Self-Help Exercises for CPTSD Symptoms Based on Polyvagal Theory, Plus Q&A – FEEL Safer

In THIS VIDEO, I talk about a theory developed by Dr. Stephen Porges that could change the way we heal trauma, and once I’ve given you a brief overview of the theory, I’m going to share some self-help exercises that you can do at home to help you get through the hard times.

Going through a toxic relationship often leaves victims feeling fearful to a debilitating level. For most of us, it affects our nervous system in profound ways. In some cases, survivors find themselves living in a constant state of anxiety based on the feeling that they need to be constantly on guard – hypervigilance.

This makes it almost impossible for them to relax or even to feel “normal.” They feel FROZEN or STUCK.

I have had a few different clients in this state who had tried everything but struggled to find relief.

After discovering what I’m going to show you today, we found that for many of them, doing simple at-home exercises could make a significant difference in their ability to feel safe enough to recover.

Dr. Stephen Porges proposes in his polyvagal theory that the vagus nerve has more function than previously thought, and that the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems are only part of the equation in how people react to the environment and trauma.

That’s because the theory is very complicated, and while I’m going to do my best to break it down simply for you, I’m going to provide a very high-level overview and focus on the parts that will specifically help us as survivors.

The Polyvagal Theory says that the parasympathetic nervous system is not only associated with relaxation but also symptoms of PTSD.

Porges developed the theory to help us understand this dual function of the parasympathetic nervous system. It points to a human survival mechanism in which the parasympathetic nervous system leads us to FREEZE or “faint” in the face of a life-threatening event.

Most importantly, the polyvagal theory teaches you to engage your social nervous system to consciously slow down your defensive system.

This allows you to finally find freedom from CPTSD symptoms and to feel safe. In other words, Porges’s theory makes us look beyond the effects of fight or flight and put social relationships in the forefront so we can understand our symptoms better. By Angela Atkinson