"RELEIVING NERVOUS ENERGY"
By Reydon Stanford
When I was a kid in school, my favorite time of day was recess. I always thought it was such a sweet gesture
on behalf of the teachers to give us a break so that we could go outside and play for a bit, taking our minds off of the hum-drum
events of patterned learning. Little did I realize that they had an ulterior motive for recess...expending nervous energy.
Looking back, I realize that this method was often used at home as well and usually began with a frustrated comment from my
mother. Something to the effect of: "Would you kids go outside and PLAY!"
I hate to admit this, (age alert), but when I was a kid we didn't have video games to keep us quiet
for hours while our parents stepped over us to go about their own chores. We had three television channels and one of those
was 'snowy.' During the day, Soap Opera's were the only thing on anyway and that held little interest for us...so we went
outside and let our imaginations guide us. We always came in around supper time, physically exhausted, hungry and CALM.
Of course, things have changed. Many kids, (and parents), no longer
seem to have a healthy outlet for nervous energy and the results are profound. Many anxiety and nervousness issues could be
directly linked to a lack of burning energy through physical exercise. I also believe that some learning disorders are magnified
due to unexpended nervous energy. Obesity is another problem that is associated with a lack of burning physical energy.
The symptoms of nervous energy range from a mild internal feelings
of nervousness, to external behavioral outbursts. They are both saying the same thing: "We have too much physical energy
built up and it's trying to GET OUT!!!" Often times this nervous energy is mis-diagnosed as behavioral problems.
Most people are aware of the long-term effects of continual stress,
including its links to cancer, diabetes, heart-disease and premature aging. What many people are 'unaware of,' is that unexpended
nervous energy can greatly add to daily stress. This alerts us that physical exercise is not only healthy for our bodies,
but also is vital for our emotions and mental health as well.
you ever seen someone sitting in a chair with their leg making rapid slinging motions? Nervous energy. Have you ever seen
someone biting their fingernails? Nervous energy. Have you ever seen someone twirling their hair around a finger? Nervous
energy. Have you ever had to stop your child from drumming on the dinner table? Nervous energy. Have you ever seen someone
popping their knuckles? Nervous energy. Ever seen someone inhaling a cigarette with the deepest breath possible? Nervous energy.
Nervous energy is created by the body as it produces
fuel to power us through the day. If our intake of fuel is greater than our physical need for it, it results in nervous
energy...or 'excess energy.' Excess energy is then transformed into nervous energy, much like an engine over-revving.
BURNING EXCESS ENERGY
In order to burn excess energy, we must become physically active. I suggest some form of exercise before
breakfast, since much of the excess energy we have is left over from the day before. Taking your dog for a brisk walk around
the block can go along way in helping to expend excess energy with the result of you feeling more calm and relaxed as you
enter into your day. If you don't have a dog, just drag a leash around the block...just kidding.
If you find yourself biting your nails, or feeling uncommonly nervous, it might do you good to go for
a walk or even to stand up and do jumping jacks...unless your in Church, which might be inappropriate.
If you get little or no exercise, you'll find that a single walk around the block might not be enough
to expend the large amounts of excess energy you've built up. However, given a few weeks time of becoming active will cause
your stress levels to fall and leave you feeling much better...at least it should.
Copyright by Reydon Stanford 2010