State Awareness Training

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Deb Dana,  who pioneered  Polyvagal theory says,  “The autonomic  nervous system is as the heart of our lived experience. We are always engaged with the the nervous system, our own or other people’s”

 The goal is to befriend the  nervous system, bring curiosity and attention to how our system responds to life around us.  Its not  to achieve some kind of perfect, never ending calm. Autonomic state shifts are a normal  and expected response to the challenges of everyday life. The problem isn’t that we loose our sense of safety, but that we are often pulled out of the safety and can’t find our way back. If you think about it, its a really big deal because we’ve normalised chronic patterns of stress, sometimes entirely forgetting what  safe enough feels like.

When we feel safe, we naturally feel more open and connected to life. Think of the last time you looked at a sunset, took a walk in nature or spent time with someone who nourished you. That feeling we get doesn’t need to depend in us being in particular places or people.

What if you could train yourself to be in a more calm connected state in your ordinary day ? Imagine how you would experience life differently. What opportunities might you be able to follow more easily ? How might you respond to people differently ?

When your nervous system is running a protective state,  the world tends to look less friendly and options are limited. We lose our innate capacities for creativity, compassion, courage, curiosity and others. Instead becoming locked into patterns mostly born of the past. Sometimes there is legitimate danger and we can be thankful for the intelligence of our nervous system. More often than not there is no threat and we have picked up cues (unknowingly) from our environment or people that trigger these protective states.

The work we will do in these 3 weeks is to gently bring attention to these patterns, learning more about what it is that triggers us and how to come back from these responses in more effective ways.

The course comprises weekly zoom connection circles and small, easy to implement  exercises to engage with during the week.
Course fee is $50 or R 850.

For enquiries email Ryan

Here are some of the faculties that may be compromised under stress:

  1. Social Engagement:
    • The ability to engage in social interactions, read social cues accurately, and respond effectively to others may be impaired. This can result in difficulties in communication and maintaining relationships.
  2. Emotional Regulation:
    • Stress can disrupt emotional regulation, making it harder to manage and cope with strong emotions. Individuals may become more reactive or emotionally numb.
  3. Problem Solving and Decision-Making:
    • Under significant stress, cognitive functions related to problem-solving and decision-making can be compromised. People may struggle to think clearly and make rational choices.
  4. Empathy and Compassion:
    • Stress may reduce one’s capacity for empathy and compassion toward others. It can lead to self-focused thinking and a reduced ability to understand or support others.
  5. Executive Functioning:
    • Executive functions, such as planning, organization, and working memory, can be impaired during stress, making it challenging to manage tasks and responsibilities effectively.
  6. Physical Coordination:
    • In extreme stress or the freeze response associated with the DVC, fine and gross motor skills can be negatively affected. This can lead to clumsiness or difficulty performing physical tasks.
  7. Memory Retrieval:
    • Stress can impact memory retrieval, making it harder to access information and memories, especially those related to the stressful situation.
  8. Creative Thinking:
    • Stress often narrows focus and limits creative thinking. Individuals may struggle to come up with innovative solutions to problems.
  9. Self-Awareness:
    • A heightened stress response can diminish self-awareness, making it harder to understand one’s own feelings, needs, and reactions.