Sympathetic Vs Parasympathetic 

Are you using too much brake or too much pedal?

Our Autonomic Nervous System regulates internal body processes that require no conscious awareness (think rate of heart contracts, breathing, digestive aid secretion) and has two states:

???? 1. Sympathetic = Gas Pedal
???? 2. Parasympathetic = Brakes

Sympathetic gets the bad rap - it’s our fight or flight side and most of live here. But these systems actually counterbalance each other, so we can be TOO dominant in either one. Here’s what that might look like...

Sympathetic Dominance

  • ????Poor digestion
  • Decreased saliva
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Night sweats
  • ????Wake unretsed
  • Nervousness
  • ????Increased muscle tension
  • ????Poor breathing patterns
  • Inflammatory Conditions
  • ????Susceptibility to infections

Parasympathetic Dominance

  • ????Joint Stiffness on arising
  • Dislike of exercise
  • Lack of motivation
  • Watery eyes or nose
  • Muscle-leg-toe cramps at night
  • Poor circulation, sensitive to cold
  • ????Frequent blinking
  • ????Perspiring easily
  • ????Subject to colds, asthma, bronchitis
  • ????Irregular breathing
  • Indigestion soon after meals

Parasympathetic use is NECESSARY - it allows us to recharge and recover from stress. But dominance here prevents us from using our Sympathetic effectively, leading to a lack of energy and drive.

How do we learn to dance between the two?

1. Take responsibility

Only you can change your actions and your health. If you see symptoms from above, they're not going away on their own. No one is going to fix it for you.

2. Make a plan

Banish the thoughts that you “don’t have time” or you’re too far off. Start with what sounds EXTREMELY doable and make it fun. Nail it for a week and then add a little more.

  • Example: Sympathetic = Sit still and breathe for 5 minutes, 2x/day
    Parasympathetic = 10min walk every morning/evening

3. Make it inconvenient to fail

Set reminders in your phone. Bring in a friend. Develop routines that incorporate these minute adjustments. Hire a coach.

I invite you to change your story and your health TODAY.



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