Safety is your nervous system’s #1 concern. 

The vagus nerve is in charge of keeping a log of your reactions to threats to your safety. 

Unfortunately, your version of safety and it’s version are different.

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Picture this: you have a dinner reservation in 30 minutes, you planned what you were going to wear and need to change before heading out. 

Your favorite jeans that accentuate your figure are a bit tight…

…you felt bloated but didn’t realize it was this bad.

The flowing black silk top with a camisole underneath you want to wear isn’t long enough to cover up the situation. 

You panic because that’s what you visioned wearing and now you have 10 minutes to figure out plan B. 

This panic tells your nervous system you’re not safe. 

Your mind starts to spiral as you hunt in your closet for a new outfit.

You start to beat yourself up about the extra slice of pizza you had 2 nights ago, skipping the gym yesterday and all the other “dietary sins” committed that week. 

Then you’re on to debating canceling plans and spending the evening in your PJs. 

This is a prime example of how your nervous system links your thoughts and reactions with threats to safety.

Your primal brain doesn’t know your jeans aren’t going to come to life and attack you. 

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And so the next time you go to put on those jeans the thought of the last episode will come up and there will be a nervous system reaction. 

It may be slight and if you hadn’t read this you may not catch it…

…but since you’ve read this I’m hoping the awareness will be there.

While you can lock your doors and set alarm systems to keep out predators your nervous system doesn’t know that.

Especially if you and your thoughts are your worst predator.

This week I interviewed Alicia Kay on my podcast and we talked about being awake to all of our nervous system threats that keep us stuck. 

Your nervous system is deeply tied into your health, finances, relationships and careers.

The vagus nerve knows how you feel and think about everything in your life.

You’ve been training it to perceive threat vs non-threat for years. 

It taps into your senses big time and smell is a major trigger.

Your nervous system is hyperaware of the smell of something burning because fire = danger.

Same goes for the scent of perfume or cologne of someone you wish you’d never dated…(Drakkar = instant nausea for me).

The vagus nerve perceives situations based on previous experience. 

If the lab tech had to poke you a few times to get your blood the last time you went for lab testing – you’re going to be thinking about that and start sweating while in the waiting room …

…unless you change your breathing pattern and reassure yourself you’re safe. 

Breathing patterns, posture and facial expressions all have the ability to change your vagus nerves perception of a situation. 

This is why people talk about changing into your power pose and laughing or smiling to soothe your nerves. 

To change your response to repetitive patterns that do no serve you have to to reassure your nervous system that all is clear and safe. 

How do you do that?

  • Get to a quiet place if possible and take long exhale breaths
  • Consider EFT tapping to reassure your safety
  • Laugh about the reaction and reassure yourself all is good
  • Change the narrative from negative to positive
  • Repeat a mantra if there is something that soothes you

The key here – you have to believe you are ok, all is good and everything is going to work out. 

It’s hard to fool your nervous system.

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This is where things get tricky. 

Repetition is key no matter how silly you feel. 

And when it comes to body image, weight and food issues…a bit of extra work may be required as this stuff goes deep into your belief system about yourself. 

Know the more you practice awareness and reassurance the less the nervous system will react to these “threats”.

Start by asking yourself – why are you repeating this pattern of thought or behavior?

Explain to yourself why you no longer need this threat to trigger the symptoms or behavior you’re experiencing. 

Keep repeating your explanation to yourself.

I’ve found waking up each morning to take 15 minutes to meditate on the person you want to be and visualizing letting go of all thoughts, behaviors and habits that are “threats” to your nervous system helps.

This type of meditation can be found in Joe Dispenza’s morning meditation series. 

You can use these techniques in any aspect of your life – finances, career, relationships and health issues as all of these areas can have “threats” that trigger the nervous system. 

In my opinion, the majority of the hang ups in life stem from vagus nerve mis-communication. 

Over the last 4 years I’ve had a variety of guides help me become aware of these mis-communications from…

  • Theresa Lear Levine with EFT tapping and hypnosis
  • Petia Kolibova 
  • Abraham Hicks
  • Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • Kate Northup – Plenty Podcast (finances)
  • Alicia Kay

In my most recent podcast, I talk with Alicia Kay, a former psychotherapist turned life coach, about becoming aware of how your vagus nerve is preventing you from optimal health. 

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If you’re curious about how to send signals to your nervous system that you’re safe and you want to learn more about how it all works – check out my podcast with Alicia Kay HERE.

And check out her free guide – “Free Yourself – Simple Strategies to Dismantle 3 Most Common Unhealthy Beliefs” – click HERE 

I’ve read and re-read it 8x and it’s really helpful. 

Here’s to your vagus nerve health,

Dr. J

Jannine Krause

Get back to your wild, active, vibrant self

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