The Autonomic Nervous System Explained

Our nervous system functions are essential because it affects how we are physically and emotionally and how quickly we can bring ourselves back into balance after a shock or a triggering event.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is part of your nervous system that controls most of the involuntary reflexes in your body, like your heart rate, pupil dilation, and digestion.

The ANS has two branches: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the one that activates the ‘fight or flight’ response, and the parasympathetic nervous system activates the ‘rest and digest’ response. Together they have many ‘opposite’ actions where one system causes a reaction and the other stops it, a bit like the accelerator (sympathetic) and brake (parasympathetic) of a car.

Adults who have experienced trauma at an early age are prone to experiencing dysregulation of the nervous system, especially when stressed. Dysregulation is known to be linked to depression, addiction, anxiety and emotional outbursts.

When the autonomic nervous system is dysregulated, there is an imbalance in these two systems. With the amount of stress many people experience in typical day to day living, most people find their fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) is overactive.

If you worry a lot and are flooded with stress hormones too often, these affect your nervous system’s ability to self-correct.

This is why it is important to do things that regulate your nervous system. I’ll be posting some techniques for you to use tomorrow.

I hope this is informative.

Love always, Jen

The Autonomic Nervous System Explained

Fight or flight
Prepares the body for stress
Cortisol and adrenaline
Increases heart rate and blood pressure
Decreases digestion
Rest and digest
Returns the body to a calm state
Growth hormones, DHEA, Melatonin
Decreases heart rate
Repairs the body