2 Easy Steps to Nervous System Neutral (and why #goodvibesonly isn’t helpful)Mar 04, 2023
Self Regulation is a critical element of Nervous System Neutral.
2 easy strategies to try today:
🌱 The Inner Plant
This is a daily practice to start to develop a positive relationship and cultivate kind self talk. This develops resilience and a tolerance / ability to manage stressful situations.
- Close your eyes
- Imagine a little plant at the absolute center of you (bottom of your tummy). It could be a flower / tree / sprout / shrub - whatever comes to mind.
- Ask the little plant how it’s doing and if it needs anything. I like “Hey buddy, how’s it going? What do you need?”
- Notice if your plant looks healthy / scraggly / dehydrated / etc.
- Send love to your little plant, come back to the present, and open your eyes
😎 4/6 Breathing
An easy way to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to help take the edge off. This is a great strategy to practice when we’re calm, but is also really effective in crisis.
- Breathe in for four counts
- Breathe out for six counts
- Repeat at least 3 times, keep everything moving and fluid
When we self-regulate, and practice developing the skills to self-regulate even under stress, we develop the skills and groundwork for neurological safety.
Nervous System Neutral, or coming to neutral, is the practice of bringing ourselves out of a disregulated state (up or down), and back into calm safety.
There are a few basic steps
- Breathing / Heartbeat Regulation
- Nervous System Dumping
- Creating space for Calm
- Engaging a Calming Strategy
- Coming back to Nervous System Neutral
Try the 🌱 Inner Plant and 😎 4/6 Breathing today - and don’t worry if you don’t feel totally calm right away. Moving from a disregulated state to neutral takes practice. This is especially true if we’re used to being stressed out, hyper vigilant, or have a hard time calming down. Any time we decide to change the pathway that our system is used to, it takes practice. But because of neuroplasticity, we can influence changes within ourselves and develop new skills that with practice become the preferred pathway (reflex). It’s like changing the song of a jukebox stuck on repeat. It takes practice, but it’s nice to be able to choose the music. 🙏
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