Nervous System Regulation 101

By

Lilyan

Published on

December 6, 2023

Updated on

April 2, 2024

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ari Magill

Nervous System Regulation

Are you one of the millions of individuals who wake up each day battling anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, or perhaps even Lyme disease? If so, you know firsthand the toll these chronic health conditions can take on every aspect of your life. The constant struggle, the relentless fatigue, and the emotional rollercoaster can leave you feeling helpless and trapped.

But here’s the good news: you are not alone, and there is hope. Welcome to “Nervous System Regulation 101,” a comprehensive post that aims to empower you with knowledge and present a solution that can truly make a difference in your life.

Living with these conditions often means navigating a complex web of symptoms that can seem overwhelming. It’s crucial to understand that at the core of these challenges lies the intricate network known as the nervous system. This system plays a vital role in regulating our thoughts, emotions, and physical well-being. By unlocking the secrets of nervous system regulation, we can open the door to a brighter future.

Through years of research and collaboration with leading experts in the field, we have developed the re-origin neuroplasticity program that has been shown to assist in nervous system regulation. This program offers a holistic approach that combines cutting-edge techniques, tailored exercises, and personalized support.

As you read through this article, we invite you to let go of any skepticism and embrace a sense of optimism. It’s time to shift your perspective and recognize that you have the ability to reshape your circumstances. We understand the challenges you face, and we are here to guide you toward a path of healing and restoration.

Remember, you are not defined by your condition; you have the power to create a new narrative. Let’s embark on this journey together and discover the hope and possibilities that await.

What is the nervous system?

The nervous system is composed of the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the spinal cord and the brain, and the peripheral nervous system, which is a network of nerves spread throughout the body connecting with the spinal cord, linking the entire body to the CNS. The nervous system is the core of all significant mental activities like learning and memory. The nervous system relays messages to and from the brain to the body, and hence is responsible for controlling all the body's complex functions.1

What is nervous system regulation?

Nervous system regulation is the ability of human beings to act, think rationally, and be flexible enough to adapt to different situations and circumstances when responding to stressors or stressful situations.2 This means that when we face different stressors, it is possible to adapt, avoid getting overwhelmed, and recover as soon as the stressors have passed. Nervous system regulation also increases the level of neurotransmitters, thus making us feel safe enough to navigate our environment and surroundings in the best ways we choose.

What is nervous system dysregulation?

The dysregulated nervous system is one that makes you feel overwhelmed, powerless, and out of control in the face of stressors. When the nervous system is dysregulated, someone might feel like they have no control over how they respond to stimuli and triggers and can even remain stuck in the overwhelming feelings after stressors have been removed.3 The dysregulated nervous system can make our bodies develop painful, horrible, uncomfortable, and terrifying symptoms and conditions.

What is the purpose of the autonomic nervous system?

This is the network of nerves in the body that controls and regulates unconscious and automatic bodily functions that we need to survive. These processes happen unconsciously without our knowledge or thinking about them,4 even when we are deep asleep. Some of those unconscious processes are:

  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Sexual arousal and response
  • Digestion
  • Respiration
  • Defecation
  • Urination
  • Production and fluid retention in the body
  • Body temperature
  • Metabolism

Types of the autonomic nervous system

The two types of the autonomic nervous system are the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). SNS and PSNS complement each other to successfully carry out the functions of the autonomic nervous system.

Sympathetic nervous system

The sypathetih nervous system is a network of nerves that regulate responses to danger.5,6 Some of the functions of the SNS are as follows:

  • Fight or flight responses
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Stress response
  • Cardiovascular effects
  • Blood vessels dilation
  • Muscles contraction
  • Blood pressure regulation

Parasympathetic nervous system

On the contrary, PNS consists of nerves like the vagus nerve that work towards relaxing the body after facing danger or chronic stress. The Vagus nerve plays a significant role in regulating the digestive system and heart rate. The parasympathetic nervous system works towards balancing the SNS and is responsible for essential life-sustaining and relaxing processes like digestion (the process of breaking down food into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by the body), assimilation (absorbing nutrients from the food you eat), homeostasis (maintaining a stable and balanced internal environment), and energy building when someone is relaxed.6

What are some of the benefits of regulating the nervous system?

The nervous system controls how our body feels, reacts, relates, thinks, and operates. Resetting the nervous system the right way enables us to feel safe and secure. Regulating the nervous system helps us recover from some of the chronic stress or traumatic experiences we might be struggling with. Here are the benefits of a regulated nervous system:7

  1. It enables us to calm down naturally when under stress.
  2. It helps us handle stressful situations maturely and successfully.
  3. It allows us to manage our emotional state and mental health.
  4. It strengthens our immune system.
  5. It enhances our capacity to relate with and trust people.
  6. It allows us to have a peaceful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, well-rested, and energetic.
  7. It helps improve productivity at work.
  8. It helps us choose friends or people to connect with rationally and avoid chaos in life.
  9. It enables us to create and maintain beneficial and meaningful relationships.

Symptoms of the dysregulated nervous system

The dysregulated nervous system affects the vagus nerve, causing adverse effects on our mental health and stability that causes people to shut down. Some of the dysfunctional and inappropriate outcomes of nervous system dysregulation include:

  • Withdrawal, shutting down
  • Overreaction
  • Tantrums
  • Somatic illness
  • Sensitivity to sensory and external stimuli
  • PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Skin and gut conditions
  • Digestive system problems
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Chronic stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Imbalanced stress hormones

Make Sure You Are Well-Regulated With re-origin

It is necessary that we take care of our well-being in order not to become victims of the complications that come with a dysregulated nervous system. This is especially important now that we have faced a lot, including pandemic challenges. The good thing is everyone has power and control over their bodies. The nervous and endocrine systems are at your mercy so make sure you are well-regulated and can control how you respond to triggers and stimuli around you. This way, you handle the world around you, have peace, and enjoy quality time with your loved ones.

Improve your nervous system regulation by joining our program or try our free demo today.

References:

  1. Ludwig PE, Varacallo M, Reddy V. Neuroanatomy, Central Nervous System (CNS). nih.gov. Published October 10, 2022. Accessed October 6, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK442010/(pubmed)
  2. Porges SW. Polyvagal theory: a science of safety. Frontiers in integrative neuroscience. 2022 May 10;16:27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9131189/(pubmed)
  3. Carnac T. (2022). Schizophrenia Hypothesis: Autonomic Nervous System Dysregulation of Fetal and Adult Immune Tolerance. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 16, 844383. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2022.844383(pubmed)
  4. Kawai, M., Miyai, N., & Arita, M. (2021). The prevalence of orthostatic dysregulation among newly graduated female nurses after employment and its associations with autonomic nervous function, stress, and depressive symptoms. SAGE open medicine, 9, 20503121211012180. https://doi.org/10.1177/20503121211012180 (pubmed)
  5. Alshak MN, Das JM. Neuroanatomy, Sympathetic Nervous System. nih.gov. Published May 8, 2023. Accessed October 6, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542195/(pubmed)
  6. McCorry LK. Physiology of the autonomic nervous system. American journal of pharmaceutical education. 2007 Aug 8;71(4). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1959222/(pubmed)
  7. Brown RL, Chen MA, Paoletti J, Dicker EE, Wu-Chung EL, LeRoy AS, Majd M, Suchting R, Thayer JF, Fagundes CP. Emotion Regulation, Parasympathetic Function, and Psychological Well-Being. Frontiers in psychology. 2022 Aug 3;13:879166.https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.879166/full(pubmed)

By

Lilyan