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Stillness / SNB107

Updated: Mar 19, 2023


INTRO -

  • In this episode, I…

    • Discuss the final mixed state of the Polyvagal Theory - Stillness.

  • My name is Justin Sunseri.

  • I’m a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist obsessed with the polyvagal theory.

  • Welcome to Stuck Not Broken.


DISCLAIMERS -

But before I get into things -put yourself first. I keep every episode as safe as I can, but just by the nature of the topics, you may experience some stuff come up. Take a break if you need to.


This podcast is not therapy, nor intended to be a replacement for therapy.


TOPIC - STILLNESS MIXED STATE

  • safe/social + shutdown = Stillness

  • Ventral vagal + dorsal vagal

  • Shutdown, immobile, but safe

  • Being okay with being still


EXERCISE -what sounds more likely to allow stillness for you?

Eyes closed if you want, deep breath -

Clip 1 - nature sounds

Clip 2 - electric hum


TOPIC - WHEN WE ARE STILL

  • During meditation

  • During yoga

  • During restroom breaks

  • During physical intimacy (sometimes)

  • During classroom

  • During work at a desk

    • All of these require that we are immobile but safe

    • You’re probably being still right now


TOPIC - ACCESSING DORSAL IMMOBILIZATION

  • When we are still, we’re immobilizing

  • We usually talk about shutdown in terms of defense

    • But with safety, becomes repurposed

  • Stillness is a challenge for many that are down the polyvagal ladder


TOPIC - ACCESSING VENTRAL SAFETY

  • Being still without fear or defense

  • Safety state prevents the feeling of fear or general defense

  • Stillness in shutdown is different, more just like immobilization

    • Stillness requires safety

    • In shutdown, there is too much collapse

    • Can fall asleep, but oversleep; stillness allows for enough sleep


TOPIC - THE DIFFICULTY IN BEING STILL

  • Too much sympathetic activation

    • Students

    • Falling asleep

    • Sitting through a meeting

  • Fidgeting can result

    • Anciness

  • Need to be able to immobilize while safe

    • Can’t immobilize while in flight/fight

    • Body is prepared to run or fight


BTW, if you like what I’m doing here, you’ll really like what I am doing at Patreon.

  • Entire other podcast, mostly mini episodes 1-2x/wk

  • Livestream Q&A once a month

  • Priority responses from me

  • Priority questions answered

  • Option to communicate with others

  • Early access to stuff I might be playing with

  • Only $5 a month!




TOPIC - INCREASE SAFETY ACCESS FOR MORE STILLNESS

  • Just like in any defensive state

  • Environmental cues

    • Sounds

      • Hums of lights, fridge, traffic, a/c when trying to be still and construction/gardening equipment on houses

        • Constant sound of traffic at home, lower in office

      • The silence of a blackout during a bad storm

        • Happened recently

        • I could really settle into stillness

    • Music or silence?

      • Sounds before bedtime can help

      • Music during a massage or yoga or work

      • Chillhop helps me with busy work

    • Lighting

      • Dim or bright

        • I have bright fluorescents at work that create a hum along with the a/c, but also bright unpleasant light

    • Space

      • Opening a window if possible

      • Leaving a door open

      • Having legroom

  • Internal

    • Hunger

    • Rest

    • Nutrition


THANKS SO MUCH FOR LISTENING!

  • I hope you’ve learned something new to help you climb your polyvagal ladder.

  • Bye!


This week’s Patreon episode - https://www.patreon.com/justinlmft

Intro/Outro music & Transition Sounds by Benjo Beats - https://soundcloud.com/benjobeats


National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1 (800) 273-8255

National Domestic Violence Hotline -1 (800) 799-7233

LGBT Trevor Project Lifeline - 1 (866) 488-7386

National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1 (800) 656-4673

Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741741

Call 911 for emergency


This podcast is not therapy, not intended to be therapy or be a replacement for therapy. Nothing in this creates or indicates a therapeutic relationship. Please consult with your therapist or seek for one in your area if you are experiencing mental health sx. Nothing in this podcast should be construed to be specific life advice; it is for educational and entertainment purposes only.


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