So… it’s been 3 and a half weeks since I got back into polyvagal theory and trying to physiologically get out of Defense mode. Here’s what I’ve found: - I use HRV4Training’s Heart Rate Variability score to measure my nervous system capacity. If the score is above an 8, I’m usually good for the day. A score in the 7’s means I can be productive naturally, but I’m prone to freezing up if I’m under too much stress. If my score is in the 6’s, it requires a shitton of willpower for me to get anything done, and said willpower can be broken by the tiniest stressor. If it’s below 6… I’m in “Nope”. A big event, such as a final exam, can reduce this score by as much as 1 “point”, which is huge. I used to be in the low 6’s, but now I’m consistently in the low-mid 7’s. The crazy part? My best day, an 8.7, was still below average for my age & gender (under-35 male). - Focusing on fully exhaling usually is enough to keep me grounded enough in the present moment to survive emotional waves. I still get triggered from time to time, but I’m able to deal with it a lot better. It’s miraculous as it allows me to deal with emotional waves on the fly, which I need to do as I recognize not every place will give me 10-15-minute meditation breaks on demand. - Realizing how little control I actually had over my actions in the past due to being dysregulated as heck has made me able to forgive myself a lot more easily. At times, this does turn into anger at others over the way they treated me because it feels like they were bullying me for something I actually had very little control over. - Positive emotions are actually much harder for me to deal with than negative emotions, regardless of intensity. When I feel calm & like I’ve done everything I need for the day (which happens early a lot of the time these days), I suddenly get uneasy and bored. As for overwhelming feelings of excitement, they usually make me jump out of my seat and I struggle to calm down from them. - I’ve been able to fly through what I need to for the day most of the time, though I tend to be forgetful and slow on my low-HRV days. - It takes me about 2-3 days to fully recover from a day where I get overwhelmed (back to previous functioning levels). - I’m often very disconnected from how I’m feeling in my body. When I feel frozen, moving my limbs, even if I did nothing physically all day, feels like trying to move after doing 20 sets of max every kind of intense gym workout imaginable. I manage to push through with full exhaling. - Advocating for my needs and wants is a LOT easier when I’m regulated. I don’t feel ashamed of it anymore. I just wish I could feel confident enough to take my life to the next level, though. - Attractive members of the opposite sex immediately send me into Freeze Mode. - I’ve noticed I have an enthusiastic sound and a disconnected sound. Again, full exhaling helps me switch from the latter to the former. - In the beginning, I found that I’d just occasionally have micro-pauses in my breathing. Those are largely gone now. i’m also clenching my jaw less. - I’ve learned to look at my body and mind like a car: accelerate (move) when frozen, slow down the breath when I’m in fight or flight (I tend to hyperventilate at times). It works. I’m actually gaining a Window of Tolerance, and even though I’ve only been in that window twice out of 3-4 weeks, it’s awesome when it happens, and better than almost never really being there. Numbing out also happens a lot less than it used to. Any tips & advice from those further along the journey would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by marcopolo_96 at 2024-04-05 23:49:00 UTC