Medium shot of a woman sleeping in bed between white sheets

Gentle, attentive self-care can sometimes feel like a burden when we’re stressed and have a million other things to do, but ignoring our bodies’ signals can cause a whole different kind of chaos — and can even lead to disease. Traditional herbalist and acupuncture pro, Mona Dan of Vie Healing is sharing how stress affects the body and easy ways to keep calm and stop the cycle of nervous system burn-out…

Body Signaling: I’m hungry!

You Responding: Not now, I’m busy… we’ll eat later.

Body Signaling: Ahh, I’m tired!

You Responding: Now? It’s 6 p.m… it’s too early, we’ll sleep later.

Body Signaling: I need to go to the bathroom!

You Responding: Can’t… in the middle of something very important… we’ll pee later.

These are all ways we are shutting down our nervous system that we just don’t realize! Alongside the stresses of work, relationships, finances, deadlines… etc., there is a whole other level of stress we put ourselves under that shuts down our nervous system and adrenals. Not responding to our nervous system properly makes it shut down, just like an immature friend. If things don’t go the way of your nervous system, then it just shuts down, it says, “Well, if you don’t want to listen to me then I’ll barely work for you.” That’s when we have sudden crashes, starvation modes, sudden urges to use the restroom… etc. Alongside all this, we fill our bodies with caffeine, energy drinks, zero food and stress, putting a huge stressors on our kidneys, which uses our adrenals to give us more of that desperate energy we’re looking for.

The worst part of all is, when we put our bodies in overdrive like this, we waste our precious adrenal energy to give us the energy. This makes us older faster; no one wants that.

7 Ways To Heal A Stressed Nervous System

EAT ON SCHEDULE. Putting your body on a schedules gives it comfort and trust in you. Build that relationship with yourself.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY’S SIGNAL. Give yourself a week or two to really respond to what your body needs and see the difference it creates in your life. If your body is signaling sleep, go and rest, take a nap, go to bed early and honor this.

START YOUR DAY WITH WARMING FOODS.When we wake up our body, just like a car’s engine begins revving up, we start building speed with our metabolism. If we pour an ice-cold almond latte in our system, it’s a big no-no. We want to encourage the speed with heat, even if that cold drink feels so refreshing. This will also help with avoiding that 12 o’clock crash. A natural herbal tea in the morning is very necessary too. For this, I created the KUALIE Happy Tea with a coconut-tea base mixed with a variety of different mint leaves. Yum!

SLEEP BEFORE 11PM. There’s a system to the organs in our bodies – each organ has a time for its peak performance. At 11 p.m. the liver is in charge, so what happens is that the liver stores the blood, meaning it gives a home to our blood. At 11 p.m. the blood needs to rest, so if we keep ourselves stimulated past 11, the blood doesn’t get good rest and we wake up tired and feel tired the rest of the day. Also, in Chinese medicine, we believe that our emotions reside in our blood, so this is also a good opportunity to take control over emotional issues by sleeping before 11.

HYDRATe.The easiest way to provide the body with oxygen is to hydrate. Oxygen gives us energy, reduces inflammation and keeps things functioning. If plain water is difficult for you to consume all day, I found that very light tea is great too. Make sure the tea isn’t sugary and is actually a little bit bitter such as a light green tea. Green tea is really a natural body cleanser, hence Asians are consuming it on the daily.

BE NICE TO YOURSELF.Every time you’re about to say something that disconnects you from your highest self, stop yourself and be nice. Create a good relationship with yourself, stay in your power and don’t give it away to anyone. This keeps your stress levels down.

TRY ACUPUNCTURE + HERBS. Acupuncture immediately resets your nervous system, It’s what we need when we’re stressed and tapping out our adrenals. Herbs replenish the body, blood and energy with natural elements that truly help heal by nourishing our entire system.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

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  1. Love these ideas – they’re different from everything else I’ve read (ie: do yoga, do meditation….I already do those things!) and they totally make sense. I usually start my day with a smoothie and then a smoothie, but I guess I should switch it around 😉

    Jodi | 05.07.2017 | Reply
    • I’m so glad you found new and useful information within this article!

      Mona Dan LAc., MTOM | 01.13.2018 | Reply
  2. Great article, with pieces of advice different from the usual!
    We sometimes don’t realize how much we stress our body. Negative thoughts, an unhealthy diet and so many more things day after day…
    One of the things that works for me is GRATITUDE. Thinking about all the things one can be grateful for. Affirmations are very powerful as well. Louise Hay has written a lot about this.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Lorena Grancelli | 05.08.2017 | Reply
  3. When and how best time and way to take Astragalus?

    Star | 07.13.2017 | Reply
    • Astragulus and other adaptogens are generally better taken when combined in a formula and not as a single herb. When herbs are paired together, they create greater synergistic effects which enhance the ultimate power for the herb itself. You can find a formula on VIE HEALING’s website or talk to a herbalist or acupuncturist to see what is best for you. Supplements are taken between 2-3 times a day for optimal results.

      Mona Dan LAc., MTOM | 01.13.2018 | Reply
  4. Amazing advise I will be excited to follow.

    Jenny | 08.27.2017 | Reply
  5. 11 pm is Gallbladder time, liver time is from 1am.

    Nick | 12.16.2017 | Reply
  6. Wow, I did not realize that there was so much you could do to help your nervous system recover. Although, I do have to admit that some of them I would not have expected like staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. But, if it really can help keep your nervous system in good shape then I can understand why it might be worth it.

  7. My nervous system is so crashed I can barley stand is it possible to still recover?

    tiffany grigorian | 05.05.2019 | Reply
  8. Thank you for this! I wish I had known all this while I was working so many hours, buring the candle at both ends!

    Christina Olin | 06.04.2019 | Reply

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