Calming your nervous system
PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR CALMING YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
We all know how important managing our stress is, but let’s be real… knowing and doing are often 2 different things!
If you’re like me, knowing WHY it’s important is key to taking those necessary actions, and in this episode of the podcast, I talk with Meredith Edwards about both WHY managing our stress is important and HOW we can do it.
We dive into the central nervous system and how we can get stuck in fight/flight which leaves us in a chronically stressed state – we talk about some of the signs that you might be ‘stuck’ all revved up too.
Exercise – what exercise is stressful, how much and whilst of course ‘it depends’, Meredith & I both share our experiences of slogging it out before we knew better. In fact, Meredith used to be my PT, so we really have slogged it out together (well, Leigh & I slogged it, Meredith directed! hehe).
Foods – which foods are stressful for our nervous system and which ones are calming. Always a good reminder of how powerful food is as either bringing us toward or away from healing.
Sleep – Meredith runs us through an ideal day … setting ourselves up for restorative sleep starts when we get up in the morning. We talk about when to eat for best sleep and some practical tips for a good night’s sleep (eg Blue Light Blocking Glasses… which I am reminded I have to actually WEAR, not just keep next to my bed!) Oh and COFFEE…. we talk about that too! (hint: don’t drink after noon).
Mindfulness – How we can use everyday activities like ironing (yikes) to be more present and mindful.
Meditation – Meredith is a teacher with the iRest Institute which uses a particular mediation process to guide you in the mediation. It is used in military circles (Meredith has strong military connections – see below) and is well researched for its benefits. Meredith has a few free iRest practises you can download from her website – or check out iRest.org for more. We end this podcast with a short 3 min love and gratitude mediation, so be sure to stick around to the end of the episode for that!
Trauma – I mention trauma, because for many trauma and/or stress can be a trigger for thyroid issues and like all root causes, if we can identify and address our root causes, it’s going to lead to improved thyroid health. So, if you know trauma and/or stress is key for you, please do seek appropriate help. Part of that could be taking part in restorative yoga and mediation. Meredith is no stranger to trauma, and we talk a little about this in the podcast. Having known Meredith for a long time now, I know she has such compassion and skills to support people in this space.
About Meredith Edwards
It’s Meredith’s heart-felt mission to support Australian Defence Force serving members, veterans and their families by providing evidence-based tools and strategies to enable them to thrive amidst the challenges experienced in both personal and military life.
Her approach to meeting these challenges is unique, using a combination of nutritional medicine, iRest® Mindfulness Meditation, restorative yoga, and lifestyle improvements to support each individual and their capacity to bring their best game.
As well as being in private practice, Meredith is a team member of the RAAF Air Combat Group Resilience & Wellbeing team, facilitating on programs such as the Serving Member Resilience & Wellbeing Program, Kinergy Family Resilience & Wellbeing Program and the Sidewinder Social Mastery Program.
Coming from a family with deep roots in the Australian Defence Force and a defence spouse herself, Meredith understands the complexities of military life on a personal level. It was through the tragic death of her brother Jonathan, who was a Navy Sea King pilot, that she was introduced to mindfulness meditation as a coping strategy for PTSD by her psychologist at the time, and the path to her current profession began.
Qualifications and professional experience:
- Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine, qualifications in Trauma Sensitive/Restorative yoga and a Level 1 iRest® teacher
- Worked with ADF serving member and veteran groups at Mates4Mates in Brisbane, teaching restorative yoga classes and nutrition workshops, and Toowong Private Hospital as part of the Military Service Trauma Recovery Program.
- Offer free weekly Restorative Yoga and iRest Mindfulness Meditation group for RAAF Base Williamtown personnel.
Connect with Meredith:
Connect on Instagram.
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