The stress reaction, with its ‘soup’ of hormones, prepares the body for action. It activates quickly, bringing a burst of adrenaline for a fast response to stressor. The startle response happens in 100 milliseconds! If this quick surge doesn’t resolve the stress, cortisol is released.
Stress reactivity that is chronic results in the sustained presence of too much cortisol and keeps the body and mind in its vigilance posture, and here’s a new understanding from Poyvagal Theory: the pre-frontal cortex doesn’t come along. Simply put, we can’t think clearly or creatively in a stress state, because the body’s natural reaction contracts all processes into survival readiness.
Ever feel like you’ve forgotten how to add 2 plus 2?
This understanding points us once again to the importance of befriending our nervous system by providing it reason to relax its vigilance state.
Of course this is no small thing in times of global pandemic, political unrest, climate crisis, to name a few of the good ‘reasons’ our nervous systems have to be in a default state of vigilance.
So yes, it is indeed a learning challenge. Or we might say a challenge of UNLEARNING, starting with the belief that we are somehow unworthy or incapable of the effort.
We Don’t Heal Alone
The Plum Spring Clinic Resilience and Trauma Recovery coaches provide skilled, compassionate presence and process to our patients.
We bring nervous system co-regulation to parts carrying wounds from the past to open our clients to their innate healing intelligence and authentic wholeness.