• Parasympathetic Nervous System

    The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is the brake system of the autonomic nervous system.

    The PNS is the system that is responsible for the actions of “rest and digest.” It conserves energy by slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, regulating sexual arousal, and relaxes muscles in the digestive tract.

    This system is responsible for returning the body to homeostasis, particularly after a stressor or after the fight or flight response has been activated.

    This is a system that tends to get overpowered and is not on-line as consistently in those who have experienced chronic trauma.

    Learning how to activate this system can help in the management of anxiety and stress. This is skills such as meditation, visualization, yoga and progressive muscle relaxation are so popular with trauma therapists. These skills all help to activate this nervous system response.

    So, remember, you do have steps that you can take to help regain control of your nervous system, but it takes time and practice. It may be cliché, to make these recommendations, but they are cliché for a reason, they work.

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