All human beings act driven by impulse, stimuli and reactions, but surely you will ask yourself: what is behind all this? Who is able to control everything we do? Well, it is a kind of information center, which is called the nervous system . For more details, do not stop reading until the end.
What is the nervous system?
The nervous system is specifically all those structures and organs that handle information in the body , which is made up of cells known as neurons, which have the ability to transmit electrical stimuli through a wide network of nerve endings. Although it is an essential system within the human physiognomy, it is also present in some animals.
Being a device that transmits electrical and chemical energy, it is capable of traveling throughout the body , allowing the coordination of movements and actions. But before this panorama, two types of nervous system are distinguished, as they are: the autonomic and the somatic.
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for actions that are involuntary , while the somatic nervous system is responsible for creating the connection that enters the brain and the extremities of the body.
What are the parts of the nervous system?
The central nervous system
This part of the nervous system is present in the spinal cord and brain , where the latter is made up of: the brain that controls all actions that are voluntary; the cerebellum, responsible for coordinating the body’s movements and reflexes; the medulla oblongata, which oversees the activities of the internal organs; and the spinal cord that joins the brain, extending throughout the body through the spinal column.
The peripheral nervous system
This division of the nervous system unifies all the nerves that are secreted from the central nervous system and are directed throughout the body. It is mainly made up of nerve ganglia and nerves that are grouped as follows:
- Somatic nervous system: 3 types of nerves are present here: those that are sensitive, mixed and motor nerves.
This system is responsible for capturing the information that is sensory , using sensors of the same nature, which are spread throughout the body to subsequently send the information to the central nervous system.
If you want to know more about the peripheral nervous system, we have another article specially dedicated to it.
Autonomic or vegetative nervous system
The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are included . The first is responsible for preparing the body to act in the face of stimuli, activating it automatically for responses. And the second, seeks to maintain the activation of the entire internal state, either by decreasing or increasing its activity.
How does the nervous system work?
The main action is carried out by the brain, where it proceeds to send messages through the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system in order to control the movements that the muscles can make, as well as the functioning of the internal organs.
After that, everything focuses on the work of the neuron , which is nothing more than a cellular structure with a nucleus and specialized extensions. And in case you didn’t know, the brain has more than 100 billion neurons.
This is where neurons communicate with each other; Therefore, upon receiving the message from another neuron in front of the stimulus, an electrical signal is sent throughout the body. The neurotransmitters move and forward other electrical signal.
This signal travels again through the neuron until it becomes a signal of another type, a chemical signal, to reach nearby neurons. Subsequently, the motor neurons carry the message to the brain in order to maintain control of voluntary movements; while sensory neurons capture all the details in relation to sounds, taste, light, pressure and even heat, so they immediately warn the brain.
On the other hand, other involuntary processes that participate in the process are also regulated , such as the release of hormones, in the case of adrenaline , dilation of the eyes before light or regulation in the digestive system .
It should be noted that the brain is intelligently made up of thousands of communicator neurons, which work together to send messages to the body without losing any detail. Without a doubt, it is a kind of computer perfectly designed to stay alert , even when the body is in a state of rest, away from stimuli or simply asleep.
What are the functions of the nervous system?
As we have already been able to analyze, the main job of the nervous system is to create the connection of the centers that process the nerves , such as the brain, the extremities or other internal organs present in the body.
All this also allows muscular activity to be activated, which brings movement as a response, whether voluntary; such as walking or taking a goal, as well as the involuntary one, which is mainly reflected in breathing, heart rate or blood flow.
On the other hand, the nervous system is also responsible for :
- Control the cycle of sleep, hunger and thirst.
- Regulate the natural temperature of the body.
- Control thoughts and emotions.
- Enhance the ability to memorize and learn.
- Monitor movements, balance and coordination.
- Decipher the information perceived through the 5 senses.
- Regularize the pulse and digestive process.
- Examine physical emotional reactions.
Diseases that affect the nervous system
It is the presence of foreign bodies in the brain, which can be bacteria or viruses. This disease must be treated with great care, since any damage to the brain could cause the loss or decrease of basic functions.
It is a congenital disease that occurs due to the excessive activity of some parts of the brain, giving responses to stimuli but in a disorderly way, generating in most cases, seizures and incoordination.
It can be lateral or multiple sclerosis, and it is about several congenital disorders where neurons lose effectiveness in transmitting the information they receive. As a result, a disability in voluntary movements may be noted.
One of the most common diseases in terms of senile dementia , since it affects several areas of the brain that are related to language and memory, causing a gradual but progressive deterioration in cognitive functions; making it increasingly difficult to speak, read or write.
A congenital disease that generates a deficit in the presence of dopamine within the nervous system, which prevents proper coordination of the nerves and involuntarily generates disorderly movements; hand in hand with a sleep disorder, difficulty speaking and eating, as well as depression.
How to take care of the nervous system?
- Healthy and balanced diet
Those fed that have not been processed are those that help regulate the entire nervous system; so more natural will be much better, since it will have all the vitamins, minerals and energy in its maximum capacity.
Some of these foods that you can eat to take care of the nervous system are: legumes, fruits and vegetables, eggs, whole grains such as oats and rice, nuts without salt or oil, geminated seeds, seaweed and mushrooms.
Another recommendation is to avoid sugars, since they alter the natural functions of the nervous system, generating negative symptoms in the body , such as stress , anxiety, depression, panic or despair.
