A little about…

The Value of Connections…

Our nervous system regulates our feelings and senses, and requires social interaction. Without physical connections, our bodies will struggle to calm down. Social interaction is a method of calming the immune system. When we experience anxiety or distress, including the type that stems from social isolation, we experience an increase in the sympathetic nervous system activity. This system speeds up the heart, slows digestion, and causes a number of physiological changes that are known collectively as the body’s stress response. Too much social activity can also cause stress.

Stress is normal and healthy in moderation. But if the autonomic nervous system is always in fight, flight or freeze mode – if it never goes to relaxation – then there’s a loss of balance. This loss of balance underlies the immune system dysregulation and runaway inflammation that are associated with chronic stress, and that also seems to play a role in cases of severe Covid-19. The parasympathetic nervous system [PNS] causes us to rest and digest, creating feelings of calmness and relaxation.

The vagus nerve, linking the brain and immune system to the heart, gut and other organs, governs PNS activity. When the vagus nerve is activated by deep breathing, yoga, mediation and relaxation, it acts like a brake on stress. Peter Payne (a researcher with the Dept of Microbiology & Immunology at Dartmouth College) explains that one branch of the vagus nerve seems to be closely connected to positive social interaction, calming the nervous system. This may explain why social interaction – smiling, laughing, talking, listening, emoting has such a calming influence.

Gently remind yourself that it’s okay to feel anxious (about weight gain, catching covid, losing a loved one, etc). Secondary reactions of guilt or judgement for feeling scared can amplify an already difficult situation. If anxiety begins to feel overwhelming, anchor yourself in the present. Anxiety is often caused by fixating on what could happen. Press your feet into the floor, take time to breathe deeply, and remind yourself of what is happening in the present moment.
Reference: www.elemental.medium.com


Sometimes we need to walk alone

A little about… winter
When it is wintertime we may experience more darkness, cold and pain. We may lose a loved friend and discover that we need to follow the instinct of nature and withdraw from the bustle of life for a while. Nature instructs us to go underground and seek shelter until we are once more ready to receive the warmth of connection to the love of others. We can allow ourselves to fully experience the grief and loss, whilst knowing that this depth of pain will pass, even though the memories will last. It is from the memories that we will draw strength: the strength to reach out again and meet with love and light.


A little about… one daisy

Meditation on One Daisy

One daisy amidst a lawn of green
grass and clover carpeting the earth,
warmed by the sun it opens its heart,
surrounded by petals, slender white

One daisy amidst a lawn of green,
it’s head vibrating, balanced upon
a long chartreuse stem, moved by the breeze,
it gently sways and dances for joy

One daisy amidst a lawn of green,
providing nectar, the insect lands,
settles for a second or two and
basks in the sun, enjoys the moment

One daisy amidst a lawn of green,
risking it’s life to lift up its head,
offers its beauty just to be seen.
One daisy in a carpet of green

© Estelle Earnshaw