How to Calm Down Your Nervous System?

The health of our nervous system and how we take care of ourselves should not be taken lightly. The nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord, and an entire network of nerves that all come together to send messages from your brain to your body. Stress, unhealthy eating habits, or a weak sleep schedule are all ways in which our nervous system can be negatively affected. Thankfully, there are ways in which we can calm our bodies down, by engaging in some calming activities.

  1. Put your devices away

We often tend to not give ourselves a break during the day. Sometimes we think that just because we are mindlessly scrolling on social media rather than doing something productive, that counts as taking a break. The truth, however, is that our brains are constantly on the move, and by feeding them an unhealthy amount of random information, the cycle never stops. By putting your phone down and taking a moment to yourself, whether that’s reading a book, working out, or spending time with loved ones, you are helping yourself and your mind more than you even know it.

  1. Meditation or Yoga

Engaging in yoga and meditation is a great way to calm down your nervous system. By practicing deep breathing techniques and stretching, you allow your mind and body to regulate and enter a relaxed state. You can do this by taking some time out of your day to sit in a quiet space and take deep breaths. Try looking around and identifying objects around you! This helps to ground you and bring you back to reality in anxious moments.

  1. Go outside

Nature is a wonderful way of connecting with our world. Watch how taking a breath of fresh air can help you ease your mind, (add in walking in nature and the exercise will help you relax even more). It has been scientifically proven that hearing the sound of birds chirping can increase serotonin levels for the following 8 hours (by increasing blood flow in the brain, and slowing down brainwaves to promote relaxation and happiness). Who doesn’t want that?

  1. Journal

Our minds need a break from taking in so much information during the day. A great and healthy way to relax your nervous system and calm your mind is to journal. Writing about your day and feelings is one way to get into journaling, another is to answer some journal prompts such as:

  • “5 positive affirmations”
  • “3 things that went well today”
  • “What am I grateful for today?”
  • “I feel … today”
  • “How do I want to grow in the future?”
  1. Read a book

By reading a book, we can oftentimes put a pause to our real lives and escape into a fantasy land. Reading a book is a helpful way to unwind and relax your mind, it helps keep you off your phone, and it even teaches you something. Fiction books are a great way to leave your problems in the real world, non-fiction books and self-help books are great for learning new information and incorporating new habits into your everyday life.

Picture of Niki


Niki is a fourth-year psychology student at SFU. She is interested in pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist in the future.

Picture of Niki


Niki is a fourth-year psychology student at SFU. She is interested in pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist in the future.

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