Top down or bottom up. Ways to calm the nervous systemn


“Top down or bottom up.

Structures in the emotional brain decide what we perceive as dangerous or safe.

There are two ways of changing the threat detection system: from the top down, via modulating messages from the medial prefrontal cortex (not just prefrontal cortex), or from the bottom up, via the reptilian brain, through breathing, movement, and touch.

In PTSD the critical balance between the amygdala (smoke detector) and the medial prefrontal cortex (watchtower) shifts radically, which makes it much harder to control emotions and impulses.

Neuroimaging studies of human beings in highly emotional states reveal that intense fear, sadness, and anger all increase the activation of subcortical brain regions involved in emotions and significantly reduce the activity in various areas in the frontal lobe, particularly the MPFC.

When that occurs, the inhibitory capacities of the frontal lobe break down, and people “take leave of their senses”:

They may startle in response to any loud sound, become enraged by small frustrations, or freeze when somebody touches them.”
My two cents: This is how the fight or flight mechanism either calms down quickly or we try to avoid at all costs, deny it or take aggressive action.

What we resist, persists seems to be written for the adrenal stress response ( fight or flight mechanism).

Run scared and the boogeyman grows, stay present, aware and trauma integrates.

I get this part, depression is my Achilles heel.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Yep! And that book is a must read! Explain so much about How body and Mind works together! Thanks

  2. I agree

    Thanks for your input.

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