Apparently, the Fittonia Albivenis (Nerve Plant) will 'faint' when it needs something; to be watered, to be removed from the sun, when too cold, however, it always recovers quickly once its needs are met.
If only it were this obvious for humans......
Or is it?! If we take a moment to consider this: do you have a reoccurring illness that happens when you've been going for too long and are getting run down? Do you get snappy or angry with your friends and family because you just don't have time and are juggling a lot? That panicking feeling of overwhelm when our stress levels are too high? Do you begin to suffer with headaches or perhaps an upset stomach?
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body, which allow you to deal with pressures or threats when released. This is known as the “fight or flight” response. Hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) raises your blood pressure and increase your heart rate and the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy. All these changes are your body’s way of making it easier for you to fight or run away.
Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, or not able to burn them away physically these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress. If you’re stuck in a busy office or on an overcrowded train, you can’t fight or run away, so you can’t use the chemicals your body makes to protect you. Over time, the build-up of these chemicals and the changes they produce can be damaging for your health.
If we are in an extended state of stress and aren't able to release this chemical build up, our brain begin to signal that there is an imbalance, you may feel anxious, irritable or struggle to sleep. You may also experience headaches, muscle tension or pain and over a prolonged period of time may even become physically ill which is a signal from our brains telling us to stop and to slow down, just like the Fittonia Albivenis we also wilt, no longer having the strength or energy to be able to do what needs to be done. When we are feeling safe with no need to fight or to flight - have good sleep, nutrition, social support and opportunity for movement - just like plants, when the conditions are right - we thrive and grow. Many of us spend our lives waiting patiently for the right conditions to arrive or waiting for someone to come along and give us what we need and then end up like our poor nerve plant - getting frazzled because the water doesn't come.
Image: Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html) Are the conditions right for you to be able to bloom?
Are you in the right environment? Are your basic needs being met? If you are not getting the right nutrients or opportunity for rest or movement all other elements of your wellbeing will be a struggle. Do you need some space and time to reflect on what you need or to work out how to get your prime 'window space' or how to add more 'nutrients' into your life so you are able to grow? It's so important that we look after ourselves, make today the day you nurture yourself, take a bit of time to reflect on what it is you really need to build or add into your day to keep well. A good way to begin that reflection is by journalling.
If you are looking for some help to work out how to best look after yourself then please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free 15 minute consultation.