A polyvagal approach to therapy works to strengthen the responsiveness of the vagus nerve, which improves what we call 'vagal tone'. Better 'vagal tone' reduces stress and reactivity whilst also having a number of physical health benefits. If you are the type of person that likes to understand the science behind the theory, you might like to take a look at this BBC Sounds Podcast.
How to break the cycle of anxiety. I really like this video, especially in the context of the COVID situation. For nearly a year now, we have been urged to stay at home, and for good reason. During this time we have experienced a prolonged period of what I call socially enforced avoidance’. So it stands to reason then, that the prospect of reintegrating ourselves back into ‘everyday life’ might trigger a certain amount of anxiety. To an extent at least, our logical thinking brain knows that the risks are low, dependent on our situation of course. Whilst on the other hand our nervous system continues to identify cues of danger, responding by releasing anxiety chemicals into our systems activating patterns of protection, such as avoidance. If this is something you are struggling with then you are not alone. Take a look at this video which explains how you can start to break the anxiety cycle.
A great video which explains why a polyvagal approach to therapy is so important in addressing a wide range of difficulties including relationship problems, chronic stress, anxiety, depression and more. In attending sessions you can be supported to make change from the inside out, because sometimes you just can’t think your way out of the problem. youtu.be/ZdIQRxwT1I0... See MoreSee Less
So often clients come to therapy looking to get rid of their difficult emotions, dismissing them as bad pointless or irrational. Through therapy clients come to re-frame their understanding of emotions as a functional response, an invaluable resource which motivates us to change, connect us with others and protect us from physical or psychological dangers. Take a look at the video to give you an insight into this approach. youtu.be/RiuRnnqlkk8... See MoreSee Less
How would we relate to our experience if we considered mental health problems in the same vein as a physical ailment or illness. Would we be better able to take time out to recuperate, might we speak to ourselves more compassionately?
The way we think about mental health has been revolutionised by the insights of Polyvagal Theory. From this perspective we can now translate experiences such as anxiety, anger and depression into tangible and involuntary physiological reactions. Far from being all in our heads, this is the natural response of our nervous systems to protect us from perceived dangers. Right now, we are bombarded with cues of danger and we might not even notice it until all of a sudden, we are hit by a sense of overwhelm, irrationality or withdrawal.
In this pandemic it is completely understandable that our nervous systems should be behaving in this way, so right now it’s the small things that matter. In order to calm and reassure your nervous system how can you reduce those everyday danger cues, how might you find more opportunities to engage and connect with others and what activities might provide a sense of choice and freedom at this time?
At THRIVE we appreciate the importance of addressing mental health challenges at the root cause, because so often we just can't think our way out of it. For more information feel free to drop me a message. ... See MoreSee Less
Right now our nervous systems are bombarded with cues of danger, as a result we are increasingly getting stuck in our defensive responses of fight and flight (anxiety/anger) and freeze (low mood/depression). For the moment at least we cannot change the wider situation, however it can be useful to think about alternative tools to help to reset our physiological and mental state. Have a look at the video for some helpful exercises to calm our nervous system to regain a sense of perspective, safety and connection: youtu.be/L1HCG3BGK8I... See MoreSee Less