Trauma Narratives and Polyvagal Theory

Trauma Narratives and Polyvagal Theory

Our narratives change based on the autonomic nervous system state we are in. We cannot think our way out of a triggered perceived threat response. We need to feel our way out of it to be able to think more aligned with who we want to be or change a narrative.

Consider the narratives you have of yourself when you’re in:

1. Ventral vagal state: Grounded, hopeful, attuned to self and others, engaged.

2. Sympathetic Nervous System: Fight/flight response. Mobilized. Protective of self. Angry. Nervous. Scared. Skeptical.

3. Dorsal Vagal state: Hopeless. Stuck. Dissociated. Helpless. Disempowered.

You’ve heard your story when you’ve shared it. Can you narrate it during the different autonomic states?

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