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Track your Nervous System: a quick exercise

1. Grab a piece of paper and pen.

2. Draw a horizontal line across a sheet of paper, and draw a vertical tick mark at the beginning, middle, and end of the horizontal line.

3. Label the beginning tick mark with the word “protection.” This represents an inner state of feeling overwhelmed by life to the point of dissociation, withdrawal, lethargy, feelings of aloneness, or depression.

4. Label the ending tick mark with the word, “connection.” This represents an inner state of feeling open to connect with the world, to engage with others, or to create from a vibrant inner energy.

5. Label the middle tick mark with the words, “fight/flight,” to represent a state of feeling manic, hypervigilant, overthinking, hyper-focused, or hijacked by worry and anxiety.

6. Consider your inner state in this moment. Draw a tick mark on any part of the graph that best represents your current state of being. Perhaps you feel a bit in between states. That’s fine, just mark the spot.

8. Beneath the spot that marks your current inner state, create two sections for notes. One section is titled “psyche” and the other is “body.”

9. Without overthinking, feel into your current inner state. Write down three descriptive words to accurately describe how you FEEL in your psyche in this moment.

10. Now, find three words to describe how you FEEL in your body in this moment.

11. Now, close your eyes, feeling into your inner state, and ask these parts of your psyche and body what they need to feel balanced. Be still and allow the answer to spring forth from the innate intelligence that is responsible for organizing the activity of your every cell.

The key is acting fast – respond to your nervous system needs as they arise. The longer we ignore our needs, the more stress we accumulate, and the more unwanted symptoms of stress characterize our existence.



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