There’s a simple practice that will afford your hormones the rest they need, and well as time to replenish…and it doesn’t require much of anything…
This post comes from Certified Health & Wellness coach, Nicole Granato.
Finding balance in our lives is a hot topic. It’s a question which we often put to the wellness gurus, the girl bosses and the celebrities to answer, praying for them to reveal the secret to how they’ve managed to crack the code. The allure of the ‘perfect work-life balance’ is lucrative, and yet the truth is: there is no secret code. We’ve each got to pursue our own personal journey of what feels good to us, right for us. It’s a personal exploration of what makes ourselves feel best — radiant, healthy, lit-up and living out our lives with zeal.
Balanced hormones make for a body humming along in pitch-perfect symphony. Hormonal balance is curated by our entire way of living, being, doing and eating, meaning a balanced lifestyle really is the key to hormone harmony. By the same token, lifestyle extremes will make for hormone misfires and hormonal extremes which will manifest as disease and discomfort. Our hormones really are a reflection of our lifestyle — they work akin to ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ — not too much, not too little, just right.
Treating our hormones with the majesty they deserve can sometimes seem like hard work. There’s an entire compilation of things we could do, adapt, eat, and drink that would all show our hormones some love, and no doubt each would benefit us in a multitude of ways. However, that ‘entire compilation of things’ is in and of itself the problem. It’s a complete backfire when we’re trying to achieve balance, because it’s exactly not that. It’s too much. It’s overwhelming — and it’s enough to send even the best of us into a tizzy.
Thankfully, there’s a beguilingly simple practice that will afford our hormones the rest they need, and well as time to replenish. It all actually lies in the art of ‘not doing.’ Not doing anything. Let’s face it. Our lives are go-go-go. Too often we are asked to don our capes and fly out into the world, with the expectations of playing Superwoman for the day. We’re addicted to doing. Proving our worth through productivity.
Plan for ‘No Plan’
Cortisol is our primary stress hormone, and it’s an alpha hormone, meaning it holds a lot of sway in how well our other main hormones function. Instead of adding further stress into the picture by trying to balance each and every single hormone, and catering for each and every one of their needs, we can cleverly bypass this by tending to the master hormone. I sat cortisol is a master because it really does rule the roost. If you tend to cortisol’s needs, the rest of your hormones have prime opportunity to follow suit. They’re no longer being bullied by cortisol’s commands, and can get to work on their own tasks. Our hormones need R&R too!
The first step in managing cortisol is to manage your response to stress. In other words: Hit the pause button. It’s a tall order, but also stunningly simple. Outside stimuli and engaging in the world naturally fires up our nervous system. The stress hormones work on a feedback system. If we’re constantly doing, doing, doing, and hitting our foot down on the gas, our vehicle – the body – has to respond, pumping out cortisol on demand. If this becomes ‘business as usual’ all day, every day, our on-demand systems quickly become maxed out and taxed out.
The modern-day deluge of social media is also too much, as even in our moments of ‘pause’ we’re still checking our Instagram feeds, or reading emails. Subconsciously, our bodies still register this, and quickly our nervous system goes into meltdown, and ultimately our hormones go out of whack. This is why unstructured time is a necessary must in our multifaceted, busy lifestyles. Scheduling time to just ‘be’. Do nothing, thinking nothing, engage with nothing. Just be with yourself and let your imagination fly… lie on the grass, and run your fingers through the blades. Don’t plan to do anything. Just set a certain amount of time aside, and when that time arrives, do whatever your heart desires. They key is to not put any expectations on it — not even those pertaining to self-care practices or rituals — we’re only butting up against ourselves and causing further unnecessary strain.
Unstructured time is crucial to a healthy life!
Our hormones need gentle, relaxing, and nourishing time with ourselves. Times of rest are just as important as times of doing; they’re intrinsic to one another. Outward times of going, doing and producing need to be polarized by times of resting, relaxing and reflecting. The polarity of ‘go’ to ‘no’ is a prerequisite for that elusive balance.
That said, conscious ‘not-doing’ doesn’t undo all of the actions that aren’t in our best interest. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Eating nutritious foods, exercising effectively, a low-stress lifestyle, getting at least seven hours of sleep per day and contemplative practice – such as meditating – are all factors that contribute to bettering your well-being, and your hormonal balance.