Have you ever wondered why you’ve felt so on edge, stressed out, irritated, or bothered, but couldn’t quite put your finger on the trigger?
In my experience in the wellness industry—teaching and practicing holistic modalities for health optimization, and understanding biomarkers—I have come away with what I believe to be the three main causes of dysregulation. (Biomarkers are measurable indicators of the severity or presence of some dis-ease state, or anything that can be used as an indicator of a particular disease state, or some other physiological state of an organism. The indicator may be chemical, physical, or biological in nature—and the measurement can be functional, physiological, biochemical, cellular, or molecular.) These causes are:
In understanding the etiology of our dysregulation and stress, I intend upon breaking down how we might best self-regulate and set ourselves up for health and vitality. In the following text, I discuss practical applications and actionable changes, beginning with moving through trauma, mitigating environmental toxins, and managing our thought life!
First, trauma can be both emotional and physical. The key is in identifying past traumas as the first step in this work of healing the immune system and regulating the nervous system.
Past traumas may have caused wounds or flesh holdings. The organs, tissues, skin, muscles and endocrine glands can store trauma. These parts of the body have peptide receptors that allow them to access and retain emotional information. This means that your memories are in your body and your brain. Furthermore, successive traumas complicate the picture.
Anger and pride might be held in the neck, head and shoulders. Love and happiness fill the entire body. Anxiety and fear are felt in the chest, and depression affects most of the body, especially the limbs. Most of us need professional intervention to release emotional turbulence. When seeking treatment, a number of therapies help uncover repressed emotions. Each person is different, so you may respond better to one therapy over another. Here are some examples of treatments that work well to manage and release stress in the body and trauma.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (also known as CBT)
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Somatic Experiencing, and related therapeutic modalities
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Group and family therapy
- Art therapy
- Biofeedback (or BioHacking)
- Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions of one's own body—by using electronic or other instruments—with a goal of being able to manipulate the body's systems at will. PEMF interventions, FlowPresso, Cranial Sacral therapy, dry needling, acupuncture, and others are among these treatments. Several of them are offered in our Central Health facility!
- Thermogenesis practices such as saunaing, cold submersion, etc.
Working through trauma is not a one-and-done process. To recover from your past, you likely will need ongoing support. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to boost your recovery.
- Be willing to heal from your past: It does not define you.
- Accept support from loved ones: Isolating yourself from others can delay your recovery.
- Seek assistance from trained professionals: Trained therapists will teach you stress management techniques and coping skills to manage your stress levels.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness and meditation clear the mind and prevent stress buildup. Meditation is also a good vehicle for connecting with yourself.
- Forgive yourself and others: Don’t let resentment weigh you down.
- Take care of yourself: there is no substitute for self-care. Eat healthy foods, get adequate rest, exercise daily, and seek community.
Next, environmental toxins can act as endocrine and other hormone disruptors, cause cancer, and lead to the development of chronic illnesses. Environmental toxins have also been linked to an increased prevalence of Autism, Alzheimer's, and other serious neurological disorders.
I understand that the world we live in has ever-increasing technological advances, new and improved products for maximized effect, and high-tech connection and integration. I’m not going to insist that we move off the grid, and live off the land. However, I do encourage the mitigation of toxins in your environment, and I will provide practical solutions for how you can prioritize your health and vitality in this overly-processed, highly-chemical world.
First of all, two of the most simple ways to flush your body of toxins are through hydration and sweating. I’m not going to go on a tangent here about enemas for detoxification purposes, but I could.
You’ve probably heard us speak about hydration if you’ve followed our content for any time now, but just in case you haven’t, here is a quick reminder of its significance in the detoxification process. Consuming up to 50-75% of BW in oz of H20 will help move the flow of blood throughout your body to flush toxins via urination.
Sweating has similar effects. Do you ever wonder why Rocky wore a sweatsuit while training? Or why wrestlers train in trash bags? It’s certainly not for style points. Such practices result in losing water weight in order to make competition metrics. But they also aid in ridding toxins from the body. Detoxification can be accomplished by saunaing or other heat therapies, exercise, layering, and more.
