#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 28 – Stewardship

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 28 – Stewardship

We did it! It is Day 28 of #write28days of Nervous System Regulation and this is the last day. Patting myself on the back for writing 28 blog posts in a row, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. If you blog you might enjoy doing this next year – it was a lot of work but I met some wonderful people and learned a lot about myself and blogging.

So today’s topic is “stewardship.”

I believe as a Christian that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It has only hit me lately what a big deal this is. As a temple of the Most High God, I should be very careful with my body, soul, and spirit. I should be a good steward.

Part of this is taking good care of my nervous system, trying to heal what has been damaged and taking care to not hurt it again, like I have been writing about all month.

I think fellow HSP moms like me also often feel selfish when we stop and say, “Hey, wait, I matter too.” Our kids needs alone can be all encompassing, and then there is the rest of the world clamoring at our door. But the thing is, if we are good stewards of our inner resources and heal ourselves, we might then have energy we never thought possible! In the end we will be MORE generous if we have boundaries and don’t give too much of what we don’t have.

This year I used Jen Fulwiler’s Word of the Year Generator to pick a word to focus me for the year. I often pick more than one word and see what kind of “story” it gives me. This year, my words were “generosity,” “see,” and “grounded.”

I really think that was perfect. I don’t want to lose my heart for GENEROSITY despite needing to focus intensely on myself in my illness and healing.

SEE reminds me that there is a reality out there – that I am a finite creature with real weaknesses, that God loves me, that I have a dignity the same as other people, that I have true physical and emotional needs and it is OK to meet them. I am not a good steward if I continually grind myself into the ground. There is a healthy tired, and a completely burnt out tired and deep down I think we all know the difference.

And GROUNDED makes me think of moderation – not living too much in deficiency of the virtue of generosity, nor in excess. Right down the middle, where peace lives.

Thank you all for joining me on this #write28days journey! I am both glad it’s over (it was intense!) and will miss it!

I hope to continue to write about the nervous system, healing from trauma, and related topics. There are so many fascinating things to talk about. Please let me know if you have any topic requests in the comments!

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 27 – Favorite

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 27 – Favorite

Welcome to day 27 of #write28days! We are almost there! Today’s topic word is “favorite” and I thought I would share my favorite Instagram accounts related to nervous system regulation, trauma recovery, and brain retraining.

I have learned so much from the free resources and discussion that generous practitioners share on Instagram. Here are a few of my favorite accounts:









There are so many more! But I tried to control myself. 🙂 Do you have a favorite Instagram account on these related topics? I’d love to hear about it!

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 26 – Threat

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 26 – Threat

Welcome to day 26 of #write28days! If you are just joining in, you can find a full list of what has been written by me so far here. Each day of February we are writing on a topic, guided by a list of topic words chosen by the organizer. Today’s topic word is threat, which lends itself very well to the topic of nervous system regulation!

The nervous system responds to threat in one or a combination of the following ways, some of which you have probably heard of, and some which might be new to you:

Fight – your sympathetic nervous system activates and pushes out adrenaline so you can fight the threat. This doesn’t necessarily mean punching/kicking, it can also be staying and fighting with words, and feeling high anger.

Flight – also from the sympathetic nervous system, this is used when you don’t think you can fight, and so either flee the space, or if not, feel very fidgety and trapped, kind of like a “pre-flight”.

Freeze – Freezing is organized primarily by a different part of the nervous system, the dorsal vagus nerve and a spike in the parasympathetic nervous system activation. This is when you feel threatened but feel frozen in place and cannot act. You might collapse, or feel heavy, dissociated, or unable to access words or emotions.

Fawn – used when the first three aren’t available to you for whatever reason. Often is common in people raised in toxic homes. Fawning is trying to over-give your way into safety – trying to be overly helpful, over-agreeable, doing whatever it takes to keep your “attacker” happy so that they don’t hurt you physically or psychologically.

and I’ve also heard of other “F’s” like flag and flop included in the above, but these four are pretty universally accepted now.

I found this helpful chart on a Facebook post that explains them side by side:

If you have had a long period in your life where you needed to use the above techniques, you may find that you are “stuck” in one or more of them.

This is when brain retraining practices, like I have been describing in other posts, become helpful.

You’ll never avoid threats completely in your life, but with conscious practices you can train your nervous system that you are OK, and it will return to a healthy baseline instead of getting stuck in fight, flight, freeze, or fawn.

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 25 – Problem

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 25 – Problem

Welcome dear ones to #write28days of Nervous System Regulation! Today’s focus is the word “problem.” We all have enough problems, don’t we?

Well let’s turn it around a little bit.

First, YOU are not a problem, no matter what anyone in your life might have inferred. You are a MIRACLE and a blessed soul.

I’m the last person to espouse toxic positivity (e.g. blowing off someone’s issues by telling them to look on the bright side) but at the same time, we can’t let our problems get the better of us, or we become unable to function.

I’ve read that it’s the resistance to our problems that causes the stress, and while I’m not sure that is 100% true (or the only issue), I do know that it does contribute.

One of the techniques I’ve learned is a kind of “awareness and acceptance” of my current problem, and mental or physical state.

