Episode 57

“When we have this constant feeling inside that we are preparing to take action and it’s not safe to be still a lot of times we do move into overworking or creating things to stay busy all the time or over training, because at the level of our physiology, that’s what feels right. It feels right and safe to stay busy all the time. Even though that’s eventually going to lead to burnout, to a crash, to unwanted behaviors like overeating or drinking or whatever it is that you use to self soothe in the moment. That feels like the right thing to do because of what’s happening in your body <during a Flight response>.”

-Elisabeth Kristof, Founder NeuroSomatic Intelligence Certification and Brain-Based Wellness

Pod-Fam, this week we’re revisiting the Flight Trauma Response episode from our 4 F’s series early in Season 2. If you listened when it originally aired last July, then we bet you’ll relate in a fresh way when you listen again. You may recognize how Flight has impacted your life in a clearer way, especially if you have complex trauma or early childhood trauma. 

How many of these experiences do you relate to?

  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Avoid downtime because it doesn’t feel safe to be still
  • Constantly feel the need to do things quickly
  • The sudden need to run away from a situation
  • Hypervigilant
  • Makes sure everyone else’s emotional state is okay
  • Get impatient with yourself or others for not moving fast enough
  • Overthinking
  • Overtraining
  • Perfectionism
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Disordered Eating
  • Numbing out
  • Breathing with an open mouth
  • Always have an escape route when you’re out
  • Cold or tingling hands or feet

These are ways that Flight response may show up in our lives. These are protective responses that your nervous system uses to keep you alive and safe. 

As always, we’re sharing our personal stories and experiences to offer you hope for your own nervous system regulation and healing journey. Elisabeth shares stories of Flight from her early sobriety days and how she’s learned to recognize it popping up in her romantic relationship now. Jennifer shares how she experiences Flight at weddings and NSI classes- and how she’s learned to move through it. 

Be sure to listen to Jennifer share how she’s learned to recognize Flight response being triggered in Elisabeth. You just may recognize it happening in your close friends, too. 

Key Highlights to Listen for:

  • Our body reacts with a stress response whether there’s an actual life threat or not
  • Elisabeth describes exactly what happens in the body and nervous system when stress kicks in the Flight response
  • The importance of completing a stress cycle and how to move it thru your body
  • Deep dive into why it may feel right to be busy all the time despite it leading to burnout
  • Jennifer describes trauma being a biological physical manifestation of threat response inside the body. If you have early childhood trauma or cPTSD your lens may have been shifted into a skewed reality as an adult. And how to heal.
  • The many ways that applied neurology (aka NSI tools) are beneficial for healing your nervous system
  • Elisabeth explains why breath work may not work for you initially and how you can use NSI tools to improve your breath
  • How our society tends to treat Flight responses like perfectionism as badges of honor and how harmful that is to our internal systems and health
  • How critical it is for healing to happen in the nervous system, brain’s frontal lobe AND the body- and how NSI tools serve you
  • Elisabeth shares her belief that Presence is the greatest gift of applied neurology/NSI tools

As you listen, we encourage you to remember that there is hope and you can heal. You can change, you can learn to feel safe in your body and to listen to your internal cues.

 We are here to support you with NeuroSomatic Intelligence tools on the Brain-Based Wellness site and with private coaching.

Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE


[00:00:00] Jennifer: Yeah, I’m really excited. I love that we’re breaking down the four Fs of trauma- Fight, Flight, Fawn and Freeze and taking a deeper dive into each one of these. Even as I was doing my own research for this episode, I could really see how this response has shown up a lot in my life over time.

[00:00:17] Elisabeth: So I’m really excited to talk about it and to hopefully help people see themselves a little bit more in this.

[00:00:24] Jennifer: Yeah, it is really interesting when I think about it too. In reading some of the behaviors attached to Flight, I can really find myself a lot. And even just knowing what those are. Well, actually, I don’t think if it was for applied neurology, I wouldn’t even be able to feel those sensations in my body because I had been so dissociated before. Flight is not, I don’t think as much as active for me as some of the other trauma responses. 

[00:00:54] Do you wanna talk to us and start telling the people what is happening in the body for sensations when we go into Flight?

