Interrupt your Fight/Flight
Our Autonomic Nervous system consists of our sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze/fright/Flag/Faint response) and parasympathetic nervous system (in charge of conserving energy, relaxing our bodies, slowing our heart rates).
When we’re going through our day feeling triggered, on hyper-alert, and regularly reactionary- you’re functioning most of your day in perceived threat and in threat response. We’re operating behind our window of tolerance—and the smaller things might even be setting us off.
Our bodies and spirits suffer when we are spending most of our days in an uninterrupted state of heightened alert, anticipating retaliation, judgment, rejection, loss,or punishment. We don’t give ourselves space or time in our parasympathetic nervous system- where we are grounded, at peace, conserving energy. It makes so much sense why we exhaust ourselves, even when we feel that we have done nothing significant in our days, because we have spent so much of our day afraid, anxious, mobilized-ready to respond to perceived threats.
Part of healing CPTSD is beginning to actively and consciously interrupt our ANS/ SNS with practices that help us self regulate to engage the parasympathetic nervous system. We mostly do this by engaging our senses, body scanning and paying attention to any muscle constriction in our bodies, intentionally re-introducing breath into our bodies to begin slowing our heart rate, sending a signal to our brain that we are safe.
1. 3:2:1 = 3 things you can see, 2 things you can hear, 1 thing you can smell. This can also be done through visualization, or replacing senses with touch—for anyone with disabilities.
2. Breath work is imperative. Take slow deep breaths.
3. Body scanning.
It’s a work in progress!
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