The role of our nervous system is to ensure we survive. If we are under attack, it prepares us to move quickly, and if we are safe, it ensures other bodily functions such as digestion continue.
Our parasympathetic nervous system will allow us to rest and digest.
Our sympathetic nervous system will help us if we need to fight or flight.
Our dorsal vagus will help if we need to freeze.
Our ventral vagus will help if we need to connect with others.
We are continually subconsciously ‘reading’ our environment with our nervous system to assess it’s safety. Dr Stephen Porges calls this ‘neuroception’. It then adjusts our behaviour to keep us safe.
We will respond appropriately to the environment, including our thoughts and feeling if our nervous system is well regulated. When there is a threat, we will respond to the danger, and then our nervous system will return to homeostasis.
If our nervous system is dysregulated, it will respond to things in the present based on experiences in the past and keep us in a state of stress, leading to physical, mental and emotional symptoms.
When the nervous system is dysregulated, once activated, the nervous system gets stuck in the threat response, and you experience physiological and biochemical reactions, even when it is now safe.
See my previous post on how to regulate your nervous system. If these are useful, please share!
Love on your healing journey, Jen
Mind Health, (2021). https://www.mindhealth360.com/contributor/nervous-system-dysregulation/