Day 15: Process and Release (for the heart)
Last week we began a conversation on rest. You may remember that we listed out all of the ways in which you currently rest. We listed your favorites. And we even ranked the different habits for rest in terms of how you feel after you do them.
Today we’re diving a big deeper, as we do here in this program, by talking about the process of rest.
You see, just as your body takes in food, digests it, extract nutrients for energy (takes the good stuff), and disposes of the waste (gets rid of the rest), your energy, your heart, and your spirit also has the same process.
This is how you grow. It’s how you learn from past mishaps, unfortunate circumstances, and just the shit of how life can be sometimes, and transforms it (hopefully) into learning experience and personal growth.
Today we’re going to learn a little bit about the nervous system, talk about why it’s so important for you to take time to rest, and discover a bit about what the body is doing while you are resting.
A Brief Physiology Lesson
Your autonomic nervous system controls most of the functions of the organs and glands in your body. It does all its work without you thinking a single thought. This system can be further broken down into two parts:
- Sympathetic Nervous System
- Parasympathetic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system is activated for stress-related activities; the parasympathetic nervous system is activated when the body is at rest. To maintain good health, both systems need to be in balance with one another.
In today’s way of living, the sympathetic nervous system is constantly active: even when we think we’re at rest. An example of this is watching a violent or exciting television show. Your body may not be physically moving, but you will still be in Sympathetic Nervous System activation – fight and flight – because of the stress caused by the show.
In order to keep the body healthy, your body requires equal parts of sympathetic (active) time and parasympathetic system (rest) time.