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Calming Your Nervous System

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Kindness, compassion, connecting to other human beings. These are the things that sustain and support us during challenging times. Most have experienced this truth personally, and scientific studies abound that quantify the power of these seemingly amorphous things.

As this week has unfolded, have you been in touch with loved ones and community to stay grounded and connected?


Fear, anger and self-righteousness, on the other hand, breed division and distrust. They tear us down and tear us apart. Insidious and addictive, these emotions undermine our choices and our relationships, leaving us vulnerable and disempowered.


Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, explains, “When we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.”


2020 has been a difficult year for us all. Self-compassion will lead the way to healing for ourselves and our communities. Practicing it begins with a decision – to choose to let go for a short period in order to calm our nervous systems. This allows us to glimpse the peace that comes from dropping the struggle against something. Simply be for our own inner peace.


This week, we’re featuring short practices and meditations that provide a Restorative Sanctuary in your day. They strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system, your body’s own “rest and restore” mechanism, and break the addictive cycle of fear.


Neurological studies show that the brain cannot simultaneously exist in a state of love and fear. “If the circuits for love are not strongly developed, the circuits for hate and fear can hijack the brain. When the love circuits are strongly activated, this calms down the fear circuits.”


We get to choose what we focus on, and therefore which circuits are activated. How would you rather spend your time? The answer and the actions you take determine the experience of your life.


Start by taking a deep breath in and out. Repeat. Visualize someone you love. Fill your heart with that love. And act from there as if everyone was that person.


We are in this together. Let’s begin our journey forward from that place.


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