Stress often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and tense. This mental state takes a toll on our minds, making us feel restless and down. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays a role in our bodies’ physical response to stress, keeping us in a permanent state of “fight or flight” that prevents our bodies from returning to homeostasis. No wonder a frustrating situation or person “gets on our nerves.”
While it may be impossible to prevent stress entirely, certain lifestyle changes can better prepare our nervous systems to handle these stressors as they come up. What can be done at home to help keep calm and carry on when something’s testing our patience?
What does it mean to comfort the nervous system?
There are numerous ways to comfort the nervous system, bringing neutrality and balance into our health and wellness routines. If our nervous systems are disrupted, comforting it would be taking action in a way that would restore balance. Any activity, action, supplement, herb, or lifestyle change that promotes a feeling of zen or calm can provide comfort to our nervous systems, breaking down the increased heart rate and scattered feelings typically associated with stress.
What herbs can help comfort the nervous system?
- L-Theanine: This amino acid, commonly found in tea leaves, is believed to promote relaxation and have an overall calming effect without inducing drowsiness.* Our Rest Easy CBD powder blends L-Theanine with CBD and other complementary soothing herbs.
- Cannabidiol: This famous cannabinoid derived from hemp has a calming effect on body and mind*. There are many forms and product options to choose from, but a beverage elixir or a daily softgel capsule may be a simple place to start.
- Valerian root: This ancient herb has been an Ayurvedic staple for centuries. Along with L-Theanine and CBD, it’s commonly called upon to promote relaxation.*
- Ashwagandha: Another beloved herb, this powerful adaptogen helps prepare body and mind for resiliency, helping us cope with everyday stressors.* Our Brain Fuel CBD powder is formulated for daytime use, preparing us to handle whatever challenges may get on our nerves in the day ahead.*
Tips for comforting the nervous system
It’s not just what we eat that can help better prepare our bodies and minds to handle stress and calm nerves. Incorporating lifestyle changes that support better wellbeing go a long way as well. Here are five suggestions that can help.
1. Create a morning and evening routine
There’s a reason we’re all “creatures of habit.” Researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered in 2011 that sticking to a routine has a profoundly calming effect. This is because this intentionality behind a routine sets the precedent for the day. Healthy foods, exercise, reading a book on the train as opposed to scrolling through social media, indulging in a hot bath with a CBD bath bomb — these actions can become routines, and in this, manifest a sense of calm.
2. Aim for longer, better-quality sleep
An aggravating situation can grate on our nerves long after it ends. As we’re winding down to sleep, that nagging thought can pop back into our minds, distracting us just enough to keep from lulling into dreamland. As the ANS does what it needs to do and kicks into high gear, there goes any hope of a good night’s sleep. That sort of stress affects both sleep duration and quality, and both need to be in balance to keep stress in check in the first place. If it’s difficult to “turn off” before sleep, consider practicing meditation or turning off electronics at least 1 hour before bed.
3. Interact with loved ones more often
Blowing off nerve-rattling stress may be as simple as phoning a friend. A strong network of loving and caring friends is important both to body and mind. A review published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that several studies verified that knowing we have a social support network can reduce stress levels. A trusted network of loved ones can boost self-esteem and provide that feeling of community that helps us remember we are loved on even the most difficult of days.
4. Eliminate negativity
We can’t possibly prevent everything stressful or frustrating from entering our lives. We can’t control the person who cuts in front of us in line at the supermarket or the person who pushes past slower walkers on the sidewalk. (And of course, those situations can be irritating.) But we can try and control how we process the experience and carry it with us. Harboring it can build nerve-wracking resentment and anger, while understanding that letting it roll off the shoulders may create less mental stress throughout the day. It may also be necessary to consider severing ties with people who only bring about negative energy. In removing negativity, we open the door to more positive living, which can only help in leading stress-free lives.
5. Try a mental wellness challenge
A mental wellness challenge that can help keep everyday stress in check. Our 20-day challenge collects a series of small, daily challenges to help improve daily living, some of which are specifically designed to help alleviate irritating stress.
Calming nerves for improved short-term and long-term well-being
Life has a way of keeping us on our toes, and our bodies are well-equipped to handle it. But when our ANS goes into overdrive for a significant period of time, it can cause stress that takes its toll on physical and mental well-being. But the more tools we have at our disposal, the better we are at handling the unpleasantries of life, finding our balance, and bringing comfort to our minds and bodies.