The same can be said of flours, processed sweets, fats, fast food, among others. This means that the healthier and more natural foods are consumed, the better the results. For this, it is essential that the nutritional values of food products can be analyzed to maintain a balanced, healthy and rich diet.
- Specialty Supplements
These supplements can be ingested when the body has not rested well or is going through a strong emotional disorder that prevents the nerves from surfacing properly. These can be taken for a couple of months, then pause and take them again if needed.
Some of these specialized supplements to protect the nervous system can be: beer yeast, pollen, wheat germ, magnesium and spirulina. However, it is advisable to opt for the guidance of a medical specialist to avoid side effects.
- To rest well
It is essential for the body to be given a correct rest, where it can not only sleep but recover all energy. For this, any distracting element that hinders sleep should be avoided, as well as taking into account these recommendations to enjoy a good rest:
- Eat the last meal of the day before 8 pm with light meals.
- Do not consume sugar, coffee, alcohol or carbonated drinks before sleeping.
- Do not eat fruit at night, unless it is apple, pin, pineapple or pear.
- Do a relaxing activity before bed, such as reading, meditation, or body stretching.
- Do not think about concerns or problems that cannot be solved on the spot.
- Go to bed before 10 at night.
Do not forget that sleeping is not the same as resting, so the latter is essential for the human body to really be able to maintain in optimal physical condition and enjoy good energy to perform daily activities.
- Perform exercises
The physical activity is an excellent ally of the nervous system , where you can see positive effects immediately, as the mood improved greatly and the energies of the body are enhanced to the rest more depth.
In this sense, swimming represents one of the most outstanding physical sports for this, since all the systems of the human body are worked , without excluding the nervous system; Since stimuli are constantly sent to the rest of the body to be able to stay afloat on the water and carry out the corresponding movements.
- Enjoy nature
Stress, anxiety and some nervous disorders are the main causes of an impaired nervous system; Therefore, when creating spaces where you can have contact with nature, it is ideal to counteract such effects.
In addition, the colors of nature such as the blue of the sky, the green of the trees and even the reflection of the landscapes on the water, recreate a perfect combination of peace and tranquility, ideal aspects to keep the nervous system in good condition.
- Think positive
It is important to take care of the feelings that originate in our body, since negative feelings such as depression can generate symptoms that weaken the nervous system. Therefore, try to maintain positive and optimistic thoughts.
In addition, be aware of everything that surrounds us, be it an environment, people or external agents such as negative and toxic news. That is, avoid any situation that can cause harm, frustration or depression.
- Avoid substances that are harmful to the body
By consuming cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol in excess or psychotropic substances, the functioning of the nervous system can be greatly weakened ; even causing serious mental illnesses or lethal damage to the brain.
This is due to the fact that these substances and drugs act directly on the nervous system , modifying the natural functioning of the system itself and generating not only the weakening, but also the lethal death of their work in the body to send responses and stimuli.
- Encourage reading time
Reading, as well as the classic memory games, allow the brain and memory to be exercised , which is why it is of great value for the neurons, favoring their cognitive capacity and health in general.
In addition, in the case of memory games, these function as a kind of gym for the brain; creating the positive emphasis of activating the ability to relate elements and remember.
- Learn languages
The simple fact of keeping the brain active before the reminder of words is fundamental and positive to keep the nervous system in optimal capacity. In addition, when talking in the other language learned, the brain will have to work twice as hard to find the words it wants to refer correctly.
On the other hand, vocabulary is greatly expanded, generating a greater capacity to think before speaking and writing, navigating a wide sea of words that may be useful to communicate.
Factors that positively influence the nervous system
- The way you act or face difficulties that arise can keep the nervous system in good condition if you do it correctly without causing stress.
- Enjoying good self-esteem will allow you to achieve what you want and have an excellent opinion about who you are; allowing to solve the problems that arise.
- It is important to develop high-quality moral values such as respect, solidarity, and tolerance, as they help maintain optimal mental health.
- Having a routine of productive and healthy activities allows you to have good habits of positive behavior.
- Establish personal relationships that are of quality, since this tranquility will encourage you to have friends willing to help you in any problem or simply when you need to talk.
Curiosities that you do not know about the nervous system
- Neurons are the cells responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses.
- The main neurotransmitters are norepinephrine, epinephrine, acetylcholine, serotonin , glutamate, and dopamine .
- Humans lose up to 7,000 neurons a day after age 35.
- The caffeine that is present in chocolate and coffee itself are stimulants of the autonomic nervous system.
- The nervous system is responsible for carrying out the proper functioning of processes that we do not fully control, such as heart rate, blood circulation or respiration.
- Drugs act and affect the central nervous system directly, so it is normal to see drug users with changes in thoughts, actions and feelings.
- During the day, the brain can generate considerable electricity to power a 25-volt light bulb.
- The nervous system produces even more activity when the body is in a state of rest at night; that is, while asleep.
- Neurons are cells that do not regenerate, thus being the only ones with this particularity within the human body.
- The brain cannot perceive pain because there are no receptors that can capture such a sensation in that area, but in the case of veins, nerves and tissues around the brain, they can experience pain.
- There are more transmission paths for sending information between neurons than there are stars in the entire universe; in other words, there are more neurons than stars.
- It is not possible to tickle yourself, since the brain communicates that this action is its own stimulus and blocks the sensation.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.