[00:01:03] Elisabeth: Yeah, I think it is very difficult for people to first feel into their body. Some of these things that are happening that move them into Flight. So you can feel that your heart is racing or your palms are sweating, or your muscles are getting tight. These are all part of Flight response. But like you said, sometimes it’s hard to feel these internal sensations when we’re pretty disconnected from our body.

[00:01:26] Some other ways that you can recognize that you’re maybe in a state of Flight in a trauma, responsive flight, is that you have a difficult time sitting still, you constantly feel this need to do things quickly, or you get very impatient with yourself or with other people like the world just isn’t moving fast.

[00:01:45] You experience overthinking racing, thoughts, ruminating about something over and over again, obviously as feeling a sense of anxiety or panic, a quickness in your respiration, or that can even show up as not just fast breathing, but open mouth breathing, constantly feeling this need to keep busy and avoiding downtime because it really doesn’t feel safe to be still, always having this need in the back of your mind that you need an escape route, or like you’re the person at the party who just leaves you kind of ghost when the situation gets too stressful or you’ve been there long, too long, and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the social interaction.

[00:02:28] You’ll just disappear. It can also present even more physically as  pale or flushed skin, tingling and coldness in your palms and in your feet. So these are all things that you can start to recognize as being in a state of Flight, a physiological state of Flight, and in a protective response, a stress response.

[00:02:58] Jennifer: When we were in somatic reset the other day on Sunday, and we started to get into some of our emotional work, we were gonna do a Tapping. And the first thing that hit me was like- no, I have to shut this computer down. I wanna get out of here right now. I cannot sit with these emotions. And I am the person at a party or in a room that I can’t have my back to the room. That’s so dangerous for me.

[00:03:22] Elisabeth: Yep. That’s that hypervigilance of having to see everything that’s going on and make sure everybody’s okay and read people’s facial expressions and see how they’re doing and avoid all conflict and make sure that everything is going well for everyone in the room at all times, so that you stay safe.

[00:03:42] That constant awareness of not just what’s happening, but everyone else’s emotional state. That’s very overwhelming. And when that stress builds up too much, then it’s like I gotta get out of here. And it’s a perfect example in the somatic reset when we were diving into some emotions that felt too scary and big, that sense of ‘I have to get out of here’ and it can show up.

[00:04:05] It’s hard, even in that moment, to link it to Flight response, it just feels like this real need to close the computer, bolt out the door, distract yourself, start obsessing about something else. All these things that are us fleeing from whatever situation just doesn’t feel safe.

[00:04:27] Jennifer: I have found it really interesting too, that we have these really intellectual Fight and Flight, or this Flight response seems more accurate. Like if you are in imminent danger, like someone is chasing you, someone is attacking you. There’s an actual threat, but what we’re talking about here is a threat as simple as being at a wedding reception, being at work, being on a somatic reset zoom- clearly in a state, in a container, where I don’t have a face to face threat.

[00:05:11] Elisabeth: Yeah. There’s nothing literally threatening your survival at that moment, but stress is interpreted by the body the same. So the stress of a tiger being in the room is the same as the stress of dealing with a really scary emotion is the same as the stress of being rejected and shunned from the herd is the same of the stress from a, a work meeting where you might not live up to expectations or having a difficult conversation with your partner, like physiologically stress is stress.

[00:05:43] So our body, it still responds in a way of pushing us into a stress response or a threat response that is preparing us to take action. That’s still our sympathetic nervous system, the arousal part of our nervous system that prepares us to take action that would’ve kept us safe. We were actually facing a life threatening event because it would be preparing our body to run or to fight, like to hit something hard, to defend ourselves or in a very stressful situation to shut down completely and avoid the pain of being attacked, or maybe get the predator to go away because it seemed as though we were dead. These physical responses still happen in the body the same way because our body interprets stress, whether that’s emotional stress or societal stress or work stress or whatever, it’s the same inside at the level of our physiology.

[00:06:43] Jennifer: The behaviors that are associated with Flight are just super fascinating. It’s just like check, check, check- perfectionism, overworking over training. OCD, disordered eating, numbing out. It’s like, yeah.

[00:07:02] Elisabeth: A lot of my life, as I have been doing more looking into this, I realize that I am someone who has turned to Flight for a lot of my life and I can think back on most of my life before I started regulating my nervous system. I was a constant over trainer and I still struggle with this feeling all the time that I need to be moving.

