The #1 Hack To Boost Energy Levels & Performance
Your best self. That’s the goal.
You have things you want to accomplish. If you were empowered with the knowledge around what’s holding you back, you could take the steps to achieve a more sustainable and supportive lifestyle.
In this article, we are exploring the underlying issues that commonly drain personal performance. You will learn about the two different states of your nervous system, and the effect they have on your performance and energy levels.
We will also cover various methods for supporting your nervous system, effective stress management and healthy ways to increase energy. This will enable you to build more resilience and achieve consistent performance when you face the inevitable stressors life throws your way.
Parasympathetic vs. Sympathetic Nervous System
Your autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the system that controls involuntary functions of the body.
There are two main divisions of the ANS. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
The PNS is responsible for restoring the body to a state of calm, rest and recovery. Conversely, the SNS is responsible for survival and prepares the body for fight or flight in response to stress.
Childhood trauma can leave your nervous system stuck in a chronic sympathetic state. Being stuck in a sympathetic state makes it extremely difficult to perform personal and professional life tasks at a high level. This is one of the most common causes of ongoing psychological stress and low energy levels.
Oxytocin Deficiency Can Lead to a Chronic Sympathetic State
Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for the ability to establish trust, empathy, sexual activity and building relationships with a healthy level of connection.
Low levels of oxytocin can contribute to a sympathetic dominant state. An oxytocin supplement can make you less reactive to stress.
It can also help with addiction problems since addictive behaviors are usually the result of an attempt to compensate for low levels of balancing chemicals naturally produced by the body.
Commonly Prescribed Medications Can Make the Problem Worse
Acetylcholine is an important chemical released by nerve cells to send messages to other cells.
The PNS relies on Acetylcholine to function properly. Being deficient in Acetylcholine causes many health issues.
Certain depressant drugs, known as benzodiazepines, are commonly prescribed to help with stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. But these drugs actually deplete acetylcholine, leading to a worsened condition.
How to Activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System
Shifting to a parasympathetic dominant state is one of the most effective things you can do to relieve stress. Getting out of a chronic fight or flight state will help you boost your energy levels in a natural way.
Regular sauna bathing helps to shift you into a parasympathetic dominant state. Exercises that stimulate the vagus nerve, such as gargling, chewing gum, cold exposure, deep breathing, singing, humming and chanting will send a “calm” signal.
Focusing on one task at a time and refusing the urge to multi-task will also help promote a parasympathetic dominant state.
Increasing Your Capacity for Stress
The more stressors you deal with, the lower the threshold for sympathetic nervous system activation becomes. It becomes easier to enter the fight or flight mode.
The goal is to be able to increase your capacity for stress while still staying in a parasympathetic state.
You need to have the proper biological and physiological support to receive the desired benefits from treatment. A healthy and active lifestyle will certainly help, but too much physical exercise will be counter-productive to managing and improving your biological stress response.
Many adverse health symptoms are driven by problems stemming from the nervous system.
We traditionally think of mental trauma as a purely psychological problem that is primarily solved through cognitive approaches; but the data shows that trauma is more of a biological problem.
We should think of psychological and physiological problems as two parts of the same system, which are interconnected. The biological issue is the root of the problem, and should be addressed first before cognitive therapies.
You won’t be able to shift into a higher performance state if you ignore the biological effects. It is important to establish healthy habits so the body can properly respond and receive the desired benefits from treatment and medication.
If you would like to learn more, check out my video below where I go more in-depth on this topic.
I also did an interview on this topic. You can read the full transcript from the interview here.