THE DORSAL VAGAL STATE: FREEZE/SHUTDOWN RESPONSE

The Dorsal Vagal State is a shutdown response that occurs when we feel overwhelmed.

CO-CEO, NEUROFIT
1 MINUTE READ
OCT 4, 2023
DORSAL VAGAL: FREEZE & SHUTDOWN
The Dorsal Vagal State is a response that occurs when we feel overwhelmed, stressed, or threatened. It is our body's way of telling us to "freeze" or "shut down" in order to protect ourselves.
When we are in the Dorsal Vagal State, our heart rate slows down, our blood pressure drops, and our breathing becomes shallow. This is because our body is redirecting blood and oxygen away from our extremities and towards our vital organs. This response is meant to help us conserve energy so that we can survive a stressful situation.
THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC DORSAL VAGAL
However, the Dorsal Vagal State can also be detrimental to our health. When we are in this state, our immune system is suppressed and we are more susceptible to illness. Over time, the Dorsal Vagal State can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
BUILDING RESISTANCE TO THE DORSAL VAGAL STATE
Fortunately there are ways to functionally build resistance to the Dorsal Vagal state. Keeping a daily Stillness practice engages both the Ventral Vagal and Dorsal Vagal responses and communicates to the nervous system that this state is safe to experience, reducing the overall intensity. Additionally, play and BALANCE exercises can be used to pull the body out of this response as it adds energy by engaging Sympathetic (fight-or-flight) energy.
READY TO MASTER YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM?
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