Understanding Overactive Sympathetic Nervous System: How Do You Calm Down a Stress Response?
SummaryThe 2020 Stress in America survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant source of stress for nearly 80% of Americans(1). While stress is a part of life, it’s possible to manage our stress response effectively and use various methods to channel the energy. Certain diseases can also cause stress. For example, research shows that Lyme disease might also be linked to anxiety a
- Author Name: Stanley Clark
The 2020 Stress in America survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant source of stress for nearly 80% of Americans(1).
While stress is a part of life, it’s possible to manage our stress response effectively and use various methods to channel the energy.
Certain diseases can also cause stress. For example, research shows that Lyme disease might also be linked to anxiety and panic attacks(2), which involve the central nervous system (CNS).
What’s an Overactive Sympathetic Nervous System?
If you constantly feel chronic stress, then you have an overactive sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Sources might include late-stage Lyme disease, which you could treat with natural topical treatments for anxiety.
If you make some tweaks to your everyday life, you can turn chronic stress into a plus. You can then experience:
- Better health fitness and wellbeing
- Improved mental health
- Inner peace
- Creativity boost
The SNS and Stress: What’s the Connection?
The SNS functions as the body’s “gas pedal.” For example, the SNS helps the body make adjustments, such as excessive sweating in hot temperatures(3).
This experience could be a symptom of Lyme disease, which can cause body temperature changes and night sweats.
If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of late-stage Lyme disease, see your doctor and get a diagnosis. You can also consider testing options such as non-invasive imaging equipment to diagnose Lyme disease.
The problem is, if you experience overactive SNS, then over time, you might develop health conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Immune system issues
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Mental health problems
Research shows that Lyme disease can affect the different parts of the CNS.
The CNS includes the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls involuntary body functions, like digestion, heartbeat, and breathing(4). There are weight loss surgeries or bariatric surgeries that can help induce digestion and weight loss to improve breathing.
The SNS and the PNS contain nerve fibers that provide sensory input and motor output to the central nervous system (CNS)(5).
Dysautonomia and Lyme Disease
Dysautonomia refers to a group of disorders that involve a malfunctioning or overactive ANS(6).
Various conditions and events, including stress, can trigger dysautonomia. In some cases, dysautonomia occurs as a condition of a different disease, like Lyme disease(7).
Four primary species of bacteria can cause Lyme disease. The main sources are greatly based on the world region in which you live(8).
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness. An infected bite by a “deer tick” can transmit the disease.
If you frequently spend lots of time in tick-infested grassy and wooded regions, you’re more likely to get this disease.
Could something like a tiny tick cause you astronomical stress and anxiety?
After several weeks with Lyme disease, you might experience symptoms such as a racing heart rate, which can be connected to anxiety. This effect can then trigger SNS.
If you want to calm down an overactive SNS, you must eliminate stressors like Lyme disease.
Meanwhile, you can ease your pet’s stress too. You can use plant-based oils for anxiety in dogs. Such holistic treatments contain no synthetic ingredients, which often trigger unwanted side effects.
Treating the SNS with the PSNS
Think of the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) as your body’s “brake pedal.” It helps to balance out everything.
The PSNS controls the body’s relaxation/calming response. It can help provide results such as a slower heart rate, lower blood sugar, and a stronger immune system. People with Lyme disease could benefit from these results.
You can relax your sympathetic nervous system using these methods:
- Breathing Exercises - Use your lower abdomen to boost your PSNS by activating your diaphragm and a major nerve that functions as a natural chill pill.
- Practice Gratitude - This approach is in line with the yoga practice of being content, which is said to provide benefits such as heart health and PSNS activity.
- Herbal Teas - Natural drinks may help lower anxiety and sleep better. Studies show that herbal teas might lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol(9).
- Chanting/Humming - One theory is that chanting and humming can “wake up” the PSNS. You could start with basic mantra meditations.
If you get Lyme disease from a hungry tick that puts you on the menu, take these easy steps mentioned above to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Stay calm!
- Stress in America 2020
- New-Onset panic, depression with suicidal thoughts, and somatic symptoms in a patient with a history of lyme disease
- Sympathetic nervous system
- Autonomic nervous system
- Dysautonomia information page
- Lyme disease
- How to reduce cortisol and turn down the dial on stress