[00:07:26] I need to be moving. And that’s because there’s this big charge of energy that’s being released through my body that needs to be expelled. And it doesn’t feel safe to be still. So I was constantly overtraining and movement was so important to me in regulating that I built my first career on movement and in some ways that was an asset, it served me well, but like many of these responses they’re protective and they can lead us to have positive benefits in our life, but when we’re pushed into that state too far for too long, it’s harmful. I remember always having this feeling at work,  feeling very impatient. I work very, very fast and in trying to do things with other people, I would just feel like nobody is moving fast enough.

[00:08:21] If I was working out with people, if I was working on a project with someone else, it was like I couldn’t get things to happen fast enough. I’m constantly early to things. I leave early. I am always struggling with this need to slow down. Being still is very, very uncomfortable for me and in my relationship now, currently too, I feel this response a lot.

[00:08:49] When we’re getting into a moment where we might have conflict or where I might feel like I disappointed my partner. Or I just feel like some big emotions are coming up for me- fear of abandonment or fear of intimacy and all of a sudden it’s like I can’t stop myself, I have to go home and I can’t be here anymore. I gotta leave. I gotta get in my car. I gotta go for a run. I can’t stay there. 

[00:09:22] Jennifer: Actually, I just wanna tell people and tell you that we’ve actually been around each other so much that now I can see your Flight response kick.

[00:09:30] Elisabeth: What does it look like for you?

[00:09:34] Jennifer: There is a shift of your energy and it’s almost like if you were moving on beat- well, you’re moving on the one and a half beat. It’s like the extra beat in there. Does that make sense?

[00:09:49] Elisabeth: You see me in Flight? Yep.

[00:09:50] Jennifer: I can feel, I can hear you breathe, which I don’t normally, but your breath changes. You just get this… like you’re not making direct eye contact with me for the whole sentence. You’ll start looking at me, but eventually you’re looking away from me. It’s just a feeling that I can see it so differently now because yeah, I’ve been with you a couple times when you’ve gone into Flight and I can see like your eyes get just a little bit wider.

[00:10:20] Elisabeth: Absolutely. That’s another physiological response. And that’s so interesting because you know me so well, and we work together, which is where a lot of this Flight comes up. Yeah, my respiration changes, but at the time it doesn’t feel like it’s just physiological to me.

[00:10:42] These thought loops start happening. All I can think of is- I have to go, I can’t stay here. I remember this one time when I first got sober. so I was young. I was in graduate school and I was talking to my TA or my professor, and he was giving me some constructive criticism and all I could think about was that I have to get out of here.

[00:11:10] I have to get out of here. And I, of course, I didn’t know at the time what was happening, but I probably stopped making eye contact with him. Nodded couldn’t speak was like ‘mm-hmm thank you’. Went out the door and literally sprinted a mile to my car. I couldn’t run fast enough, got in my car and drove home in the middle of class. I just sprinted to my car.

[00:11:40] Jennifer: Wow I mean, it’s laughable with the awareness that we have now. It’s a funny story, but in that moment, you probably regulated in some way. Did you say this was after your sobriety or before?

[00:11:53] Elisabeth: Yes, it was in my early sobriety. So I had a lot of anxiety then, because I had taken away one of my coping skills which was alcohol to depress my nervous system to help me with some of that anxiety. So my social anxiety at the time was through the roof and I just couldn’t control it then. I don’t remember, but I would bet lots of money that I went home and binged.

[00:12:24] Jennifer: Yeah. I mean we have these tools for a reason. Like we were saying before, your body and mind are so intelligent. Food is an incredible way to regulate your nervous system. And yeah, I definitely used it so many times myself. I find that the experiencing of certain emotions, like when I Tap,  whenever I think I’ve cleared all the anger and rage out of me there is no doubt another level to it.

[00:12:56] When I’m not prepared for those emotions to come up, when I think, ‘okay, I’m going into a tap or I’m going into a meditation’. I’m going to be doing some work and thinking that that’s not what’s gonna show up. And then when it does, it will make me want to run. I can actively prepare to do anger work and be in the quote “control” of that.

[00:13:19] But when that came up on somatic reset, I was like ‘Shit here I am in this class. I wanna run away from them’. I even put it in the chat that I had to actively move my phone away from me because all I wanted to do was numb out, turn my screen off and just totally check out. And I probably would’ve eaten something, but I stayed with it.

