Why we need to Calm Down to Wake Up – the Nervousness/Awareness link

Nervousness has been described as the disease of our civilization. (By Paramahansa Yogananda in case you’re interested. In his rather thought-provoking book, Journey to Self-Realization). 

Take a look around and you’ll see the great Yogi is right. 

A lot of us are totally wired. And not necessarily on drugs and alcohol. 

Most of us are walking talking bundles of live wires and frayed nerves Click To Tweet

We are high strung on excessive chat through electronic devices, and on out of control roller-coaster emotions. We do not associate that stuff with a state of nervousness. But the type of nervousness I am talking about here isn’t to do with feeling shy: it is feeling restless and over-excited. 


Almost everyone I come across nowadays exhibits signs of a frailed and frazzled nervous system. We are like a bundle of loose wires, needing regularly charging up with caffeine and Facebook. It would be funny if it wasn’t. 

The reason it is not funny is because the health of the nervous system is probably the most significant determining factor of our experience of life.

When we live in a way that is damaging to our nerves, then we are steadily losing the plot. 

This post is designed to shed a little light on the critical role your nervous system plays.

It goes on to highlight a few ways you can start to reverse the damage done to your nerves – and grow your grip on reality in the process. 

How the nervous system works 


This is probably the worst biology lesson you’ll ever receive. But here goes:

The central nervous system is located in the brain, medulla, and spinal cord. Out of here your peripheral nervous system connects the nerve centers to specific organs. 

When the health of the central nerves are compromised owing to poor lifestyle choices, the nerves in all of our organs are affected as a result. 

The nervous system functions to enliven (or weaken) all parts of the body, including the perceptive, cognitive and responsive functions of all five senses.

Lesson over. What does this actually translate as?

Link between the health of our nerves and state of awareness


The nervous system has two broad duties. 

First, the nerves allow us to interact with the world. Second, the nerves are what connect us with ourselves. 

If you’ve ever done yoga or meditation, you’ll know that the life force energy which ordinarily flows outwards from the brain and spine through the nerves is reversed. It is directed inwards. Through that process, we are drawing consciousness to the subtle spiritual cerebrospinal centers. 

The nervous system is responsible for outward perception and inner perception Click To Tweet

When we shut down external nervous stimulus – for example through meditation – we are retiring life force energy from the senses to the cerebrospinal. This is said to be how we access a higher state (a state of awareness beyond our thinking minds and other ‘local’ concerns). 

Overstimulation of the nerves ties consciousness to the body. We cannot liberate ourselves from our thoughts and stress when we are that way. 

The important thing to takeaway from that is just that you cannot expect to experience wellbeing without providing your nerves with plenty of rest and general adequate support.

They are either your allies on your journey to self awareness and freedom, or your most potent enemies. 

Reducing nervousness

So how do we restore the health of our nerves?

Here is what Paramahansa suggests:

step 1: Examine yourself


According to Paramahansa, nervous diseases stem from an over-excitation of the mind. This can happen for any number of reasons. 

Anger and fear, for example, can overload the nerves and cause our bodies to malfunction – at times even stopping the heart and causing death. 

Assess the state of your nerves by becoming aware of how calm you feel on average during your day. This is the first step. 

step 2: Stop doing the habits that are disastrous for nerves


So you know that taking a table load of drugs is going to make your nerves unhappy. 

Are there any seemingly innocuous habits that create a lot of nervousness?


Talking for long periods on the phone

How do you feel after you have spent all day on the phone? Does that make you feel relaxed?

Chattering for long periods on the phone is a nerve damaging exercise Click To Tweet

A lot of us are on a level already aware that being on the phone all day is stressful. 

Habitual tapping or fidgeting

Also biting nails…crushing icecubes with your teeth. Chewing gum. 

Excessive city noise and noise of radio and TV

This is a big one that I personally am struggling a lot with right now having just moved back to a hectic city with very loud traffic noise. 

Our nerves also hate noise. Studies have shown humans live longer in quieter environments Click To Tweet

All sounds cause the nerves to react. One study has shown that humans that are not constantly bombarded with noise live longer lives.

Slagging people off and poor emotions mastery


Bad mouthing people is another major cause of nervousness.

When we misuse speech in this way it injures us, says Paramahansa (and we know it’s true).

Also, through arguing and other forms of verbal misdemeanor we generate fear, anger and jealousy. These emotions are devastating to our nervous systems.

Just don’t be a human skunk. And whilst you are at it, avoid other human skunks. 

Try to remember that anything which overrules your self control emotions wise, leads to nervous system distress. 

Giving into desires and attachments

By the time we have acquired the things we crave, we are worn out.

In truth, the more unnecessary necessities we have, the less peace we enjoy. We are possessed by the possessions. This is materialistic nervousness. 

Learning to live simply is an exercise in nerve health Click To Tweet

That is why developing an ability to live simply is an exercise in caring for our nerves. 

Bad dietary choices

Some foods are hyper-stimulating, and therefore no good for an already charged up nervous system. Such foods include red meat and refined foods. It is all the obvious stuff really.

Good foods for your nerves are green leaves and berries – most fruits in general. Another good practice is to have ice baths. 


This one’s an increasing fascination of my own!

Paramahansa says color is important in our lives. More important than we give it credit for. The point is, apparently we are affected by color because colors are manifestations of specific vibrations. You know how if you’re a guy and a woman turns up to your date dressed in red, that sets a certain mood? It’s like that.

We should always attempt to wear and surround ourselves with colors that are harmonious to our natures. You have to figure out what colors that you gravitate towards and make you feel good to wear. 

Paramahansa suggests that, for our nervous systems, we should all  include gold, blue and white on the rote. Those colors are said to be the most beneficial. 



This has been a really noddy guide to the impact of your nervous system on your life. Hopefully some of you are a little the wiser for it though.

These ‘insignificant’ habits of ours are disastrous, and we don’t give them credit for that. Spending days on end surgically attached to your phone is eroding the health of the thing that governs your perception. Give it a break.

Restore the health of your nervous system by adopting Paramahansa’s wise suggestions.