Feelings of anxiety, panic or burnout?
The human body is amazing
From moment to moment without conscious control your body is making fine adjustments to your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, saliva, digestion, muscle contraction, pupil size, bladder, bowel, sexual function etc. Amazing! The system that controls these unconscious processes is called the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which consists of two main parts : the 'fight, flight, freeze' system and the 'rest & digest' system.
'Fight, flight, freeze' system or
sympathetic nervous system
This system gets a bad rap however we should be grateful as it has been developed to keep us safe and helped our species survive. When this system is activated the body perceives a threat, goes into defence mode so the individual is ready to fight, run or play dead to stay safe. This system has not been designed to be constantly activated. If the human body was a car this could be regarded as the accelerator.
'Rest & digest', 'feed & breed', 'relaxation response' or
parasympathetic nervous system
When this system is activated the body feels safe, can relax, digest food, libido and sexual function returns, is able to repair and recover. If the human body was a car this would be could be regarded as the brake. Using the car analogy the human body needs to travel along the road of life with all the various curves, hills and valleys making fine adjustments with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake. If the accelerator is being heavily used it would be more difficult to negiogate the curves on the road resulting in burnout, feelings of anxiety or panic. It is possible to change this. Look at the testimonials from clients who have worked with Louise at the bottom of the menopause and webinar pages.
How we breathe instructs the body if we are safe or there is a potential threat
Breathing fast, loudly, with the upper chest and through an open mouth is more likely to activate the 'fight, flight, freeze' response. Whereas breathing slowly, gently, in and out of the nose using the diaphragm is more likely to stimulate the 'relaxation response' We can use our breath to self regulate between these two systems. If the breathing pattern whilst at rest and sleeping is fast, loud, with the upper chest and through an open mouth the individual can re-educate their body to breathe more slowly, gently, in and out of the nose using the diaphragm which can improve sleep, stress resilience and exercise tolerance.