[00:13:43] Elisabeth: That’s why it’s so important that we have tools to help regulate our nervous systems so that we can do the deeper work of emotional processing, because emotions are scary. We’re taught in so many ways that it’s bad to experience big emotions like anger and grief. It does not feel safe for a number of reasons.

[00:14:02] That we’re going to not be able to handle it. That we’re crazy, that our emotions are too big. All these things that get baked in during development and our body really starts to develop a fear response, a threat response, to experiencing those emotions. So when we try to go back and do the processing of the emotions and begin to feel our emotions again we’ll let them move through the body, as energy is meant to be moved through the body, we also have to really be able to regulate our nervous system or else we will run away from our healing modalities, just like that.

[00:14:36] There’s many times when I meet with a client to do some of this work and they show up to the session knowing the kind of work that we’re about to do, and they are in full Flight response. When they come to the session, they’re really distracted. I can’t get ’em. Their thoughts are all over the place.

[00:14:52] I can’t get ’em to focus on one thing. They’re coming up with a million different things that they want to talk about at once. They are really short on time and rushed with the session. Maybe they cancel and reschedule the session many times because they’re trying to run away from it. And so I have to do a lot to regulate them and get them to be Still, present, focused and safe in their body and their nervous system first, before we can even begin to think about processing some of the emotions that are underneath.

[00:15:22] Jennifer: Yeah, I have a client that shows up and her eyes will dart so fast in every direction. And it’s just like getting her to be in this space and to connect it takes us a minute to get there. It really does. For me, it’s definitely overworking and I have a hard time even with that right now, because I can often have three jobs I don’t even mean to. Then I’ve got two volunteer jobs that I do. So I will hide. I will flee and hide in other areas of my life so that I don’t always have to be present with myself. Maybe just with space, with time and my own happy space.

[00:16:13] Elisabeth: That’s it exactly. Yes. Being alone and just being still and being present, it feels very unsafe, right? Because when we’re in a state of Flight, our body is prepared to move to run. So when you experience a stressful event the amygdala, that’s the area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to your hypothalamus.

[00:16:42] This area is kind of like the command center of your brain. It’s communicating with the rest of your body through your nervous system. And it produces the energy to Fight or to Flee. So it’s communicating with your autonomic nervous system, which is the part of your nervous system that controls all your involuntary body functions, like breathing or blood pressure or heartbeat, dilation of blood vessels and airways in the lungs, your respiration, like you said, the eyes- eye movement- and the dilation of your pupils. So after this distress signal gets communicated- ‘Hey, we’re under threat. Something is big’. Then the sympathetic nervous system, that stress response, the activation part of your nervous system gets turned on and stimulates the adrenal glands and they respond by pumping epinephrine, also known as adrenaline into the bloodstream. So now you’ve got all this adrenaline coursing through your body, releasing glucose to be used for the muscles for movement. These changes happen so quickly that you’re not even aware of it.

[00:17:51] The wiring is so efficient through the visual centers and through the input centers of the brain that you don’t have time to cognitively process that this is happening. That’s why people can jump out of the path of an oncoming car before it hits them. It’s a very, very fast process, but so now you have all this being activated- you have this adrenaline, if that stays on for too long, it goes on to pumping out cortisol and your body, your muscles are tensing up. They’re preparing for action. Your digestion is turned off. Your heart is racing, your breathing is moving faster and so it doesn’t feel safe at all to sit still because your body is prepared for action.

[00:18:38] When we have this constant felt sense inside that we are preparing to take action and it’s not safe to be still a lot of times we do move into overworking or creating things to stay busy all the time or over training, because at the level of our physiology that’s what feels right. It feels right and safe to stay busy all the time.

[00:19:01] Even though that’s eventually gonna lead to burnout, to a crash, to unwanted behaviors like overeating or drinking or whatever it is that you use to self soothe in the moment that feels like the right thing to do because of what’s happening in your body. Then we just stay busier and busier and busier because we don’t feel safe sitting still.

[00:19:24] Jennifer: A couple of things that you talked about that I want to explore a little deeper because it’s important to understand. It’s that in this conversation that trauma is biological and that it is a physical manifestation of a threat response inside the body. If we are people who grew up with early childhood trauma, developmental trauma, have cPTSD, have a high ACE score, and that trauma is occurring continuously then your lens is really shifted into a skewed reality as an adult. A couple things that you said that- energy is meant to be moved through. And when we’re in flight response, particularly like your digestion is turned off and so many systems of the body do get turned off, then you have this stuck emotion inside the body and we do not process things as they go through. So we are just having incomplete stress response cycles. That’s the real big difference between us and our animal counterparts, whose mortality is threatened on a near daily basis. And they do not have PTSD.

