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@Clues 2024

How to Nourish Your Nervous System

In this lesson, Jonny shares his personal favorite daily practice for resetting dopamine levels and nourishing the nervous system...

The practice is called NSDR ~ or Non-Sleep-Deep-Rest’...

It uses a technique of guided body scanning to induce a so-called ‘hypnagogic’ state of waking sleep.

There are many benefits to this practice, but one of the lesser-known perks is its potential to increase our ‘interoceptive’ sensitivity ~ or our capacity to sense, track and feel our internal state.

If you were to measure your brain waves during NSDR, you’d see that they are rapidly moving from active ‘beta’, into ‘alpha’ & eventually into the threshold between the two, almost like a knife’s edge where the body technically ‘sleeps’ whilst the mind is lucid.

In one three month study, an NSDR practice was delivered to sixty college professors, men and women, aged between 30 - 55 years and they showed that NSDR provided an especially potent intervention for reducing both cognitive and physiological symptoms of anxiety.

Additionally, NSDR has been shown to effectively flush cortisol + norepinephrine (adrenaline) from our system, which both inhibit interoception and calm.

Challenge #2 — Listen to a Guided NSDR

In just 14-minutes of practice, you can downshift your nervous system, strengthen ventral vagal tone & build your capacity for cultivating deep rest.

Strengthening ventral vagal tone refers to enhancing the functionality of the ventral branch of the vagus nerve, which is a part of your parasympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve plays a huge role in regulating heart rate, breathing, and digestive processes, among other things. The ventral vagal complex specifically helps you engage in social interactions and keeps you calm under stress.

Think of it like tuning a guitar string to vibrate at its best. A well-tuned vagal tone helps you respond to life's ups and downs more efficiently. When you're stressed, your body can more quickly return to a relaxed state. This has a cascade of benefits, from better mental focus to improved emotional well-being and even enhanced social connections. It's like your body's reset button, making you more resilient.

Ways to improve this tone include deep breathing exercises, cold exposure, and even social activities that promote feelings of safety and connection. These practices can especially benefit you if you're dealing with burnout, helping your body recover faster and making you less reactive to stressors. It's not just some New Age mumbo jumbo; it's backed by neuroscience and can have a real, positive impact on your well-being.

If you’re intrigued, Jonny recommens starting with 5 days in a row of NSDR.