On Sleep, Food and Breathing

I do not believe in diagnoses as they are listed in the DSM –I consider them more a description of certain combinations of symptoms. They can, however, provide some form of orientation to people when they are trying to find sources for help that addresses their experience.

If you have been experiencing (C)PTSD, that essentially means that your nervous system is out of balance.

(C)PTSD manifests in every aspect of your life. As you heal you peel of all these different layers. Some of these layers are very hard to reach. It helps to start with the most basic one - the physical manifestation.

Taking care of sleep, nutrition and breathing, in a way that supports rather than irritates your nervous system will calm your physical symptoms significantly and build a foundation for further healinġ.

You can imagine it this way: Connecting to your inner child and feeling past emotions that you have split off from is really hard. It takes practice, and each time you try, your nervous system and your body are going to respond. Now to heal from dissociation it is important to start feeling emotions that we have avoided feeling. To integrate emotions it is important to sit with them. To be able to feel and sit with them we need to practice emotional regulation. Your ability to emotionally regulate is directly connected to your nervous system.

The more out of balance your nervous system is, the more difficult it will be to practice emotional regulation. Everything that puts your nervous system even more out of balance therefore directly has an inhibiting effect on your ability to do your self work.

If you have not been sleeping well, your ability to emotionally regulate will be significantly worse. If you consume foods or substances that irritate your nervous system, rather than calm it, your body will be in a more agitated state.

In short: There are biological factors that can either build a foundation and support your self work or make it more difficult. Doing that type of self work is already very challenging. That is why it helps a lot to take care of those physical needs first, to directly support your healing.

The most basic and effective areas where you can start balancing your nervous system are sleep, food and breathing. Taking care and listening to your basic physical needs not only calms your nervous system, but also connects you more to the voice of your body.