Updated: Dec 12, 2022
© Copyright 2022 Artwork by Cordi Neckermann
….but you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. If this little reference didn’t make you smile please hop on over to Spotify real quick and listen to a song called Escape by Rupert Holmes.
Yoga sometimes feels like the ultimate answer to everything. Stretching, strengthening, de-stressing, finding balance and focus. As a 500hr qualified yoga teacher I agree. Yoga as good for your body, your mind and over all wellbeing and even better when you love it so much that you want to practice every day. It will turn you into the best and healthiest version of yourself that’s for sure. You can read more about what it can do for you here.
What if you’re not into yoga? Are you doomed to be unbalanced, unfocused, stiff and overwhelmed with stress for the rest of your days?
Of course not!
Your nervous system reacts to more than just yoga or meditation. The rest-and digest-mode of your nervous system can also be activated by simply diverting your attention away form the everyday grind and responsibility. Allowing yourself to feel threat free.
How does this crazy magic happen you ask? Here is a quick and simple answer:
Rest and Digest
You could compare your nervous system with the operating system on your phone. It keeps things running. The Rest-and-digest-mode is the mode your nervous system runs in when you are relaxed and feel chilled out. No threat is detected and your body can focus on digestion and absorbing nutrients.
Fight and Flight
You also have a fight-and-flight mode which is what you run in when you feel your survival is threatened. The muscles tense, the blood rushes to the body parts that need extra power to fight or run. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up to increase the energy supply. Things like reproduction and digestion don’t get as much attention when you feel your survival is threatened. The fight-and-flight mode prepares you for a physical threats like an attacking mammoth. It optimises your body to run away or fight.
Modern Day Threats
Our modern day threats like loosing your job, not having enough money or not enough likes on social media don’t require physical strength so being attack-ready doesn’t really help much. Nevertheless, with all the everyday stresses and challenges fight-and-flight seems to be the default mode for most of us these days. But actually we are meant to run in our rest-and digest mode for most of the time. So what can you do to reset your system to rest-and-digest mode if you are not into yoga or meditation?
The magic word is HOBBY!
I know it sounds super old fashioned but there really is something to it. Let me explain:
The official definition of hobby according to the online Merriam Webster is:
“a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation”
Hobby doesn’t mean Netflix and chill. It means there needs to be some form of act or activity and it doesn’t even have to be physical. Reading as opposed to watching TV keeps your mind active. You have to translate the letters into words and sentences, makes sense of it all and visualise the story.
A hobby is something you love doing for the sake of doing without a real need to fulfil anything but yourself. The only accomplishment needed is making you happy. When you get lost in something you love doing the world around you disappears for a while and you allow your nervous system to slip into chill mode because no threats are being detected in this state of flow.
I think the best way to describe this is to tell you about my own favourite hobbies. They are dancing and drawing. When I do either of theses things it’s like stepping into a different world. An hour of drawing or dancing grips all my focus tightly and won’t allow anything else to enter for the time being. This works because I love both these activities and they are asking for all my attention and I’m more than happy to surrender.
Dancing and drawing work for me. For you to make the shift into a relaxed state means YOU have to find something that YOU truly love DOING. DOING being the important word here. Not consuming. It has to be something that makes your heart bubble over with thousands of heart shaped, pink balloons and that you can look forward to in stressful times.
Now just in case you love dancing and drawing too. Come visit me at CordiPower.com. Doing things together with others who love the same thing as you is another sure fire way to reset your system to chill mode.
I hope you enjoyed my little story. Having a hobby has lifted me up in difficult times and helped me connect to some wonderful new friends. The magic of human connection over a shared passion is priceless. Do give it a try some time.
Wishing you all the best,
P.S. LOVE - DO - HAPPY