[00:20:36] Elisabeth: That’s right, because they complete the stress response. So they are able to discharge the emotions and then reactivate the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, which is the calm and respond, the rest and digest part of the nervous system that brings you out of that high stress state where you can recover.

[00:20:56] Where you can go back to digesting your food, where your muscles can repair, where your respiration slows down. So like you said, if this happens in our early development, if we’re under a lot of stress in our early development, it becomes our real baseline normal level to be at a high stress state because our nervous system gets used to that as we are developing.

[00:21:24] That’s not great because then we stay in that high stress state for so long. And that leads to a lot of issues with our health, with our hormones, with our mental health and our habits and our coping mechanisms to deal with all of that stress over and over.

[00:21:46] Jennifer: But we can change all of it. We can move these emotions through. We can bring ourselves back into our body so that we can be aware of when we’re moving into this high state of threat and listen to the signals and cues of our body. And that is the beauty of applied neurology.

[00:22:06] Elisabeth: Yeah, absolutely. I think this is really where it becomes very important to understand that there are ways to work with the operating system, because if not it’s just scary and kind of depressing to think about being stuck in these states. So applied neurology is really beneficial in combating this response for two reasons.

[00:22:30] One is that it’ll help you become aware of what’s going on in your body. Even just that awareness is really beneficial because now when I’m moving into Flight and I start to experience those thoughts of ‘I gotta get outta her, I gotta just leave, I don’t want to be here anymore, this is too much for me, I gotta go home’- I can start to think ‘what’s going on inside of my body?’ Through applied neurology, I’ve been able to connect to the felt sense inside of my body, because I have trained my interoceptive system, the system that tells me what’s going on inside of my body. I can start to understand, ‘oh, I’m in a Flight response right now.’

[00:23:11] These thoughts are just mirroring the fact that my heart is racing. The fact that I have all this energy coursing through me and I don’t have to react in the same way anymore because I understand what’s going on. I can recognize it. I can do something to regulate myself and then it becomes possible to take a new action.

[00:23:31] Now every time I’m in my relationship and we come into a moment of conflict- I’m talking about small conflict like just having a discussion about something- I don’t have to bolt out the door and go home and isolate and self sabotage or overtrain. I can just do a few quick things to regulate my nervous system and then I can behave differently in my relationships. I can have a different experience of the world and not be driven by that response, just cuz I can see it and I can feel it.

[00:24:03] Jennifer: Let’s talk about respiration. We’ve talked about it a little bit in probably most of our conversations, but using your breath in the present moment might not always work, right? We train our respiration systems regularly. It might work, but sometimes people will just be like, just change your breathing.

[00:24:26] If breathing is already a deficit for you and your nervous system, you are already not taking in safe breaths, then taking on some sort of breath work in a moment might not be the right thing for people and could further them into a more of a stress response.

[00:24:46] Elisabeth: Yeah, absolutely. That’s the other thing that I think is really important about applied neurology is that when I was thinking about the best tools to help people get out of Flight response I thought, ‘well, respiration because all these things are happening at the level of your physiology, your heart rate, your digestive process is stopping, your breath increases.’

[00:25:08] But the one that’s easiest to start to control and make cognitive changes about is your breath. It’s very difficult to think your way into a slower heart rate. Some people do that with IMath and stuff like that, but that’s a skill that takes a lot of development. With your breath, it’s pretty easy to cognitively begin to focus on it, to slow your respiration down, to make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation, so that you’re giving your brain a signal from your body up- ‘Hey, we’re not under threat. Everything is okay.’ So it is really important to focus on your respiration.But, just like you said, if people have difficulty with their respiration immediately trying to use some of these simple tools to get out of Flight response can actually be really threatening.

[00:25:57] I see this on the site all the time when someone first starts training their respiration and practicing straw breaths or practicing box breathing. We always assess and reassess and they actually reassess negatively, which means that something about that was threatening to their nervous system.

