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  • Writer's pictureAshley McMann

Signs your nervous system may be dysregulated

Imagine your body is like a finely-tuned orchestra, and your nervous system is the conductor, guiding every note. When your conductor (nervous system) is in harmony, you feel balanced and at ease. But sometimes, things can go out of tune, leading to a dysregulated nervous system. Below we’ll explore what that means and help you recognize the signs and symptoms.

So What Exactly Is a Dysregulated Nervous System?

Let's keep it simple: your nervous system is like a control center for your body. It manages everything from your heart rate and breathing to your emotions and stress responses. When it's working smoothly, you can handle life's ups and downs. But when it's dysregulated, things can get a bit chaotic and life can feel really off-balance.

Signs of Hyperarousal: Feeling On Edge

Imagine feeling like you're constantly on high alert, as if your internal alarm is stuck on "sirens blaring." You’re always looking over your shoulder or waiting for the next catastrophe. This is called hyperarousal, and it's a common sign of a dysregulated nervous system. Here are some everyday signs to look out for:

Anxiety: You may find yourself worrying excessively or feeling anxious about everyday situations, even when there's no apparent danger.

Irritability: Small annoyances might suddenly feel like major problems, and you may snap at others more easily.

Restlessness: It's hard to sit still. You might feel jittery or like you need to constantly move.

Difficulty Sleeping: Your racing mind can make it tough to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night.

Signs of Hypoarousal: The Fog of Numbness

On the flip side, some individuals experience hypoarousal when their nervous system is dysregulated. Think of it as feeling like you're stuck in a fog and you feel sort of numb. Here are some common signs of hypoarousal:

Fatigue: You're tired all the time, even after a good night's sleep.

Brain Fog: It's like your brain is trapped in a fog. You may have trouble concentrating or remembering things.

Emotional Numbness: Your emotions may feel muted or distant, like you're watching life through a thick glass window. Or it may feel like your life lacks color and everything is gray.

Mixed Dysregulation Patterns: Navigating the Rollercoaster

In some cases, it's not all one or the other; it's a little bit of both. This can create a rollercoaster of symptoms:

Mood Swings: Intense fluctuations in your emotions, making it hard to predict how you'll feel from one moment to the next.

Confusion: A lack of clarity. You might feel like your thoughts are jumbled and racing in a million different directions. You may even feel paralyzed from making decisions.

Overwhelm: Everyday tasks, which are usually manageable, can suddenly seem daunting and impossible.

Impact on Daily Life

A dysregulated nervous system can influence many aspects of your life:

  • Relationships: It may affect your ability to connect with loved ones, as irritability or emotional numbness can strain relationships.

  • Work and Productivity: Difficulty concentrating and mood swings can make it challenging to focus on tasks and be productive.

  • Physical Health: A lack of sleep, inability to engage in normal exercise and a nervous system not functioning properly can lead to a weakened immune system, muscle tension, and further health issues.

  • Anxiety and Depression: Disruption in relationships, daily functioning, and physical health can further lead to anxiety and depression, if not treated properly.

Seeking Help and Support

If you recognize these signs in yourself, remember, you're not alone, and help is available:

Professional Guidance: Consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor. They can help you understand and manage your dysregulated nervous system.

Therapeutic Approaches: Therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness can be effective in regulating your nervous system.

Self-Care: Simple practices like deep breathing, regular exercise, and a balanced diet can make a big difference.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system is the first step toward finding balance and harmony in your life. Remember, it's okay to seek help and support on your journey to a well-regulated nervous system. With the right tools and guidance, you can regain control and find balance again in life.

If you are looking for guidance on your journey to a more peaceful life, we are here to help! You can contact us at the link below!

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