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You're Thinking, Not Feeling / SNB 138 quotes and show notes

Updated: Mar 16, 2023


The flavor of your thoughts, the intensity of your thoughts comes from your Polyvagal state… the story of it, the theme of your thoughts, that’s going to come from culture, family, social norms, religious views.
Cognitive themes can be connected to Polyvagal states… the flavor of the thought is different, but the theme is still there.
These themes or these beliefs that are given to us can absolutely keep us down our Polyvagal ladder and limit our potential to climb up it and experience more…
If you can catch your thoughts, notice them… then become curious about what is driving those thoughts… Notice the feeling that is driving that thought.
A thought doesn’t just exist on its own. It pops into your mind without you really summoning it… it’s driven by a [Polyvagal] state.
You may not be used to feeling. You may be ignoring, stuffing down, minimizing or somehow coping as a way to distract yourself from how you feel.
Feelings can be scary. But - eventually, we do need to feel.
You don’t have to. It’s your choice. But if you do nothing different, you probably know how it’s going to go.
What may be seen day to day is anger or irritability, but really there’s other things under there.
Those feelings are there. You do have feelings. Whether or not you feel them, they still affect you and they’re not really going anywhere.


  • What are thoughts?

    • Words and images that are in your brain

      • Memories, beliefs, reasoning

    • I don’t think we control what is in our mind

      • Kind of pops in and out without us directing it

      • 2+2=?

  • Where do thoughts come from?

    • The flavor of your thoughts come from your state (“Story Follows State” from PVT101)

    • The theme of your thoughts come from: culture, family, social norms, religious views

      • Teach you how the world is, how your family is, how you are

      • Can be limiting, like social norms for your gender and what can be accomplished or felt

      • I was told that my family had less

        • Made selling my course very difficult

  • Themes become connected to polyvagal defensive states

    • If others have more than me and my family, then there is no point in trying from a shutdown state

    • Likewise, it might result in jealousy or resentment thoughts from fight

      • “You didn’t earn it”

    • From safety, you can think about earning more while others do the same or even partnering with others to earn together


  • Thoughts are a clue to your state

    • Thoughts can be caught

      • Notice, then become curious about what is driving that

      • A coach or therapist or other person can catch them

    • Notice the feeling driving the thought

      • And then the state driving the feeling through somatic sensations

  • Feeling can be scary, intimidating

    • You may not be used to feeling, you may be ignoring or stuffing or coping somehow

  • But eventually, we need to feel

    • “Feel the feelings” isn’t easy

    • When ready

    • Often layers to feeling

      • Bits at a time

      • One layer can uncover another

        • Anger isn’t just anger

  • Not because there is something wrong with you

    • We all do this

    • It’s just hard to feel

    • Even if you really really want to

    • Might not even see the issue

  • The feelings are there

    • They just are

    • So…


Building Safety Anchors -

Intro/Outro music & Transition Sounds by Benjo Beats -

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 and other content produced by Justin Sunseri (“JustinLMFT”) (i.e; podcast, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) 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 should be construed to be specific life advice; it is for educational and entertainment purposes only.


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