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Understanding Your Nervous System

Nervous System | Brain

The human nervous system is a complex network of cells and fibers that transmit signals between different parts of the body. It plays a vital role in our everyday functioning, influencing how we perceive and respond to the world around us. But did you know that our nervous system also holds the key to understanding some of our repetitive patterns and behaviors?


Many of us find ourselves caught in situations that seem all too familiar. We may stay in toxic relationships or tolerate abusive behavior in the workplace, wondering why we keep finding ourselves in these situations. The answer lies within our nervous system.


Our nervous system is wired to seek familiarity. It constantly scans our environment for patterns and cues, using past experiences as a reference point. This subconscious drive for familiarity can often lead us astray, keeping us stuck in unhealthy situations that may resemble experiences from our past.


For example, if you were bullied as a child, your nervous system may have learned to become familiar with situations of bullying. As a result, you may unconsciously seek out similar dynamics as an adult, finding yourself in a job where you experience bullying. Similarly, if you witnessed your parents engaging in heated arguments during your childhood, you may unknowingly recreate these conflicts in your own relationships.


So, how do we break free from these patterns and create a more fulfilling life?


The first step is awareness. We must understand why we are drawn to certain situations and behaviors. This requires paying attention to our thoughts, emotions, and reactions. By observing ourselves without judgment, we can begin to unravel the underlying patterns that drive our actions.


But awareness alone is not enough. We must also cultivate compassion for ourselves. It is crucial to remember that blaming ourselves for our past experiences or our subconscious tendencies does not serve us. Self-compassion allows us to approach this journey with kindness and understanding, creating a safe space to explore and heal.


Once we have awareness and compassion, the next step is regulation. This involves finding strategies to calm and soothe our nervous system when it becomes activated. There are various ways to achieve this, and what works for one person may not work for another. Some find solace in repeating a calming phrase or mantra to themselves during moments of distress. Others may find relief through breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in creative activities.


To truly understand the thoughts that shape our nervous system's responses, a helpful tool is brain dumping. This involves writing down our thoughts without any censorship, allowing us to unveil our deepest fears, worries, and anxieties. Through this process, we can differentiate between fact and fiction, enabling us to challenge and reframe our negative thought patterns.


While self-exploration can be a powerful tool on this journey, sometimes we may hit a roadblock. This is where working with a coach can be immensely beneficial. A coach can provide an external perspective, helping us see patterns and connections that may elude us on our own. They can guide us through the process of rewiring our nervous system, supporting us as we break free from harmful patterns and create a more fulfilling present and future.


Understanding our nervous system is a transformative journey that requires patience, self-compassion, and a commitment to growth. By becoming aware of our subconscious tendencies, regulating our nervous system, and seeking support when needed, we can create the life we truly desire – one that is free from the constraints of the past and filled with possibilities for a brighter future.


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