Nervous System Overwhelm: Notice the Signs, Polyvagal Theory Basics, and 12 Tools Towards Healing Trauma, Depression, Shut Down, and Overwhelm — EP92

When you’re depressed, paralyzed, shut down, or dissociated — knowing what is happening can support healing and a compassionate look at the body and how it’s trying to protect us and adapt. This episode is a practical and scientifically-based discussion about understanding the basics of the nervous system in overwhelm or trauma. By noticing the signs, you can support your body in feeling more safety, resilience, and capacity with very basic tools.

We are so used to going in the hard stuff of our lives and overriding and pushing beyond what our bodies need. This can create an auto override and autopilot — are we really here in our hearts and bodies?

In this episode, I share many signs of nervous system overwhelm, 12 things to do to support and heal trauma, a bit of Polyvagal Theory and Somatic Experiencing, and the way our nervous systems can be affected in relationships. The more I have understood the nervous system, the more compassion I have been able to feel for others and humanity.

How can we understand our nervous systems through animal behavior? Find out in this episode. I also bring forward questions I like to ask myself: How much of me is here? Where is my awareness/what is the quality of it? How am I in my body?

Next week, I will share three experientials that are connected to this episode.

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Sync Up with Being Alive: A Guided Healing Experiential to remind the Nervous System of Its Safety — EP92a

Safety in the nervous system and body can be restored when we let it register to our bodies that we are alive and that you have your basic needs met (if you do). Take a moment to support more safety in your body with this guided experience that is simple but can feel so helpful.

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Restore Resilience in the Nervous System and Feel Like Yourself: Guided Healing Experiential — EP92b

In this basic Somatic Experiencing practice, we bring up simple and often overlooked moments that you felt like yourself or felt safe or even “ok,” as well as a time you got through a challenge and a current unresolved issue. This gives a reminder to your nervous system of your strength, ability to move through life, and that you can feel or begin to feel like yourself and safe.

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Arrive in Embodied Safety: Support the Flight Response of the Nervous System Guided Healing Experiential — EP92c

This Somatic Experiencing support guides you from anxiety or a tonic immobility (frozen) state of the nervous system to arriving at safety through a completed movement of running towards a safe person, place, or situation that you imagine and move with.

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Sponsored by My Personal Healing Immersions and Retreats

This episode is sponsored by my personal healing immersions, retreats, and trainings. People who are interested in diving deep in their healing and transformation, or in learning from Candice can reach out to her to set up a personal retreat in a location of your choice. Time and length, as well as the content of the retreat is completely collaborative and intuited based on what you desire and need! Couples and Ethically non-monogamous and Polyamorous relationships are also supported.

Learn More About My Personal Mentorship at CandiceWu.com/mentorship

Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Outro Poem “Afropunk” by Cameron Awkward Rich

A mosh pit is not the same as dancing
It’s more like a cat thrown into an ocean of sweat and elbows
And any choreography that follows is just an animal trying to stay alive.
In middle school even the cool kids wear their bodies like clothes that don’t quite fit
But me, I’ve never been cool as I was in eighth grade
Never wore my skin so well as that year I discovered white boys and black eyeliner and that violence they called a dance.
But when punk be black, when it be a girl throwing herself into a riot of white
It’s not cause she needs a lesson in survival, there’s the whole world for that
But goddamn, if the bullet has to leave one chamber to fill another
If the girl has to be split and split
And the boy riddled with stars
And if the world must go on
If our blood must kiss the concrete, let the first time be an act of love
Let it be a wedding song and not a funeral
And if pain be unavoidable, let it first be a pain we choose
Let us learn how far our bodies can ride it, before the music cuts out.

Show Notes

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:14 Brought to You by My Client Work and One-on-One Immersions
  • 3:16 The Meditations Database
  • 3:42 Transcriptions of the Embody Podcast
  • 4:22 Opening: How Anger Can Be Helpful
  • 5:41 Nervous System Overwhelm: The Freeze Response
  • 8:04 Story Nervous System & Check-in for How Much Is Here Right Now?
  • 15:00 Question for You: How Much of Me Is Here Right Now?
  • 19:19 Let’s Talk About Polyvagal Theory
  • 20:27 an Image to Understand Polyvagal Theory: The Lion and Gazelle
  • 22:15 The Three States of Polyvagal Theory
  • 24:26 The Nervous System Needs Safety — Even if the Threat Is Decades-Old or Not Even in Your Lifetime
  • 25:39 What Are the Signs of the Freeze State?
  • 29:35 Shifting Out of Freeze
  • 31:32 Navigating the Body Between These States
  • 32:14 Unresolved Trauma From Past Lives Is Part of This as Well
  • 33:22 Relating Trauma to Depression
  • 34:03 Healing at a Deeper Level: What Happens When You Come Out of Freeze State
  • 36:42 Talking About Implicit Memory
  • 37:29 Mention Past Life and the Deep Mystery Podcast Episode
  • 38:40 Key Principle: Provide What Wasn’t Had
  • 39:12 12 Tips and Tricks to Heal Trauma and Tonic Immobility
  • 39:22 1) Orient Yourself and Notice Your Surroundings
  • 40:49 2) Touch Your Body From Head to Toe
  • 41:43 3) Recognize That You Are Alive and Safe Right Now
  • 42:28 4) Resource a Safe Person
  • 44:06 5) Be With a Safe Person or Animal or Be in a Safe Place
  • 44:35 6) Slowing Down Your Experience and Notice
  • 44:54 7) Pendulate Between Safety and the Challenge
  • 46:16 8) Use Movement to Support Yourself / Shake Up the Energy
  • 47:41 9) Run and Slow It Down
  • 49:03 10) Reveal or Allow Anger
  • 49:30 11) Practice Assertiveness
  • 49:57 12) Tune Into a Moment That You Felt Like Yourself or Ok
  • 52:22 Be Prepared for Emotions and Body Sensations
  • 54:09 Information Overload — Freeze State?
  • 54:58 My Experience With These Tools and Signs to Look Out For
  • 57:43 This Week’s Experientials (Will Be Next Week Instead of This Week)
  • 58:45 I Didn’t Learn How to Do This on My Own: Connect With Someone
  • 1:01:02 Outro: Ending With Something Light a Poem by Cameron Awkward Rich
  • 1:03:00 13) Leaving You With Music
  • 1:03:19 The Embody Newsletter to Stay Up to Date

Intro Music by Nick Werber

Featured Photo by Joshua EarleMarkus SpiskeStephanie Greene, and mohammad alizade on Unsplash

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