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The Innate Wisdom Of Your Body: Regulating Your Nervous System

Nervous System Regulation Part 1

Answer the question, “When do you feel at your best?”

-When hiking? -When resting? -When journaling?

-When crafting? -When swimming? -When eating healthy?

-When teaching? -When taking a bath? -When in nature?

-When reading? -When playing a sport? -When learning something? 

-When writing? -When playing games ? -When playing with a pet?

-When baking? -When scrapbooking? -When bike riding?

-When exercising? -When doing yoga? -When gardening?

-When with friends? -When out to eat? -When organizing?

-When running? -When walking? -When bouncing a ball?

Often, we feel at our best when doing things we enjoy and find important.  

  • How do you feel when you are doing something you really enjoy?  

  • What do you notice happening in your body when you are doing something that feels important to you? 

Typically, we feel at our very best when doing something that is personally meaningful.  We are able to notice that we feel good and our nervous system is regulated. 

A regulated nervous system is able:

Balanced rocks
Find Balance and Awareness

- To think logically and clearly,

- Make conscious choices, 

- Display a wide range of emotions and be ok, 

- Feel “grounded”, 

- Able to breathe, 

- Able to communicate verbally in a clear manner, and 

- Have an internal awareness of both body and mind.  

We become dysregulated when life happens and we perceive a challenge. A dysregulated state may be Hypo-Aroused (helpless, non-expressive, lack of motivation, numb, lethargic, isolated, depressed) or Hyper-Aroused (hyper-vigilant, increased heart rate, anxious, pounding in the head, anxious, excessive motoric activity, overwhelmed, disorganized, angry/rage, aggressive).

Your nervous system was actually designed to be in a regulated state, and you have natural interests/activities that help you regulate and feel at your best.  Your body has innate wisdom, and we call this wisdom natural interests or coping skills. When we become dysregulated, it is important to find a natural interest/coping skill that can help with regulation. While we at Canyon Pines Counseling understand that there may be underlying conditions or a diagnosis that impacts one’s ability to regulate, we also understand the importance of helping all of our clients find their unique natural interests/coping skills and begin to honor their body’s innate wisdom  when dysregulated.

We encourage all of our clients (kids and adults) to follow their body’s innate wisdom in getting back to a regulated state.  Here are some additional activities to try when feeling dys-regulated:

-run, jump, spin, dance -swing

-jump on a trampoline -move around, anyway that feels good

-roll on the floor, back and forth -play with a fidget toy or squishy

-use a yoga ball -drink a smoothie

-massage your arms/legs, use a foot roller -doodle/paint on paper

-eat a crunchy snack -play with clay/paly-doh

-drink water -listen to music

-drink through a straw -run up and down the stairs

-practice breathing techniques -splash water on your face

-wrap up in a blanket and snuggle -use a hot or cold pack

-breath work -play with a pet

Here is a simple picture idea to help you figure out what you need.  It will only take a few minutes and no one will even know that you are doing it:

When you notice you are becoming dys-regulated, follow these 4 steps:

  1. S - Simply STOP what you are doing.

  2. T - Take a deep breath (or several).

  3. O - Observe what is happening (Where are you? What’s going on in your body?  Are you around a situation you do not like? Are you getting ready to do something new? Did you skip breakfast?) Allow yourself to observe the situation.

  4. P - Plan  - What will make you feel better right now?  Perhaps it is a personal favorite coping skill? 

If you find that coping skills/nervous system regulation are lacking in your household and you would like additional support, please reach out today.  We have many more techniques and resources to share!

Some of these concepts come from the Synergetic Play Therapy modality. If you would like more information on Nervous System Regulation, consider checking out Synergetic Play Therapy at: 

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