Born anxious: Why you may be wired for stress.
Hi, I am Jessica and am a recovering high-functioning overachiever. I am a mom of 2 sweet boys, a step mother to another sweet big boy, a wife of 10+ years, a full-time sales engineer, and an entrepreneur and disciple of healing nutrition. I live a big life (like you too) and it was my choice in doing so. I have everything I could ever want, so why does it feel so hard?
Stress as we know it is a perceived emotion. Something does not go our way therefore we feel attacked, triggered, thrown into a tail-spin. I use to always roll my eyes (and sometimes still do...remember I am in recovery) that it is up to us to feel stressed or relaxed. It can feel patronizing when we hear this. So much is out of our control and the world is not fair...stress is like a rite of passage if you are a living breathing being. But living from this vantage point is so limiting and quite frankly disempowering.
Feeling stressed is a learned behavior. I realize this may be hard to wrap your head around or you may even feel a bit triggered. Notice that reaction! Do you feel a sense of pride when it comes to your life stressors? They may be shitty, but they are YOURS! LOL. For years, I wore my stressors as a badge of honor. Goal-oriented, self-driven, high achieving, gotta have it perfect kind of attitude wrapped in a tightly wound stress bow. We live in a society that praises us to be driven, overworked, and under cared for. We learned stress from our parents or caregivers as children.
Did you know that all children under the age of 7 are not able to emotionally regulate without our help? That's right. Their nervous system is still developing. So think back when you were a child. What was life like at home? For me, it was a lot of back and forth between my mom's house, my dad's house and navigating step-parents. A lot of dysregulation. Of course I don't blame my parents for my adult habits (they had no idea at the time and were dealing with their own dysregulations), but it is clear to me why I drive so hard as an adult. Why stress is like a toxic friend I can't live without. The first step to finding healing in our destructive patterns is to become aware of them. See them for what they are without blame or shame. I have been on this journey of whole body healing for over 10 years. Nutrition is a large piece, but non-nutrition is equally as important.
I have been speaking a lot about self-regulation on social media lately and in particular the Vagus Nerve. If you aren't sure what I am talking about, let me give you a quick recap. The Vagus Nerve is a cranial nerve that is a branch of the autonomic nervous system that runs through our body for the regulation of internal organ functions, such as digestion, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as vasomotor activity, and certain reflex actions, such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting. It is arguably one of the most important nerves in our human body. This is just one powerful way you can help self-regulate your stress response. Most don't realize that this nerve can be stimulated through our own practices!
Many of my readers are challenged with digestive challenges or autoimmunity. The Vagus Nerve plays a big role in reversing these diagnoses. An under stimulated Vagus Nerve is linked to insufficient stomach acid, constipation, and diarrhea and is heavily linked to IBS sufferers. Additionally the Vagus Nerve when stimulated can send a neurotransmitter to help reduce inflammation in the body. Which means an under stimulated Vagus Nerve is not informing the body functions to stand down. It almost seems like a crime that your PCP or GI Specialist has never mentioned this nerve before, right?
It is my mission to bring you bite sized functional education and natural remedies to not only quell your symptoms but address the malfunction at its roots to help improve your quality of life and give you back your control over your wellness long term.
If you want more information regarding the Vagus Nerve and how to stimulate it, head over to my Instragram @bebodyempowered and take a look at the recent posts.
Cheers to your healing!