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  • Robert Dannar, MS, LCMHC

Polyvagal, when Anxiety and Depression are activated.



When Anxiety and Depression are activated.

You have 3 parts of your nervous system that can be activated.


1. Social engagement Parasympathetic Nervous System Ventral Vega. This is the only part that allows for oxytocin for being able to relate or connect.

a. Joy

b. In the present

c. Groundedness or connected

d. Curiosity and openness

e. Compassion

f. mindful


2. Fight or Flight is when Sympathetic Nervous System is active.

a. Flight Fight

b. Panic Rage

c. Anxiety Anger

d. Fear Irritation

e. Worry/concern Frustration


3. Freeze is when Parasympathetic Nervous System Dorsal Vega or emergency state.

a. Dissociation

b. Numbness

c. Depression and Shut Down

d. Energy Conservation

e. Helplessness and Hopelessness

f. Shame

g. Trapped


As you head into Fight, Flight, and Freeze a person's body tends to tense up or roll forward. In Fight or Flight your shoulders tense up and become rounded. In Freeze your whole body tends to curl in with a loss of energy. It is important that when you notice those parts of you are active that you do some physical changes to your posture and breathing patterns. Practice will help as the nervous system is Autonomous and you will have to have your postured breathing become habitual in order for it to be the most effective.

For more information on this topic please research Polyvagal Theory.

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