Do you ever feel numb? Do you feel like you are on high alert? Do you react instead of respond? Are you easily triggered? Have you wondered what it would be like to feel at peace?

Healing Your Nervous SystemOur nervous systems are changed by trauma. Trauma is not only the big wounds we know but is also invalidating environments and lack of emotional attunement. When that trauma is not processed and healed, the body will hold it and get stuck. When we have been affected by our body’s inability to cope, our parasympathetic nervous system can become activated and imbalanced. When we have been affected by trauma, our body sends signals to avoid that pain again, thus always creating a preparation for danger. These reactions in our nervous systems become greatly exaggerated and extended as a protective mechanism, as our body’s own ability to insulate us from further harm. This protective state becomes one of either hyperarousal which is being ready to spot danger early on, or hypo arousal, which is to ignore and numb out from what is going on.

Therefore, you no longer can feel calm and stable. This can look like a flight state of always having to be on the go, constantly busy, unable to sit still or at relax. It can also look like a freeze state where you lack the ability to do things, to function and are devoid of feeling. This often shows up in relationships with partners who are quick to anger and lash out or are uncomfortable with intimacy.

In addition to seeking therapy to address the root causes of trauma and heal from those experiences, you can utilize calming techniques to promote a feeling of safety and stabilize our nervous systems.

  1. Coherent Breathwork – Breathe in for six seconds, pause, then breathe out for six seconds. Repeat 3-6 times. Do so with loose limbs, legs and hands and pause between breaths.
  2. Senses for grounding – Notice 5 things you see, hear, touch, smell and taste. Your prefrontal cortex regulates with this attention in the present moment.
  3. Name it to tame it – Recognize what you are feeling in your body. Give it language and a name to describe. As it becomes a known, instead of an unknown, your brain can begin to calm noticing there is no threat.
  4. Movement – Get up and gently move your body with walking, stretching, yoga. Combine this with nature with a walk outside even in the grass barefoot and feel the sensation of grass on your feet.
  5. Cold Water – Splash cold water on your face can affect your window of tolerance and allow you to regulate. Polar plunges increase dopamine and can provide additional relief.
  6. Tapping – Tapping on acupressure points in the body with bilateral stimulation can release serotonin in the brain. Combining this with breathwork is very effective.

If you have a question you would like to ask or a topic to be addressed in next month’s article, please email If you would like to schedule an individual appointment, please contact us at 713.800.6999 or

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