[00:26:18] Something about trying to slow their respiration down or taking a box breath was threatening to their nervous system. I spent a lot of time thinking about this and why this is. It’s because we have a certain set point in our body for the amount of oxygen in our blood and the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood. The body always wants to maintain homeostasis. And when you change that by slowing down your exhale you’re changing the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. That can actually really freak your body out and it can become threatening. Then you get more stressed out by doing it.

[00:26:59] Do gradually over time with practice and repetition and in a minimum effective dose way so that you’re teaching your brain and your nervous system ‘Hey, it’s safe to breathe differently. It’s safe to breathe more efficiently.’ That, again, takes exposure over long periods of time and certainly when you’re in the moment of panic, that’s not the time to do it. The time to do it is every day, a daily practice of training your breath to be more efficient so that when you get to that moment of panic, you can use those tools and they will actually work to make you calm down.

[00:27:41] Jennifer: It’s interesting because when I think of breathwork and how popular breathwork is right now. I’m a hyper ventilator, that’s something in my respiration training that I’m trying to change, and then I go into a practice that is actively hyperventilating- does it feel safe? Does it feel good?

[00:28:06] Elisabeth: It’s interesting and I’m not opposed to it. I’m not opposed to really anything as long as you’re also training your nervous system to stay healthy and resilient so that you can do all these other practices. But with breath work, I believe what is happening is there is an intentional dysregulation of the nervous system to tap into those really high stress states and then access the emotions that are linked to those states so that they can be expressed in a new environment that’s safe, in a safe container. So the breath facilitator kind of holds this space, intentionally dysregulates people through hyperventilation, and then they re-experience the emotions and the trauma, but in a different environment where they can safely express it, which I think is great. It just has to be that the container is actually really safe and that they are then reregulated afterwards so that they don’t leave the setting in a dysregulated state and just go back into their life in that state of panic, because hyperventilation is going to cause panic, right? It’s gonna cause sympathetic activation of your nervous system and that’s okay. If somebody has the skill to bring you all the way through that process and then discharge the stress like we were talking about how animals do, if you can have that experience with it. Beautiful.

[00:29:31] That’s great, but you just have to make sure you’re with a facilitator that can take you all the way safely through the journey and not leave you dysregulated. And that maybe you have some tools then to reregulate your nervous system and come back into a healthier, calmer state before trying to go on with your life.

[00:29:51] Jennifer: Yeah. We have talked about this before in our ACE score episode, how important it is to find someone who can hold a safe and tight container for you to be able to move all of this.

[00:30:03] Elisabeth: Yeah, it’s, it’s very important. Just like we were talking about emotional processing, how you can’t even begin to do it if you can’t get regulated enough to feel safe to experience those emotions. So the foundation is training your nervous system to be able to handle it, to train your nervous system so that it’s more resilient and it doesn’t retraumatize you to go into all of these different healing practices so that when you do get triggered in therapy or in emotional processing or in breath work or in whatever it is that you’re doing to address your trauma or address your past, you have tools at your disposal to help your nervous system feel safe and have a different experience afterwards, and to be more resilient so that you’re not just traumatizing yourself over and over.

[00:30:59] Jennifer: And when you can witness yourself, like say the examples that you gave where you are in a healthy, secure attachment relationship, you do not want to come up against something and run out the door and potentially harm what you have within your safe attachment.

[00:31:21] Elisabeth: That’s right, because if I do that and this happens, I think a lot of times in a relationship- I think many people will be able to relate to this- something small happens that triggers our stress response. It’s very little, like maybe my partner just looks at me a certain way, or maybe they’re frustrated about something else in their life and I misinterpret that as a lack of connection to me or frustration with me- just something really little- but that will, especially if you have childhood trauma and you’re hypervigilant about that kind of stuff, that will trigger my Flight response. Then I want to leave and then that makes it not safe for my partner, because I am bolting and that can trigger their stress response of abandonment or neglect or rejection.

[00:32:14] Jennifer: My needs are too big. I’m too much.

[00:32:17] Elisabeth: Mm-hmm, exactly. Then they react in their trauma response, which then triggers me further into my trauma response. It becomes a loop that one of us has to be able to get out of and it’s never up to one person all the time to be the one that’s regulating.

[00:32:35] It’s never, ‘you’re not the bad one’ if you’re the one that gets dysregulated. Both people are gonna sometimes get dysregulated, but it’s important that both people have tools to help themselves reregulate so that we don’t always take things personally so that we don’t move into those cycles of going deeper and deeper into our trauma responses and that we can keep the relationship safe and healthy.