When sweating and hydrating are not enough, here are additional measures to address mitigating toxins in your environment, household, and surroundings!
Laundry Detergent: swap out for an organic, preferably scentless option.
Deodorants: opt for natural deodorants without aluminum, parabens or fragrances.
Scents: do not use candles (unless natural), deodorizers or other fragrances in the home or vehicles.
Hair & Hygiene Products: opt for fragrance-, paraben- and BPA-free cosmetics, soaps, sunscreens, etc.
Tupperware: swap out plastic for glass storage containers
Pots & Pans: get rid of non-stick, Teflon cookware, opt for ceramic or even cast iron if possible.
Mold: test for mold in your home and remediate it if necessary.
EMF exposure: reduce electromagnetic fields, opt for low frequency or purchase blockers if need be.
We highly encourage you to take these measures. Not everyone will understand and that's okay. Your safety is paramount to others’ approval.
Finally, managing our thought patterns, which have influenced our belief systems and worldview, will help regulate stress in the body. False narratives and negative thought loops are proven to be associated with lower immune function, inability to adapt adequately to stress, dis-ease and more. Below you will find seven super-practical ways to manage thought life and stress— and better regulate your nervous system.
Positive Self-Talk: Self-talk is your internal dialogue. It's influenced by your subconscious mind, and it reveals your thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas. A person can use positive self-talk to think optimistically and feel motivated. Identifying negative self-talk is the first step toward thinking more positively.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.
Meditation: a practice in which an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Deep Breathing: Deep inhalations and expansion of the chest cavity and lungs allow for the body to stimulate the vagus nerve and better manage the interaction between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body. It lowers your heart rate. It helps lower your blood pressure. It helps you cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Thermogenesis: Cold Thermogenesis Is the practice of intentionally exposing parts of the body to cold in order to produce adaptive, beneficial hormetic responses. Practices include ice baths, cold showers, going outside on a cold day, keeping the house cold, or spending time in a cryotherapy chamber.
Prayer: an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed toward a deity or a deified ancestor. More generally, prayer can also manifest as thanksgiving or praise.
Visualization: or mental rehearsal, is the act of imagining, in vivid detail, the actualization of your goals and dreams. Visualizing the process of achievement and what it feels like, possible obstacles you might encounter, contingency plans, and idealizing your success. Visualization helps to activate your creative subconscious; it programs your brain to perceive and recognize available resources, activates the law of attraction, and builds internal motivation.
In managing our thoughts, consider the lies that either secular society or external influences have projected onto us, and how those lies have shaped both our beliefs and behaviors. Morgan Snyder, in his book, “Becoming a King,” breaks down the cycle that supports the lies that we tell ourselves. He states that from every WOUND we experience, we tell ourselves a LIE, from every LIE we make an AGREEMENT, and with every AGREEMENT we create a VOW.
As human psychology explains it, we develop these vows as defense mechanisms from the pain or wound that was experienced in our past. In our effort to justify the behavior, we create the lie followed by the agreement or association. This is understood as cognitive resonance.
Cognitive resonance is defined as "the mind’s embodiment, perception of or longing for deep alignment.” It’s the feeling or experience of mental, spiritual, and/or physical peace that comes with recognizing harmony.
Often, if we lack the ability to make meaning, understanding, or connection, our minds will attempt to close the loop with what we believe to be true. This allows us to justify our actions and behaviors, as now they align with our beliefs and worldviews. Otherwise, we are in a state of what psychologists refer to as cognitive dissonance, wherein our beliefs and our behaviors do not align, causing a sense of incongruence, dissension, disconnection, anxiety, and dis-ease.
To summarize, we can move toward fully realizing ourselves with positive interactions with our internal dialogue, mental resilience, mindful exposure to environmental toxins, and the use of higher-quality products. In addition, identifying and working through past traumas—rewriting old narratives and re-fashioning personal beliefs—can further create better awareness and understanding around our triggers. It’s a tall order, but in this work we can begin to live more fully, accelerating our journey from Sick to Superhuman.
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