Some call it “Safe and Social” … Others call it “Calm and Connected” … Whatever we call it, it refers to the "regulated" state we are in when our autonomic nervous system senses safety, and our ventral vagal nerve complex, which helps us to engage socially with other people, is “switched on”. As you can … Continue reading The “safe” ventral vagal dominant state
I first came across Non-Violent Communication (NVC) in Marshall Rosenberg’s book that my then partner had picked up at the book shop. We were needing some support with our communication, and this one jumped out at him for some reason. Needless to say, it was too late for us. I kept the book when we … Continue reading It’s not (just) what we say, it’s how we say it (which is all about the nervous system)
For anyone who'd like to understand a bit more about their autonomic nervous system and stress responses, I created this little graphic. Our nervous system is constantly scanning the environment for signs of safety and danger, with the aim of setting responses in motion to keep us safe (alive!). 🥰 When we are sensing safety, we … Continue reading A graphic to illustrate autonomic nervous system functioning
I remember, as a sleep-deprived single mother of a poorly sleeping baby, being told by a professional: “If only you weren’t so anxious, your baby would be sleeping better”. In a way, she was right. But at the time, those words were like a slap in the face. Having trained in clinical psychology, I knew … Continue reading Compassionate nervous system support for mums!
Did you know that the state of our autonomic nervous system is “self-reinforcing”. 🟢 This means that, if our nervous system is sensing safety, and our "social engagement" system is dominant, then we will continue to perceive more safety cues, keeping us in a “Safe & Social” state. 🔴 But, if our nervous system is … Continue reading Why it’s easy for our nervous system to get “stuck” in an unsafe state
You might have heard that kids “co-regulate” off the adults in their lives. But what does it mean? And why is it so important? Our children’s nervous system is wired to automatically pick up on the body language, tone of voice, and facial expression, that accompany our autonomic states, and to detect whether the environment … Continue reading What is co-regulation?
Have you noticed that, if we are in a state of Fight or Flight, rushing around feeling, looking and sounding stressed, then our children often start feeling and acting agitated too? And if, in our activated state, we glare at them or speak in a harsher voice to them, they may go into Fight or … Continue reading Our autonomic states are “contagious”