There is a close relationship between the state of our nervous system and our state of mind.
When our nervous system feels unsafe, our brain automatically becomes more anxious as the fear centre of the brain (amygdala) takes over.
When we’re stressed our thoughts are automatically more negative, impulsive and focused on worst-case scenarios.
Trying to stop negative or anxious thoughts with positive thinking doesn’t work.
Telling ourselves to calm down doesn’t work.
Telling ourselves to get over it or let it go won’t work unless our nervous system feels safe.
Nervous system safety is the foundation of mental wellness.
Regulating our nervous system brings our mind into a more neutral state, and it’s only when our mind is neutral that the cognitive work is effective.
Cognitive work is limited when our brain is in survival mode.
Working with the nervous system to create safety is about
– identifying our resources
– knowing our own stress cues
– orienting ourselves to our senses
– present moment awareness.
The sooner we take action after feeling triggered or activated, the less anxiety we will experience.
Nervous system regulation teaches us that we don’t have to fall into negative spirals and anxious thought patterns.
Learning to feel safe is the key.
This is what we teach in Yoga Alchemy.