Science confirms that our mind and body are brilliant systems organized around a primary vocation: to ensure our survival. This self-protection is experienced through the autonomic nervous system which includes the fight/flight/freeze response. The problem arises when the stress reaction is maintained over time and when our nervous system is unable to self-regulate (return to a state of homeostasis via the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in its ventral branch). When we don’t shake, cry, express our anger, feel pain, grieve, feel sadness, and all the other emotions associated with an overwhelming event – that inability to connect with our bodies and feel our emotions literally make us sick.
CHRONIC STRESS, THE BURDEN OF WESTERN SOCIETY:
Living in a world with constant 24/7 demands, deadlines and overstimulation means constant activation of the sympathetic nervous system (the system responsible for the stress response). Eventually, what is technically stressful and could be perceived as a minor threat to overall system security becomes the norm.
When we live on chronic survival mode, we become unable to regulate our autonomic nervous system:
What generally happens in our Western culture is a failure to come out of these stressful states. In other words, we fail to bring the nervous system back into harmony and release the energy from this survival response. Like animals that naturally release stress, not neurogenic tremors.
Self-regulation of the nervous system is not done with words:
Have you ever managed to rationalize a person having a panic attack; no, you haven’t. Our body needs more than words to regulate itself (to feel safe and present). This means we have to feel what’s going on in our body, we can’t just rationalize or talk. 80% of nerve fibers send information from the body to the brain, and only 20% from the brain to the body. If 80% of the messages come from our body, then we need to start caring about what’s going on in it to change our experience and feel safe/present.
HOW TO KEEP US SAFE
The process of detecting threats is called neuroception. Its job is to constantly scan the surrounding danger. The threat detector (along with other brain functions) communicates danger to the body via your autonomic nervous system.
The threat detector says: “I detect a danger!” To which your ANS replies, “No problem my friend, I’m here to protect you!”, where it comes to our aid in the form of either fight/flight/freeze and then we start to feel things like anxiety , frustration, fear, anger, agitation, despair, numbness, depression, dissociation, etc…
Rest assured, there are tools and resources that help activate our parasympathetic system to get out of the survival mode and live mindfully and fulfilled.
EXAMPLES OF RESOURCES:
- Meditation (only if you are able and stay present and don’t disassociate)
- Gentle breathwork (not holotropic breathwork, as this can send you into a state of stress)
- Gentle physical exercise: swimming, walking
- Tapping (without mantras, to remain present to the experience and feel the sensations)
- Soft self-touch (self-hug, hand on heart, face)
- Being in nature (hiking, swimming, gardening)
- Spending time with animals/children
- Co-regulating gentle touch (hugs, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder with someone whose nervous system is self-regulating).
If you need help to regulate your nervous system, get out of survival and live in the present moment, you can call on my coaching. I will accompany you to integrate the tools that resonate with you in a gentle and lasting way, you will succeed in having new lifestyle habits that support your physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Book your discovery call for my support programs quickly by clicking on this link: