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Nervous System Regulation


Why is this the most powerful way to recover from trauma?

What is nervous system regulation?

 

Nervous System Regulation is the process of noticing a trigger or trauma response and being able to calm yourself down.  This skill is so developmentally important and it begins developing in infancy.  

Imagine what happens when a child is having a melt down.  Their little nervous systems are screaming that they are overwhelmed and they've temporarily lost the ability to be calm. 

What do the adults do in that space? Hopefully, they get on the child's level, use a calming voice, and help the child feel calm again through a number of tactics. This is co-regulation and it's how we learn how to regulate ourselves. 

 

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Nervous System Dysregulation is really common in trauma survivors.  

Nervous System Dysregulation Symptoms:

One of the tricky things that happens in the aftermath of trauma is that sometimes our nervous system gets *stuck* in a trauma response. 

We might be able to get back to safety but our bodies and brains continue yelling at us that we have to continue protecting ourselves at all cost and this causes two big problems. 

Amped Up and Stressed Out Responses:

Some trauma survivors might find themselves stressed out and panicky in the aftermath of trauma.  You want to move on with your life but you are finding yourself struggling to know how to feel calm again. 

Shut Down and Dissociated Responses:

Some trauma survivors might find themselves totally shut down and foggy for years in the aftermath of trauma.  They want to be present but they have no idea how to wrangle their brain and bodies into feeling safe to stay present. 

Mixed Responses: 

It's really common for trauma survivors to have a mix of these two responses.  The might spend some of their time amped up and stressed out but then they collapse into a dissociated, foggy place in order to survive the stress they have just endured. 

What Can Be Done About Trauma Responses? 

A lot, actually.  You need to understand how your nervous system works, how your body and brain are trying to keep you safe and then skills to work alongside your physical experience in order to get calm and regulated again. In my 15 years of clinical practice, this is where all of my patients begin their recovery work: getting regulated again. 

Learn More About Getting Regulated

Now what?

Do these symptoms resonate with you? 


 

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I teach you all of these things in our incredible Regulated: Nervous System Mastery  course.  Our waitlist is open now and you can join us here. 

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