Shifting from alertness and awareness cultivates our energy reserves.
Alertness is a state of being ready to react immediately to a stimulus. It activates the sympathetic nervous system which prepares for a quick response. The body becomes ready to run or fight, think quickly, make decisions, adjust plans, and catch falling objects.
Awareness, on the other hand, calms, nutures, and nourishes the body. It cultivates the parasympathetic nervous system. It is a process of noticing and bringing attention to things without jumping into action. As a state of being instead of doing, it often brings a sense of expansiveness and ease to the body.
The stress of daily life often calls for alertness as we activate our sympathetic nervous systems and jump in to deal with crisis, solve problems, and move quickly from one thing to another. This is not a sustainable lifestyle, though.
Practicing awareness, mindfulness and restorative movement fosters resiliency and generates vitality, storing deep reserves of energy in our bodies for when we need them. We thrive when we have opportunities to replenish and restore.
Our health is depleted when we are unable to switch off our alert action mode so we can rest. Cultivating awareness to balance our times of alertness helps to raise our life energy and to better handle the stress of daily life.