How much do you know about the autonomic nervous system? The ANS refers to the part of the peripheral nervous system that regulates body processes that don’t require conscious effort. These include breathing, heartbeat, blood flow and digestion.
The autonomic nervous system constantly sends information to the brain about what’s going on in the body. By learning to listen to this communication, you can start to understand what your body is telling you. For example, if you’re feeling stressed out, your ANS may be trying to tell you that you need some time to relax.
When our ANS feels off, we often ignore it; mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are the red flags we finally acknowledge. Learning to spot the signs earlier means we can take action and understand our bodies better.
Here’s how to listen to your ANS and what it’s telling you.
Increased Heart Rate and Frequent Urination
Your ANS will manage the daily goings-on of your body while you’re busy living life, but sometimes it falters. If you notice increased heart rate, heart palpitations, increased sweating or the need to go to the toilet more often, or symptoms of anxiety, it is your ANS preparing the fight-or-flight response.
Lowered Heart Rate and Constricted Pupils
If you notice a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and constricted pupils, it’s similar to a feeling of disinterest but physically embodied. These are all symptoms of depression and often lead to people moving more slowly, having little to no energy and having no passion or investment in anything.
Lowered Libido and Weight Gain or Loss
Your ANS also manages your metabolism and digestion, which can have a direct impact on your weight and hormones, including your libido. If you notice a change in any of the above, it signals changes further into your body and a sign that your ANS knows there is something off or in your body.
It’s important to remember that mental health and physical health are often only defined by separate terms to help our understanding of them. In reality, they are incredibly intertwined.
With your ANS being at the heart of your body and its functions, listening to your ANS can help you to identify problems before they escalate to mental health issues. It’s worth getting in tune with your body!
How Can we be More in Tune With our Autonomic Nervous System?
It’s essential to learn to listen to your body and what it’s trying to tell you. There are a few ways that you can do this:
– Pay attention to how you’re feeling emotionally and physically
– Notice how your body responds when you’re stressed or relaxed
– Be more mindful of your thoughts and feelings
– Practice meditation or yoga
By staying in tune with your ANS, you can start to understand what your body needs and how to better take care of yourself. This will help you to be happier and healthier both physically and emotionally