. This can be beneficial when what’s being recorded supports optimal living, and detrimental when it does not.
Based on our genetics and as we age, we experience increasingly more events and “things” for the nervous system to track. As the volume of possibly harmful events or circumstances grows, so does anxiety. Accordingly, it is important for us to learn how to reconcile and purge some of these “things” our nervous system tracks on a daily basis.
Otherwise, the sheer volume could cause all sorts of problems, such as General Anxiety Disorder (G.A.D.), panic attacks, PTSD, dementia etc. Thankfully, global shifts in perspective can help drastically.
Our Tribal Roots
We are fear-based pack animals (human packs are called tribes). Yet, in order for us to maximize the efficiency of our nervous system, we must train it to live from a higher plane of humanity – one that is not consumed with tribal relations.
Tribal relations are wrought with hierarchy, judgement, pigeonholing, fear, demeaning actions, punishment, and violence driven by the fight/flight reactions. One only needs to look at what’s happening in the world today to see the results of tribal relations (aka tribal warfare). When our nervous system is consumed with tribal relations, it is constantly analyzing our environment (the world around us) in order to ascertain whether or not we are safe and if we are good enough to be accepted by the “tribe”.
Our autonomic nervous system does this to assure our safety and survival, which, according to animal instincts, are dependent on where and how we fit into the tribe. This manner of functioning is highly evident as we go about the world and observe human behavior.
Our nervous system is constantly sensing if people “fit into our tribe” or not. If they do, then they are not considered a direct threat, though the “good enough” concern is analyzed. If they do not, then fight-or-flight driven tribal warfare ensues. This process is how our unconscious systems try to control us (for survival and safety reasons) and pushes us to control both other people and our environment.
Since our daily survival and safety are fairly certain in modern society, all of this energy and manifested feelings, functions and behaviors have become a complete waste of time and resources. Further, they negatively impact our relationships, both the ones with ourselves and our relationships with others.
Looking around at the world today, this dynamic is clear to see. The tribe in question and what is required for us to be “good enough” is typically entirely in our head, and fictional at that. The energy we spend trying to figure out how people fit, though entirely natural, is ultimately unproductive. Often, such as with the Amygdala Hijack, it causes us to act in fight or flight when such a reaction is entirely unnecessary.
8 Basic Ways to Train Your Nervous System
These eight practices will help you train your nervous system to manage anxiety, live free of stress, and enjoy your life to the fullest. To start, breath in to the count of three, hold for a count of three, then breah out for a count of three. Then proceed with the exercises below.
- Direct your nervous system by talking to yourself, out loud or in thought, and say “I Have Nothing to Worry About – I get to choose what I worry about – I want to choose wisely.”
- Direct your nervous system to focus on the 3 H’s – Healthy, Happy, and wHole) – and tell it that you no longer need to be fearful and part of a tribe to survive today.
- Ask it to focus on being the best version of yourself. Directing your nervous system by using the mantra “focus on being the best version of myself” will help you to only compare yourself to yourself, rather than others, which is a path to a healthy and happy life.
- Accept your past, forgive, and create what you want for you future. Do this by saying to yourself “I forgive (name of person) and myself.” You may add what you are forgiving the person and yourself for, if you like. Repeat as many times as needed. Follow that with a visualization of how you could be the best version of yourself.
- Ask yourself, “What would Love do?” Forgive, then release what no longer serves you – i.e., the neurological pattern that causes react in fight-or-flight reaction. Problems occur when we have a build up of unreconciled past neural pathways. Acceptance and forgiveness help reconcile these events. To take this further, practice giving everyone and everything the benefit of the doubt and accepting that everybody and everything are doing the best they can, just as we are. If we love ourselves and our lives, we can love others, and lead better, healthier lives.
- Concentrate on how it feels when you are true to yourself, and then celebrate YOU and how lucky you already are. Tell yourself “I love you” in front of a mirror every day.
- Tell your nervous system to focus on the mantra “I have nothing to worry about.”
- Celebrate that it is possible for you to feel good, and carry this over to celebrate any and all things, as often as possible. Every thought creates a new neural pathway (which becomes part of the body), so it is both physically and mentally true that what we focus on grows. Choose to focus on the positive.
Though powerful, these eight exercises are a small part of how we at Pathwaves teach our clients to become what we call Neurally Empowered – in charge of their own nervous system and its functions, which results in more joy and happiness.
If you’d like to learn how you can support your personal growth through our methodology, we are here to help. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.
To help those who cannot afford the services of Pathwaves, consider donating to the Pathwaves Foundation. Please call (305) 858-6616 for more information.