Why are you the way you are?


"Why are you the way you are?"

This is a big question and a loaded one at that.

Why are we the way we are? Why do we respond the way we do? Why do we have the quirks that we have? Why do we laugh at some things, cry for others or run away?


It is no secret that how we grew up has a MASSIVE impact on the way we interact with others. It is also no secret that trauma causes dysregulation of nervous system and can create "new" patterns of response in the body to external stimuli. What does dysregulation mean? Dysregulation is defined as impairment of a physiological regulatory mechanism such as nervous system (central nervous system, autonomic nervous system), governing metabolism, immune response, or organ function.

There are two primary nervous systems within the body and it is important to understand what their functions are so you can better understand your body and your responses and reactions.

The central nervous system (CNS) is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS receives sensory information from the nervous system and controls the body's responses. The CNS is differentiated from the peripheral nervous system, which involves all of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord that carry messages to the CNS.. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is linked to all automatic body functions, such as breathing and your heartbeat. The ANS is also known as your involuntary nervous

system. We're rarely conscious of these processes taking place in our bodies, yet they often run like clockwork, hence why our ANS is so essential.

The key differences between the CNS and ANS are their major functions, the effect damage has on the body and the nerves ability to be regenerated:

  • CNS: Major function is to organize and analyze the information obtained from sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, touch).

  • ANS: Major function is to transmit sensory information to the central nervous system and pass out motor impulses to the effector organs. (Effector organs are smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and glands that respond to nerve impulses from the central nervous system without conscious thought.)

  • CNS: A damage causes a GLOBAL effect on the body.

  • ANS: A damage causes a LOCAL effect on the body.

  • CNS: Most of the nerves in this system are incapable of regenerating their nerve fibers.

  • ANS: Most of the nerves can be regenerated.

Why is it important to know these differences and about your nervous systems? When you get to know how your system and components work, how they work together, separately and influence one another, you begin to better understand how your body is responding when it receives stimulus. It is really important for understanding why when we implement healthy diet and exercise routines, we often struggle with commitment, pain, mental/emotional blockages, lack of energy and motivation.

It is encouraged this week to check in with how you breathe normally. Placing one hand over your chest, the other over your belly button. As you naturally breathe, notice if your breath is shallow or deep. Are you breathing into your chest, your belly or both? Does it change when you stand up or sit down? These questions are a great place to start to get acquainted with your body and his/her current state. Make a note of this and notice if things change over the coming weeks as we begin to slowly unpack "Why are you the way you are?".

Next week we will begin to cover small steps on how to regulate your nervous system, including different approaches, as well as subtle techniques and simple practices you can keep in your back pocket for if/when you experience anxiety, shut down, panic etc.

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