On July 4th, we celebrated freedoms we have realized and those we have yet to realize in our country. And of course, our newfound freedom from the pandemic world. We are literally sensing all the time. Am I safe or not safe? Not safe or safe? Masks have come off and we are all celebrating freedom this July, but do we feel free yet from this past year?
Free of Worry. Concern. Fear. Change.
Is it safe to go to a food store without a mask on? What will the future look like? Safe/not safe? Not safe/safe?
You get the picture.
Nervous systems are so interesting, aren’t they? They are so complex and influenced by so many factors. There is a lot of information about the nervous system these days. It’s really helpful to pay some attention to all of it so you can best support yourself.
You might know the “F” words, fight, flight, freeze, and fawn.
Understanding a bit about their general functions and the ways they work can also help us discover ways our nervous systems may be stuck in unhelpful patterns.
The sympathetic system is responsible for fight and flight. When we feel threatened, our physiology supports physical movement until we are out of harm's way. We often feel anger or fear, rage, and terror when it’s intense, along with some action to complete our self-protective, defensive response. The system is designed to get us moving and quick! It is designed to mobilize us.
For those of us who feel unable to slow down, or tend to keep ourselves busy, it may be that this is the state that our bodies feel most comfortable in. If we aren’t or weren’t able to mobilize a defensive response - we may get stuck in the "on” position and could have racing thoughts, or feel worried, panicked, angry, fearful, or anxious.
Our sympathetic nervous system is also responsible for helping us power through a workout or playtime with our pets or kids. On a lower level, it enables us to move our arms and legs quickly if we drop something.
For some of us with trauma, even “play'' can feel scary in our bodies, and we may even avoid engaging our sympathetic nervous system in order to feel safer.
Ideally, after we have been engaging in this branch of the nervous system and we are out of harm's way, we will return to a state of rest or relaxed alertness.
It is helpful to remember that nervous systems are FLUID. Great news! Our nervous systems can indeed change in different environments, around different people, and in different relationships. Our nervous systems heal.
If you’re feeling stuck and your nervous system needs some nourishment, there will be a new schedule + special nervous system nourishing workshops, group meditation times, and more offerings in August and September that will offer your response system time to heal, release, recover, and renew. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter (you can sign up below) to get updates on new classes and offerings.
See you on your mat and cushion!
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