The modern era is beautiful, full of technology, plenty of food and some of us may be able to afford luxuries that were only accessible to maybe 0.5% of the population. This is because most of us now have a stable income to support the family. However, due to this stable income, we always have deadlines and criteria to meet. This may put our brain and nervous system in overdrive due to the constant stress. This state of mind means our nervous system is in a sympathetic state. Constantly being in a sympathetic state can lead to high blood pressure, being extremely fidgety and being in constant stress. So today we’ll go over a couple of ways to calm your nervous system down so you can be less stressed and enjoy your life more:
Something we can do straight away is to take a deep breath in. Deep breathing is a great way to get your body to relax and calm down. However, most of breath with our accessory muscles (your shoulder, sternoclavicular mastoids and scales) when we are stressed. The correct way to breath in instances like this is to breathe with your diaphragm. To breathe with your diaphragm is actually easier than you think. Instead of raising your shoulders and sucking in your belly, do the opposite. Drop your shoulders and push your belly out when you are breathing in! This is something simple but very effective, so give it a go next time you need a second or two to calm down.
Spend some time in nature. There is just something very relaxing about nature, it reduces fear, stress and anger. One reason being there is a fresh supply of oxygen when you are in nature. You will literally be surrounded by trees and other plants and they produce fresh negative-ion oxygen which is scientifically shown to calm you down. Another reason is due to increased exposure to natural light. Natural light is shown to improve your and regulate your sleep pattern. We know that better sleep more relaxed and balanced nervous system.
Put down your device. In this modern age, we are often multitasking. From reading emails, typing up document, making an Excel spread sheet to scrolling through social media. Our minds are always occupied on what is in front of us. So drop your device, focus on one thing, and practice being mindful. It can be anything from reading a book, playing music, drawing or anything that does not require an electronic device.
Finally, practicing meditation is a great way to calm your nervous system down. A lot of the time we are anxious as we are trying to think about the future and we don’t enjoy the present. Mediation is a great way to bring you back to the present. This helps quieten your brain. This does not mean we are shutting problems down and pushing them away, it just means we learn to accept them. By doing this your brain will be less stressed thus allowing you to come up with better thoughts and outcomes.
Due to busy schedule we are all in now, we are always anxious and stressed. This means our nervous system will constantly be in a sympathetic state and in overdrive. Those are just 4 easy things to do when we are in overdrive, there are many more. Try different techniques and see what works for you!
Every sort of screen emits blue light and how many hours do we spend sitting in front of a screen every day? We are looking at screens every day whether it is watching shows, scrolling through social media, or doing office work. By the end of the day, we probably spend a good 12-15 hours on a screen. As a result, we will definitely be affected by blue light somehow. So today we’ll break down some of the effects of blue light.
Blue light helps regulate our circadian rhythm. Blue light can be found in the sun. Every day we are woken up by blue light. It is what triggers us to wake up. Without it, we will be in hibernation most of the time.
Blue light stimulates alertness, memory and cognitive function. This is because blue light increases the speed of neuron growth and strengthens neuron connection in the hippocampus. As a result, we become more focused and retain information a lot easier.
Apart from brain growth, blue light also stimulates eye and vision growth. Children at a young age needs to be exposed to a moderate amount of blue light in order to for their eyes to grow. The key work there was MODERATE. Too much blue light can also be bad but we’ll touch on that later. Some studies show that too little blue light can actually stunt growth and can cause near sightedness.
Blue light decreases sleep quality. While blue light keeps us up it decreases melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone created in the pineal gland that controls sleep cycles. Due to the shorter wave lengths from blue light, the body becomes more sensitive to it as a result, delta brainwaves which is induces sleep is also supressed.
Too much blue light can lead to eye strain. Human eyes are not very good at filtering out blue light due to the shorter wave length. Since the wave lengths are shorter, it scatters more than other colours making it harder to focus. At the same time it reduces contrast in other colours. As a result, our eyes need to work extra hard to filter out this out unnecessary colours thus leading to eye strains.
Finally, too much exposure of blue light may increase the likelihood of macular degeneration. Again due to the shorter wave length of blue light, it is easy for it to penetrate the retina (the inner lining at the back of the eye). This is where most of the light sensitive cells are located in the eye. Too much blue light can actually damage these cells. As these cells degenerate further, it can lead to permanent loss of vision.
Blue light is a natural source of light that can be found anywhere. This light is very important since it helps with waking us up, increasing brain function and growth. But due to technology and lifestyle we may be being overexposed. Too much of anything can be bad, with blue light it decreases sleep quality, lead to eye strains and may increase the likelihood of macular degeneration. There are a couple of ways to decrease the effects of blue light. One, spend less time in front of screen. Especially 30-60 minutes before you go to sleep so you can increase sleep quality. Second, wear glasses that filter out most of this light. This way your eyes will be less stressed. Remember blue light in moderation is good but too much of it can worsen your health.
Research has shown us not to let children use mobile phones, either as a toy or to talk on. Their skulls are thinner and smaller than an adults and they will absorb more radiation into their developing brain.
Radio-frequency (RF) radiation in the microwave range produced by cordless and mobile phones. Cordless phone bases and cell phone towers have been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible carcinogen” (type 2B).
Ideally, cellular phone use should be minimised. The more cellular phones are used, the more cellular phone infrastructure is needed to support the phones use. Living close to cellular phone base stations has been associated with increased risk of cancer in several studies.
Mobile Phone use and Skeletal Alignment
If exposure to radiation and providing endless distraction isn’t enough… cell phone usage is responsible for yet another hazardous side effect! Text neck!
Chiropractors have observed that most people hunch over their mobile phones and developing neck and back strain, headaches, achy shoulders and even in their arms and hands.
If you are experiencing symptoms similar to the above and would like a professional opinion, then go see your chiropractor or feel free to contact Revolution Chiropractic.
At Revolution Chiropractic we take a structural correction approach to your spine and one of the big indicators of spinal dysfunction is forward head carriage. The head is basically a bowling ball balanced on the top of your spine and every inch it moves forward causes an exponential increase in how hard the muscle must work to continue to hold it up. The issues go much deeper than neck discomfort, this poor postural position increases the tension on your spinal cord, puts you at greater risk of a strain injury to your neck, speeds up the degenerative process of the spine and can cause nerve root impingement, which let me assure you is not fun at all.
What is really concerning is the number of children we are seeing with this postural issue. Chiropractors are seeing more and more children as patients with issues linked to forward head posture and a HUGE contributing factor is the amount of time they are spending on handheld screen devices. I have personally seen many children with their necks bent to 90 degrees as they stare at a tablet or phone on their lap.
According to the NZ Ministry of Health children age 5-17 should spend less than 2 hours per day sitting and using screens, and this time should not be continuous but rather broken up throughout the day.
On top of smart devices creating postural problems, they are also reducing the amount of physical activity that kids are getting. Which reduces the creativity of tactile play. For the health of your children, we strongly recommend you reduce the amount of time they spend on devices, perhaps reward them with some screen time after some physical activity. It is much easier to raise strong children than it is to fix broken adults! Remember that kids imitate those around them, especially their parents, and let’s face it, we could all benefit from spending less time on our mobile devices.
When you are using your phone or tablet make sure you keep it at eye level for healthy posture. Your arms getting tired from holding them up is a great reminder to take a break!