Welcome to #write28days of Nervous System Regulation! It is day 18 and today’s word is TINY!
How does “tiny” relate to nervous system regulation? Well, regulating a constantly DYSregulated nervous system is best done in baby-steps, and baby-steps are tiny. 🙂
Your nervous system really likes when things stay the same. When things change, it puts itself (and you) on “red alert” – the amount of “alert” will depend on the amount of change, how unexpected it is, and the amount of dysregulation in the nervous system.
So it is a best practice to only change things by a small amount – like as little as 1% or less of change, if you want your body to accept and regulate to this new amount of “whatever.”
For example, if you start a new practice of sitting in silence and observing your body sensations, if you have never done this before, start with one minute, not 15. A few days from now, add another minute, not 10 or 20.
Now, if you are normally quite regulated, this may seem ridiculous. But if you are chronically dysregulated, your body sees everything as a threat. You don’t want your new soothing practices to be misinterpreted as threat just because they are “different.” It truly is best to start off very slow and go up slowly, as hard as that can be sometimes. (Says the person who went from not walking to walking a mile in the freezing cold within a few days and paid for it for over a week, LOL. Learning my lesson here!)
Over time, you will get a sense of the needs of your nervous system. You may be able to go faster, say, with stretching than with eye exercises or visualizations. If you are having a hard day you may need to move back to a smaller practice. Trust your intuition on toning it down for the day.
Size matters, and tiny is the name of the game here. 🙂