Let me try to walk you through it a little bit. My exact technique changes depending on my location, mood, and energy, but I’m learning perfection isn’t necessary, the attempt is enough.

When I notice I’m feeling anxious or having an increase in symptoms, I stop, breathe slowly a few times, and tell myself, “not helpful!” or “stop” or “pivot!” to the story that is usually swirling around in my brain about my anxiety or symptoms. You know, things like, “I can’t do this,” or “Oh no I’m dizzy again I must be getting worse!” or “Everyone hates me guess I’ll eat some worms.” 😉

I’m not saying “stop” to the actual bodily feelings, just the mental story associated with those feelings.

Then, as you are experiencing the symptoms or difficult emotions, breathe slowly and deeply and say a few times, “I am here” or “I am here now in this,” or “I’m feeling _________ and I’m here for it!” After this you are supposed to do a visualization practice to raise your emotions to good ones, but I am still pretty bad at doing this, so won’t include it here. 🙂 I find just the first two parts of it – the awareness that I’m struggling and then being accepting and calm about it is helpful in itself.

Here’s how it worked for me a few weeks ago when I tried to go shopping for something at the supermarket. I have a supersensitive nervous system right now so this isn’t an easy task — with the noise, bustle, smells, and bright lights of the store — but I needed something and I wanted to see if I could do it. So I did OK for a few minutes but soon felt more dizzy, strange, and overwhelmed. I slowed down, breathed more slowly, and said, “Pivot! Not helpful!” in my head. “Nervous system, we are OK, this is a supermarket not a war zone.” I continued to breathe, and said in my head, “I am (breathe) here now (breathe) in this.”

Then I noticed I was still anxious so I decided to remind my body that anxiety and excitement are exactly the same thing, just the story you are telling yourself changes. So I said to myself, “I’m here in the supermarket buying something! This is awesome! I never get out! Look at all these cool snacks here in this aisle! I’ve never seen these cookies before! I am dizzy here in this great supermarket, and I’m here for it! I’m going to experience it and experience it well!”

Long story not short enough, I made it through. I continued to be a bit dizzy and overwhelmed but it did not devolve into a situation I couldn’t handle.

Do you have anything you do or tell yourself when you are in a moment of struggle? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 24: Savor

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 24: Savor

Welcome to #write28days! My topic is Nervous System Regulation, and today’s focus word in the community is “saver.” I really didn’t know what to do with that one. So I pivoted just a bit, and I’m going with SAVOR. Savor is a big deal in nervous system regulation.

Verywellmind.com defines “savoring the moment” as –

In psychology, savoring the moment refers to intentionally focusing your attention on the positive aspects of an experience. When you do this, you notice the sensations, perceptions, emotions, actions, and thoughts that are linked to a particular moment, event, or experience.

One of my favorite regulating practices that I learned in Primal Trust is about savoring. You sit quietly for a few moments and take a few calming breaths. Then you let you gaze slowly move to the right, and find anything within your vision that interests you at all. Then look at that thing with fascination, like you have never seen it before. It may take a little bit of fake it till you make it, but eventually you will hopefully feel a soft or warm or excited feeling rise in you as you contemplate the doorknob that was the only thing to your right. 😉 Gaze on it for a few moments, then gently and slowly move your gaze towards the left, and do the same thing – find something in your gaze that stands out to you in whatever way and contemplate it with love, or interest, or excitement. The exact items or feelings don’t matter, it is the “elevation” of emotion from nothing to a positive emotion that matters. Do this for a few minutes, going gently back and forth across your space.

I like this regulation practice because it doesn’t rely on imagining a scene or a memory, which I am horrible at right now. I can just sit in my room and go, “Wow! Look at the texture on that blanket! Wow! Look at that dust bunny!” LOL

If you give this a try, let me know what you think!

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 23 – Common

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 23 – Common

Welcome to day 23 of #write28days of Nervous System Regulation! Today we are talking about the word “common.” As in, the need for work on your nervous system regulation is a common thing!

Everyone has problems.

You can read or say that in one of two ways. Either “Everyone has problems, you’re nothing special, stop whining,” or “Everyone struggles with something, you are in good company, you are not alone in your suffering.”

How did you read that? Do you read it one way with others and another with yourself? I know many people who are super compassionate when it comes to other people’s problems, but then tell themselves to just suck it up and stop complaining the moment they start struggling.

It is important to your sense of felt safety that you have compassion on yourself as well as others. Because trouble is common to mankind, if you only give it to others, you will never have the time and space to fill yourself up – there will always be someone out there “worse off” than you to spend yourself on.

Your nervous system health is of utmost importance to both your physical and mental health. Don’t let it slip out of priority status.

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 22: Danger

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 22: Danger

Welcome to day 22 of #write28days! It is good to have you here. Today’s focus word in the #write28days community is “danger.” I am going to discuss something I recently learned about: the Cell Danger Response.

The Cell Danger Response (CDR) is a universal cellular response to danger that happens in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are in every cell and they help create energy for your bodily processes to run. When they sense any “danger” in the form of genetic changes, toxins, stress, inflammation, behavior, memory, and more, there are chemical changes that take place in the mitochondria. These changes can do things such as alter gene expression, alter the rate of aging, signal the body to create a healing response, and change the body’s susceptibility to chronic illness.

