The body and the mind can get into a constant state of survival, often getting triggered at the tiniest of things, and anticipating danger. This is known as nervous system dysregulation. Explaining this, Therapist Anna Papaioannou wrote, “This may look like being on edge or on high alert, or being triggered easily. You’re perceiving threat or danger when there isn’t necessarily an actual threat in front of you. Your nervous system learns through experience, which means that throughout your life you have collected certain experiences which your nervous system integrates and learns to be threatening.”
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Anna further shared six subtle signs of nervous system dysregulation that we should pay attention to:
Over or under-reacting: Sometimes we may react to things louder than we should – like showing anger or having an outburst. Sometimes we can also feel extremely detached and be indifferent to things around us.
Sensory sensitivity: This happens when we feel more sensitive to certain things than others. In such cases, the background noise can be difficult to be drained out, and we can react to a certain smell more than other. Even our skin feels more sensitive to certain textures than others.
Exhaustion: These times, we experience brain fog and feel exhausted and fatigued all the time, even after getting adequate sleep.
Memory issues: Being able to focus becomes difficult and we start to space out. We also have trouble in remembering things.
Skin or gut issues: Sometimes digestive issues and skin acne are results of nervous system dysregulation.
Difficulty relaxing: We have a difficult time trying to relax the mind and the body. We constantly fidget with our body and the mind goes into a problem-solving mode.
“Tuning into your nervous system and how it is responding to the world, will show you how you feel safe currently. It’s important to note, that how you feel safe at the moment, is how you created safety in the past. But this may not serve you in the present moment,” the expert added.