Mental Health Blog

Do You Have an Overactive Nervous System?

Posted by Teagan Darnell on

Sometimes the nervous system can feel like it is totally out of wack. We may experience this as constant anxiety, hyper-alertness or restlessness in our bodies. We may find that we are hyper-vigilant and always looking out for threats. Many of us may be triggered by neutral stimuli in the environment that remind us of negative experiences that we have had. Whatever the cause, many people suffer from over active nervous systems. Perhaps you are one of these people or know someone like this.

The question then becomes, how do we calm our nervous systems down? When the nervous system is over active, it can be very uncomfortable. We may try changing our thoughts, developing emotional awareness and yet still find that we are stuck with nervousness and tension in our bodies. This is because the body is its own entity. It is connected to the mind and emotions, but it comes with its own set of skills for relaxation and regulation.

Body awareness is often the first step in this process. In order to know that your system seems out of wack you must first be in tune with it. Being able to notice tension and the locations of body sensations is key. From there, you can begin to attend to what your body needs. It may need rest, it may need exercise, it may need stretching, it may need mindfulness, it may need affection, or something else entirely different. The body and mind are very connected so attending to your nervous system is an integral part of health. Below you can find ideas for helping calm your over active nervous system:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Yoga & stretching
  • Soothing music
  • Mindfulness training
  • Time in nature
  • Meditation
  • Affection from a loved one
  • Muscle tension & release
  • Breathing exercises
  • Gratitude journal
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