When the Cell Danger Response is triggered, the cell is “told” to prioritize survival. It is responsible for many changes that all people feel in some way when under stress (whether physical or mental): troubled sleep, head, muscle and abdominal aches, changes in the microbiome, increased sensitivity, and more.

The trigger might not even be a real danger in some way. For example, say when you were young you heard your parents have a frightening fight while you were eating something new for the first time. Your nervous system can confuse the signals of the fight with the signals from the new food, and tell your body there is danger around every time you eat the new food, even though the food itself isn’t really the problem, it’s the cross wiring.

At a cellular level, the CDR isn’t turned off until the cell receives the final “all clear” signal. Until that happens, we remain in a loop that blocks further healing in an attempt to deal with the perceived danger. This can lead to chronic illness and other forms of long term suffering. Only when a cell perceives safety can it heal completely.

As the cell goes, so goes the whole body – only when we perceive we are in safety, can we heal completely. And trauma, especially childhood trauma, tends to create a perpetual subconscious feeling of danger. Try to lessen your exposures to toxins as best you can, but don’t forget the toxic burden of your conscious and unconscious perceptions of your world. This is why I feel brain retraining is so important, especially these days.

For a more complete article on this topic, see Perspective: Cell danger response Biology—The new science that connects environmental health with mitochondria and the rising tide of chronic illness from the journal Mitochondrion. (Warning, it’s kind of depressing.)

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 21 – Adore

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 21 – Adore

Welcome to #write28days of nervous system regulation! Today is day 21 and I can’t believe we are three weeks in! 3/4 of the way done and only 7 more days to go. Today’s focus word is “adore”

When I think of the word adore, the first thing I think of is God. Today we use the word for such lesser things – “Oh, I adore those shoes!” LOL – but I think it’s true deep meaning is only appropriate when applied to God.

In fact, the 2nd definition of “adore” in the Oxford dictionary is “worship, venerate”.

Here is my thought process on how this applies to nervous system regulation. When we adore, worship, venerate God, we (should, hopefully, eventually) see Him as he truly is – our loving protector.

We can have a deep soul rest when we understand fully that our loving God is in control.

When we rest fully, we heal and feel safter. Felt safety is the key to nervous system regulation.

My two favorite passages on this –

All of Psalm 91 which starts:

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,[b]
    who abide in the shade of the Almighty,
Say to the Lord, “My refuge and fortress,
    my God in whom I trust.”

And Psalm 23, especially –

He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.


Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
    my cup overflows.

These bring up such a feeling in me of God as the perfect loving Father, and I look up to him in adoration as his sweet little girl.

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 20 – Changes

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation: Day 20 – Changes

Welcome to #write28days of Nervous System Regulation. I can’t believe it is day 20 already! Today’s focus word is “changes,” and boy did applying regulating practices require a lot of changes from me!

In the past few months I have learned to:

  • change my inner talk
  • change my speed of doing things
  • change my way of breathing
  • change my willingness to move my body
  • change what it even means to inhabit my body
  • change my way of accessing my emotions
  • change my idea of self-care

I am also changing my idea of fixing myself – I am not broken, nor a “project” to be fixed. I am a person with a life to create. I need to choose my activities and thoughts according to my deeply held values. In essence this is creating a life by my minute to minute actions, not “fixing” something that is broken about me.

Have you made any changes lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation – Day 19: Favorite YouTube Channels

#write28days of Nervous System Regulation – Day 19: Favorite YouTube Channels

Welcome back to #write28days of Nervous System Regulation! Today’s focus word in the #write28days community was lottery. I didn’t know how to work that into brain retraining, so today I’m going to share my favorite YouTube channels that talk about retraining, nervous system regulation, or share helpful things like visualization videos.

The first is from Paster Tim Fletcher. Particularly the series that starts with the video I’ll link below called Complex Trauma . I have never felt so seen in my trauma as in this series.

This similar series below was also very good, as is most of his other abundant content. He often speaks for awhile in each video on the psychological aspects, then takes a break and says anyone that wants to stick around for the Christian content can do so, and thanks others for listening this far.

The second is a favorite for visualization help called Guided Meditations Neural Retraining Visualizations. Below is one of my favorite of her visualizations. She basically talks you through a fun or beautiful experience and you imagine it along with her.

Irene Lyon’s channel is another favorite – she teaches people how to work with the nervous system to transform trauma, heal body and mind. Below is a video on the basics of Nervous System Regulation.

The next two channels I’m going to share are for movement practices. I find calm and slow movement essential to my healing practices. The first is a trauma informed yoga channel by Hannah Uiri. She is so calm and gentle and gives alternatives for her movements if they are too triggering or difficult. Below is a favorite of mine.

The second is a channel called Qi Gong for Vitality. Like I said on some other post, I don’t always believe in all the things people say in the videos I watch, but I just don’t participate in that part or I replace with my own worship or prayer during the movement.

Well that is probably enough for today! Do you have any favorite channels on these topics? I’d love to learn about them!

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