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What is Nervous System Dysregulation and How Might it be Affecting me?

What happens when our nervous systems become dysregulated?

As human beings we are constantly experiencing changes in our physical bodies, through the way that we experience the world. These changes are attributed to many things, including our mood changes and internal narrative

through our perceptions of present and past experiences. Some of these changes and sensations are conscious and some are unconscious. Often what lies at the root of experiences such as feelings of panic and anxiety, downward thought spirals, catastrophizing and reactive and erratic behaviour, can be a dysregulated nervous system.

So what is a dysregulated nervous system?

Usually, a dysregulated nervous system lies in unresolved stress responses from the past that have been triggered by external elements in the present. These stress responses can lead to thought patterns and subsequent behaviour that are inappropriate or disproportionate to the event in the present that has triggered them.

Due to the fact that the way in which we as humans are living our lives being the most fast paced, busy and stress inducing that it has ever been, mental illness and mental health imbalances are at an all-time high, resulting in a lot more emotional dysregulation, which fuels a cycle of nervous system dysregulation.

In the UK for example , over 8 million people are experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time due to (Mental Health UK). A huge percentage of people with anxiety or other related mental health issues are not receiving the holistic knowledge nor the support they need to get a proper understanding of why they are experiencing anxiety, what the root causes and triggers might be, and coping strategies for navigating their daily lives.

Can a dysregulated nervous system lead to anxiety?

When we are spending lots of time feeling dysregulated (this could present as emotions like anxiety, depression, anger or even a sense of general unease or underlying fear) our nervous system is flooded with stress hormones. When the body and mind are subjected to quantities of stress chemicals for longer periods of time, even in smaller amounts, physical symptoms can take over to try to support the perceived ‘stress’ or ‘threat’ interpreted by the body. This can lead to prolonged feelings of anxiety and fear and can lead to longer term mental health issues such as depression, insomnia, poor attention, feeling ‘spaced out’ or dissociated, anxiety disorders and many more.

How to become aware of possible nervous system dysregulation….

- Notice when your thoughts become erratic or you start catastrophizing situations

- Become aware of physical symptoms such as your heart rate increasing, sweaty palms,

erratic or shallow breathing.

- Notice feelings of confusion/dissociation or feeling scattered.

- Bring awareness to reactive communication or actions towards yourself and others.

How to support yourself in times of dissociation…

A healthy life style can help create a solid foundation of supporting yourself if dysregulation does take place and to create a better enviornment for remaining more regulated. This includes:

- Getting enough and the right type of sleep.

- Eating healthily.

- Doing exercise which you enjoy.

- Socialising with those you love and maintaining healthy friendships and relationships.

- Connecting to nature and being outside.

- Working through the body and its physiology, rather than purely on a cognitive level.

Contact me to find out more and to book in for your free initial consulation to find out how hypnotherapy could support you:

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