Why do people check out or disassociate when they become stressed? How does your nervous system create certain thoughts? How do you find your balance again?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about the nervous system, somatic work, and finding your balance again with Victoria Albina.
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Meet Victoria Albina
Victoria Albina (she/they) is a Master Certified Life Coach, UCSF-trained Family Nurse Practitioner, and Breathwork Meditation Guide with a passion for helping women realize that they are their own best healers, so they can break free from codependency, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and reclaim their joy. She is the host of the Feminist Wellness Podcast and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health and a BA in Latin American Studies from Oberlin College.
In This Podcast
- Challenging societal beliefs about women
- “The issues are in the tissues”
- How to come back to balance again
- Victoria’s advice to private practitioners
Challenging societal beliefs about women
An aspect of society is constructed upon various beliefs and perceptions that are, in essence, random and without value, but that nevertheless teach people about what they “should” or “shouldn’t” do or be in society as a man or woman.
For women, some of these societal beliefs include:
- They must have small bodies
- They must not take up space – either physically or conversationally
- That their pleasure is not important or belongs to others and not to themselves
- Taking care of others is their main role
In my practice, I focus on supporting humans socialized as women to overcome codependent, perfectionist, and people-pleasing habits which – if we boil it down – comes to a detachment from self, living in a false self, outside our authenticity.Victoria Albina
“The issues are in the tissues”
The vagus nerve is the connector between the mind and the body.
[The vagus nerve] controls not just our organs, but our mood, our energy, our emotional capacity, whether we’re present in life or not, whether we’re anxious or chill, checked out or checked in.Victoria Albina
Our vagus nerve is incredibly complex and nuanced.
It considers many things, such as internal and external stimuli, if the home or family of origin was safe or not, daily habits and physical wellness, and your personal history of stress, distress, and trauma.
When we are moving through the world, our nervous system is directing our experience of life through enteroception; the nervous system scanning of our internal state, and exteroception; our scanning of the external state, and the body is always on the lookout… for lions.Victoria Albina
The body is constantly scanning for danger. That said, the primary state of the human being – a pack mammal – is the ventral vagus. This is our experience of the world, and it is characterized as safe and central, calm and collected.
However, when we are stressed biologically, our vagus nerve triggers a huge change in our bodies, and if left unattended or unrelaxed, chronic illnesses are more likely to occur.
Anxiety is often felt in the sympathetic state, whereas depression is often felt in the dorsal vagus nerve state. This is when your body checks out, numbs out, and shuts down emotionally and energetically to the world.
How to come back to balance again
- You need to map your nervous system because you cannot change what you don’t understand.
- Where is your home away from home? Do you check out or become anxious when stress flares?
- Map your nervous system throughout the day.
It’s normal, necessary, and vital to have some sympathetic activation during the day or you would stay in bed all day … but really noticing when you leave that level of sympathetic that is supportive, loving … and when you cross over into worry, anxiety, [or] stress.Victoria Albina
What does it feel like in your body when you go into the sympathetic nervous system response? What do you think there? What do you do and say there? What is your self-perception and perception of the world?
First, bring the body back to a state of calm and peace before diving into mindset work. Your biology needs to feel safe for you to do the real work.
We have to regulate the nervous system first, and that starts with mapping it.Victoria Albina
Victoria’s advice to private practitioners
Come back to presence, because being fully present – with yourself and with others – is to be in a state of love.
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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