Detox Stress for a Radiant Glow
Ever notice how monks often have a radiant glow? The key is in their nervous system.
While in meditation, they are calming their nervous system which counteracts the effects of stress; or as I like to say, they’re detoxing stress for a radiant glow.
According to scientists, the nervous system (which the brain is a part of) is the bridge between the physical and the nonphysical. That is exactly what Neuroscientist at Stanford, Andrew Huberman, discussed with Tom Bilyeu on Tom’s show, Impact Theory. From sensation to perception, to feelings and thoughts, to action and memory, the nervous system is the control tower for the body.
Since the nervous system has the ability to perceive, filter, and decipher your environment, then cause you to take action, that is the system of the body that we can recognize as the leader in how much stress we feel or not.
As you may have seen, stress can show up in your body in a variety of ways.
It is known to cause most illnesses today. From serious illness to merely looking haggard from the lack of sleep or poor diet or just plain worrying, the nervous system is in control. Fortunately, you can detox stress by changing your nervous system’s response at will. Focusing on the breath, or compassion, or even a mantra has the proven effect of calming the nervous system by taking your mind off perceived threats and slowing your body down.
Said another way, these miraculous self-repairing machines are the tangible instruments through which we can connect with what we cannot see. The nervous system serves as the ‘antenna’ to connect the body with something greater than itself because the body is responding to a message of a perceived threat thanks to the nervous system in an effort to protect us from harm.
Recently, I had a major emotional blow to my heart that caused my body to use my left shoulder to tighten up and lean forward in what looks like an effort to shield my heart. I could see this very clearly on a body scan I had done at the chiropractor. In the image, my body looks as though I’d been hit by a train and honestly, that’s how I felt emotionally.
Even as I sit and write this, each time I bring my attention back into my body, I notice that my shoulder is tight and assuming this protective position. As soon as I bring my awareness inside, I can relax that shoulder (and anywhere else that needs it) and begin to open up the flow within my shoulder again. All it takes is my attention and intention.
Bring your awareness inside right now, do you feel a place in your body where you may be tense? Breathe into that place and relax it.
When you check in with your body, listen to what your body is asking for. One thing you may notice is that your body is in a state of excitement, “nervousness” or lack of ease even when you’re sitting still not thinking about anything else, just focusing on how you feel inside.
If you remain unaware of your body, it will often push you to do things to bring comfort, like eat comforting food, release tension, or act in some way that comforts the body. This can keep you stuck in self-soothing in a way that is detrimental to your big picture goals.
Back to the monks: They have that youthful glow because they are focusing on bringing awareness inside, which has a significant impact on their nervous system and therefore every other system in the body. In that rest and digest state, all systems are working properly, energy is flowing freely, hormones are balanced and the body is regenerating.
Therefore, the first step to detox stress is to check-in with the body and recognize how you feel.
What’s arising, what’s the body asking for, what’s the body’s preference? When you stop and witness, instead of ignoring or taking reactionary action, you are changing your health and how you look and feel. On the other hand, when you get emotionally triggered, your nervous system sounds an alarm in your body and sends a message to your brain to do something. This is fine occasionally, but when it becomes a chronic state, rejuvenating and healing are paused for extended periods of time, taking a toll on how you look and feel.
For the purpose of getting fast anti-aging results, very basically put, calming the nervous system means you are moving from a state of fight or flight (sympathetic state) to the parasympathetic state (rest and digest). You’ve probably heard this before, but until you put it into practice, it won’t do you an ounce of good to know. It’s like buying supplements and leaving them in the bottle. The beauty is, it takes no time to intentionally become more vibrant and youthful. You are literally shifting your awareness from out there to in here, observing and relaxing.
One more time, pause now, bring your awareness inside, and see how your body feels. If there is tension somewhere, relax it and breathe into it. You have just detoxed a little stress.
P.S. Another important thing to be aware of is that the immune system is governed by the nervous system. When you’re relaxed and aware in this present moment, without feeling threatened in some way, your immune system is switched on and can handle potential threats as they arise.