I have seen a few people in my clinic this week that have reminded me how important it is sometimes to just stop and totally switch off. How often do we really do that?  

In the fast moving world that we live in we are ‘on’ all the time, accessible from almost anywhere. We spend a frightening amount of time on our phones or other electronic devices, which becomes apparent when you step onto any bus, tube or train. Everyone has their head down, face bathed in an electronic glow.

Our nervous system is split into two parts: 

Sympathetic: which is all about our flight or flight stress response = ON
Parasympathetic: which is all about rest and digest = OFF

If you are always on and always stressed we can get ‘stuck’ in sympathetic dominance. So why does this matter? Symptoms associated with this include: 

High cholesterol
High blood sugar (affects energy levels and encourages weight gain)
Heart palpitations
Increased blood clotting (increases risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease)
High blood pressure

So basically many common conditions that we take a ton of drugs to manage. How can you help yourself in a more simple way to break this cycle?

Mindfulness: get off the tube or bus 2 stops before your home and practice mindful walking on your way home. There are apps that can help with this: Buddhify or Meditation Oasis

Meditation: find ways to incorporate deep relaxation into your day to day. I can recommend an app called – for meditation (they have a free 10 day programme to try).  

Deep breathing: there are lots of online sources that can help you with this such as this one Try to incorporate these into you daily regime – you can do this anywhere, on the bus, when someone at work has stressed you out, or sitting on your bed before you go to sleep.

Do something different!: singing, dancing, crafting, learning….whatever you personally find interesting