The Polyvagal theory of neuroception from Stephen Porges, states that the subconscious system for detecting whether situations or people are safe and trustworthy or threatening, occurs without conscious awareness. Neuroception takes place in the primitive portions of the brain and is directly linked to your social ability to interact. This system is non-cognitive and immediate and begins a neurophysiological sequence that can either lead to flight or ease. The brain assesses the environment and initiates an adaptive survival response. That it is biologically impossible for humans to simultaneously self protect and also to socially connect. These subconscious evaluations are based on the brain detecting features from others such as body and facial expressions. Non-verbal communications reveal the state of another persons mind. Vocalizations of pitch or intonation contribute to our sense of safety or insecurity. Facial expressions, eye gaze, blinking and widening of the eyes, all regulate whether to approach positive or withdraw negative. All these decisions bypass conscious processing, allowing for immediate reactions to fearful stimuli. Increasing your interoceptive awareness of emotion will assist you with lessening suppression and disassociation of your inner emotional truths. Helping you to increasingly come to realize and be conscious of your state of security or defensiveness. When you are around a safe person, your nervous systems guard is interrupted. Your shield or barrier drops and your authenticity naturally increases. When a person is threatening or provides a feeling of contempt, you have a sense of being walled off, fabricating emotions and an overall air of feeling disingenuous. This increases your fears of lacking, self consciousness and increases the suppression of your truth and needs, draining your resources. A friend or loved one that brings out your authenticity feels sincere. They provide inspiration, a deep sense of satiating gratitude and an overflowing cup. Reciprocal kindness and wealth of giving is fulfilling and restorative. The joy of sharing and being immersed in loving presence creates ease and makes the heart happy. Comforting relief from the everyday stressors of life is provided and preservation of emotional resources is a result. Sharing honesty and not having the sensation of needing to hide your self or embellish is a great benefit. Time spent in these relationships creates a safe space for growth and freedom from constrictions. You can truly be yourself and your heart can rest. Your ruminations and worry subside and your belly is no longer uneasy. The body tension is released and the need to strain to keep the peace and ease artificially is eliminated. Kindness can coalesce and cruelty will dwindle without your supply of attention and energy. To increase attunment and body literacy, practicing calming to your system is vital. Breathing and listening deeply to your interocepitve emotional truth increases your ability to become aware of your history of suppressing or numbing your inner sensations and needs. This practice overtime, develops your awareness and capacity of identifying internal body signals, cues or messages prior to feeling overwhelmed or burned out. Grounding strategies of heavy work can be a great benefit for preparation of the body to decrease overall built up tension and forceful repetitive thinking. Rhythmic movement such as nature walking is another calming tool, especially for individuals with a constant sense to keep moving to avoid difficult inner emotional frictions. Deep breathing in through the nose and deep exhalations out through the mouth are a recommendation for expelling long held tension and constrictions. Move toward the truth of your heart and begin with listening deeply to the positive sensations that reside within the body. Define and articulate with positive language to describe the sensations with as much detail as possible. Embodiment of the sensations of these positive experiences provides a sense of wholeness. Open the space for your positive and loving relationships to flourish. Decrease as much as possible the environments that were using up all of your energy, resources and emotions without a reflection or reciprocation of loving kindness and positive regard. Move toward thriving and freedom, joy and liberation. Love your life and unlock your peace, you have the keys. They are simply your increasing awareness of emotional authenticity and autonomy. This has immeasurable value for you and your true loves, well-being and ease. It improves your health and longevity, your ability to have rewarding social connections and deeper awareness and insights into understanding the great wealth of sharing your kind and loving hearts.
Published by One True Breath
I am a wife, mother and a pediatric occupational therapist for almost 20 years. My great hope is that this blog will be a guide for anyone seeking refuge from life's difficulties. It is a distillation of my life experience, profession and whole hearted search for peace. I wish you a wonderful and joyful journey! View all posts by One True Breath