The body’s nervous system consists of the brain, the spine, and the nerves that show vital body signals. These three organs work in unison pretty well, but when stress comes into play, an imbalance is struck. So in what ways does stress do this?
The sympathetic nervous system, also SNS, is an integral part of the body’s nervous system. It is responsible for keeping us safe using the fight reflexes, which directly respond to any form of stress in the body, whether physical, emotional, or psychological.
The proper overall functioning of the nervous system is our responsibility; thus, eating right, exercising, and practicing mindful living is critical.
Looking at the effects of stress on the nervous system, here are some of the responses the SNS present during stressful times.
Excessive Hormone Production
The nervous system produces hormones like cortisol, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, each of which has a specific function. When the body gets stressed, these hormones are released in small bursts, and you get a gist of energy that gives your body ample power to flee or fight off the threat.
When these occurrences are more often than usual, the effects of these hormones like increased blood pressure, fast heart rate, and blood vessel dilation become the new norm. And this is a bad thing since these organs get overworked and damaged and may give in to the pressure resulting in chronic high blood pressure. This eventuality makes you prone to strokes and heart attacks.
A mix of the nervous system and stress trigger muscle tension as a reaction to danger. SNS activates muscle tension to make us alert, getting ready to face or take off.
The problem comes in when this tensing of the muscle tissue is a common occurrence. Tensed muscles, mostly in the back, neck, arms, and legs, are insanely painful and uncomfortable, and may result in chronic migraines and muscle aches. When you suffer from these, sleeping becomes a challenge.
Heightened Physiological Distress That Ripple to the Body
It is quite impossible for the nervous system to relax if the body and mind are anxious, which is also an SNS reaction to stress. Anxiety is accompanied by the feelings of butterflies in the tummy, nausea, and vomiting. This causes disturbances to the digestive system.
The respiratory system also gets affected where you can get shocked by experiencing hyperventilation and panic episodes - these result in one desperately grasping for air needing to breathe in more oxygen. For people with asthma, this can be fatal.
How to Build a Healthy Nervous System
Eat a balanced diet
There are certain nervous system foods that can help you fight off stress and anxiety. Some of the nutritious examples include nuts, fatty fish like salmon and trout, eggs, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, turmeric, chamomile, and yogurt. You must also include water with supplements like the best coconut oil for keto as part of your diet.
These foods are rich in flavonoids, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins that help stabilize blood pressure and aid better blood flow to all the organs in the nervous system and throughout the body.
Practice Mindful Living
As aforementioned, living mindfully, learning to go with the flow will keep you stress-free and ensure you have a healthy nervous system. It would help if you tried to meditate, exercise, and take things as they come.
You have seen how the nervous system influences human behavior under stress, so why not make the conscious decision to live healthier? If you have any questions, leave us a comment below.
My name is Adam Reeve and I have been a professional personal trainer and fitness instructor for over 10 years. Also, I’m a life coach, wellness writer, and low carb diets, enthusiast.