This is the resilience skill we need to keep us able to return to a calm, cool and collected nervous system baseline and avoid living in a state of hyperarousal – the feeling of being in an abnormally heightened state 24/7.

Some people are naturally good at this. These are the people who try a meditation class for the first time and don’t get what all the fuss is about –they find it easy and natural because they are already less affected by stressors to the nervous system than the average person. You might see this in a friend who always seems chilled out, whatever life sends their way.

But, even the most naturally calm person can become wired over time and the demands of modern life to be more reactive to stress. When this happens, even a formerly chilled-out person can lose the ability to dial down the arousal levels in the brain and mind.

Then some people are naturally quite highly strung, perfectionist or always on the go by nature. They don’t have an off switch. They often never or very rarely experience a state of calm wind down unless they are exhausted and crashing into sleep.

You may see some of yourself in both. These traits that lead to having no off switch are not necessarily bad, but like any personality trait, it can be a strength and a weakness depending on how it’s managed. For example, being a high achiever who is always on the go can be very good for professional success. Still, if it gets out of hand, it can lead to the inability to wind down and eventually lead to burnout or clinical anxiety disorder. However, if it is well managed and you are aware you have this tendency, you can use it to achieve incredible things and lead a fulfilling life as long as you learn to dial things back down too.

Removing Toxic Stress, Overwhelm & Anxiety

A lack of cultivating calm leads to brain and mind noise – imagine the volume being turned up over time until it starts to make things hard to hear or think clearly.

For some people, this can lead to physical sensations of stress and anxiety or body noise. Think shortness of breath and panic attacks as well as digestion issues. Like all things in the brain, once this stress and anxiety level is high constantly, it can create issues in other quadrants or brain skills. For example, high-stress hormone levels in the brain can lead to the chronic limbic system and amygdala hyperarousal (increased startle response, lack of deep sleep), affecting how well our immune system works and how well we can manage our energy levels.

The toxic effects of high cortisol on the hippocampus (the brain area involved in new learning and memory) can cause problems with memory, learning, and retaining new information. In addition, if the state of hyperarousal and brain anxiety goes on for a very long time, it may also deplete our calming brain chemicals like GABA. One theory is that chronic anxiety may eventually lead to brain burnout, and symptoms of depression or chronic fatigue and low energy can start appearing too as the brain tries to start conserving energy.

Cultivating Calm is key to feeling less anxiety and overwhelm, shutting off thoughts easily, healing poor sleep, and getting yourself into a calm, relaxed state on-demand in real life.

Decor Process

Tips for Cultivating Calm

  • Cannabis/Cannabinoids – CBD, myrcene
  • New psilocybin is currently being investigated for anxiety disorders
  • Mind-body:
    • Calming breath
    • Benson Technique
    • Mindfulness
  • Resilience Medicine Level 2 Diet as well as:
    • Foods rich in GABA-building blocks
    • B6
  • Cut out stimulants + caffeine -e.g. decaffeinated Green Tea
  • supplements:
    • Inositol
    • L-Theanine
    • Ashwagandha
    • Magnesium
  • Resilience Medicine Sleep reset protocol
“Cultivating calm is a skill I have learned over many years after experiencing burnout early in my career and bouncing back from it. My daily mind-body practice allows me to function as my best self. I would probably drive myself crazy or into another burnout episode if I stopped – it’s simply essential for my inner balance and resilience.”
Dr Dani Gordon, Founder of Resilience Medicine