[00:32:58] We can communicate. We stay when we want to flee, we can have the difficult conversations, we can set boundaries, we can lovingly speak our truth and that will then continue to push the relationship in a positive direction.

[00:33:14] Jennifer: And it cultivates your presence with each other.

[00:33:19] Elisabeth: Absolutely. Yes. One of the greatest gifts I think applied neurology gives me is the ability now to be more present in my life more of the time, which means I can be present with the people I love. I can be present with myself. I can sit still now. I can sit still and feel the sun on my face and put my feet in the grass and be with my breath and be with my body and not feel like that’s not safe.

[00:33:47] I think our presence is the best, most loving thing we can give to other people and give to ourselves. But when I was stuck in a constant state of Flight, I was never really present with myself or anyone else. So it’s a huge, huge gift to be able to move out of that state and be able to connect with myself and with others.

[00:34:12] Jennifer: Absolutely. I think what you just said is so spot-on- like showing up in your full power and peace and in love. Because those are the vibrations that we wanna be moving out into the world. That’s what we want and that’s what we wanna put out. It’s really hard if we haven’t cleared the trauma and cleared the emotion out of the body that doesn’t have the space for presence, doesn’t have the space for being connected. You know, it’s the opposite of Flight.

[00:34:46] Elisabeth: It really is. Like with so many things we can know cognitively I want to be present for other people. I want to meditate. I want to be able to sit still with my breath or that we want to embody these new beliefs, that it’s safe to trust other people, that it’s safe to express myself or whatever, but if those mindset changes aren’t happening in our body as well as in our mind- if they’re not happening in the nervous system as well as in our frontal lobe- it is almost impossible to really carry them out in the world because we will still be driven by this internal felt sense and this lack of safety inside of ourselves.

[00:35:31] So if we really want to embody those new beliefs and then be able to take the actions to be different in the world, to be different in our relationships then we have to work with the nervous system and the brain, the older part of the brain, to make that safe, to make it possible and to not push ourselves into even more stress when we try to be that way.

[00:35:58] Jennifer: Then you will see anxiety diminishing, diminishing insomnia, diminishing panic, diminishing food stuff, like all coming from all operating system, all protective.

[00:36:16] Elisabeth: Yep, because especially things like diminishing anxiety and insomnia and workaholism and burnout are so linked to this stress response of being unable to rest, being unable to sit, still, being unable to stop being busy all of the time. And even some of these responses are looked on by our society almost as positives, right? Like I have a really strong work ethic or I train really hard.

[00:36:48] Jennifer: Look how much I can do. It’s like a badge of honor.

[00:36:52] Elisabeth: Yep. And the thing about it is that it eventually leads us to illness, to burnout, to shut down and definitely we’re not present with other people. So yes maybe some of these are pretty socially acceptable responses, but they’re actually harming our health. They’re harming our internal systems and how much do we wanna sacrifice that for work, for training, for all of that when it’s not really coming from a deep desire to do those things. It’s coming from a fear and a lack of safety.

[00:37:35] Jennifer: I love it. I love that we’re unpacking these each one,  one by one. I think this is just brilliant and always just great reminders too even being in the work and doing the work and working with clients to have these conversations and try and break things down a little bit further for people. If you are interested in applied neurology, then you should head over to brain-based slash wellness.com for a free neuro series.

[00:38:04] Elisabeth: Yeah, absolutely. The best place to get started is to just come check out the website, get a free video series and schedule a consultation with us. We can help you identify these trauma responses in your own life. We’re always happy to talk to people and strategize with you about the best way for you to train your unique nervous system and to move out of these behaviors, these sensations, this physiology in your life so that you can make the kind of changes that you want to.

[00:38:36] Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely growth and expansion and the life that you desire is as simple as living in your nervous system.

[00:38:44] Elisabeth: Absolutely.

[00:38:45] Jennifer: So hit subscribe and come with us on this journey into your nervous system this season. And reach out to us when we can or connect with us when you book a consultation and we’ll get you started.

[00:39:08] Elisabeth: We’ll work with you.

[00:39:11] Jennifer: We would love that. Thank you all. Bye-bye.

[00:39:16] Elisabeth: Thank you.