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Making Waves: Finding Peace in the Water

February 2, 2024

Hey there, I hope you’re doing well and finding moments of peace in your busy life. Today, I want to dive into something that’s been a lifelong source of joy and serenity for me – my deep connection with water. Ever since I was a kid, water has been my sanctuary. From those endless summer […]

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Hey there,

I hope you’re doing well and finding moments of peace in your busy life. Today, I want to dive into something that’s been a lifelong source of joy and serenity for me – my deep connection with water.

Ever since I was a kid, water has been my sanctuary. From those endless summer days spent splashing around in the backyard pool to the blissful hours at Sauble Beach, I’ve always felt a magnetic pull toward the soothing world of water. I even helped start a swim team in high school during a teacher’s strike – talk about a passion for all things aqua!

But my love affair with water isn’t just about having fun. It’s also been a vital part of my self-care journey, especially when it comes to helping my nervous system find its groove.

The Nervous System and Water: Now, let’s talk about this nervous system thing. It’s like your body’s control center, managing all the signals and responses that keep you going. Picture it as a team with two main players: the “fight or flight” squad (sympathetic nervous system or SNS) and the “chill and relax” crew (parasympathetic nervous system or PNS).

The SNS is like your body’s own superhero, ready to leap into action when there’s a threat. It revs up your heart rate, pumps adrenaline, and gets you ready to face danger head-on. It’s great for survival, but not so great when it’s always on high alert, leading to stress, anxiety, and an overworked system.

On the flip side, the PNS is your body’s version of a hammock on a lazy summer day. It promotes relaxation, slows your heart rate, and helps you chill out. When your PNS is in charge, your body has a chance to heal, recharge, and just feel good.

But here’s the thing – modern life often keeps us in “fight or flight” mode way too often. Stress, deadlines, and daily pressures can keep the SNS running the show, and that’s not a recipe for a happy nervous system.

Water as the Nervous System’s Helper: This is where water steps in as the helper of our story. Water, in all its forms – whether it’s the rhythmic waves of the ocean, the gentle flow of a river, or the stillness of a lake – has an incredible power to flip the switch to the PNS. It tells your body, “Hey, it’s time to relax!”

When you dip into water, your heart rate slows down, your muscles unwind, and your mind finds its peace. It’s like a natural therapy session for your nervous system. That’s why so many of us feel at ease when we hear the soothing sounds of waves or the soft gurgling of a river – it’s like our nerves finally get a break.

For me, water has become a non-negotiable part of my self-care routine. Whether I’m swimming in the lake or simply sitting by the river, it’s my way of hitting the reset button on my nervous system. It’s my escape from the whirlwind of daily life and a chance to find moments of calm.

I’m sharing all this with you because I believe that finding things that help regulate our nervous systems is a form of self-care. It’s like a little gift we give ourselves to balance out the stresses of our fast-paced lives and reconnect with inner peace.

So, the next time you’re near water, whether it’s a serene lake, a babbling brook, the bathtub, or the vast ocean, take a moment to fully embrace it. Let it wrap you in its soothing embrace, ease your worries, and remind you of the importance of self-care in this crazy world.

Water has a way of not just healing our bodies but also our spirits. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the simplest things in nature can bring us the greatest sense of peace and serenity.

Wishing you the soothing embrace of water on your journey,

Ashley

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