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  • Michelle Carstens

The most important investment

When did you last take the time to just “be”? With unstructured time to do something you love, that makes you forget the time? Many people claim they are too busy to take this time and prioritize the to-do list over time spent on themselves. Yet, it is this time that we carve out of a busy life that can help us be more creative, productive and keep us healthier at the same time. Unstructured time for a favourite hobby and play (yes, serious grown-ups, play!) is one way to keep your nervous system regulated. Other ways can include spending time in nature and sunlight, exercise and dance, breathwork and meditation (yoga combines all of these), singing, patting your pet or volunteering to help others. When our nervous system is regulated, we are at ease, calm, feel purposeful. In this state we can relate to and connect with others best. We are able to make good decisions because our cognitive abilities are improved. Unfortunately, many people live in a state of chronic stress, which is none other than a state of fight or flight. Our sympathetic nervous system doesn't know the difference between real or perceived physical danger, and so keeps the stress hormones coursing until it feels safe to switch off. In many people this never happens, leading to a life in survival mode that takes a toll on their physical and psychological health. Day-to-day symptoms can include muscle tension, non-specific pain, brain fog, insomnia, irritability, digestive issues and migraines. In survival mode our ability to connect with friends and loved ones is greatly reduced. Long term risks include heart disease, chronic fatigue, memory problems, anxiety and depression, amongst others.

It is worthwhile taking a good look at the stressors in your life and at why your nervous system reacts the way it does (I can help here 🙋‍♀️). This differs from person to person depending on their (early) life experiences. Trauma plays a large role for many. In the meantime, taking the time for yourself to do something you love goes a long way to help you get back to calm. It is time well invested. #traumainformed #lifepurposecoaching #nervoussystem #nervoussystemregulation #generationaltrauma #fightorflight #chronicstress #stressmanagement

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