Play & Stillness / episode 7 Show Notes

Updated: Mar 28


PLAY

Safe & Social + Flight & Fight = Play

  • Face to face signals safety

  • Shared attention - Focus on the same thing or common point of interest like a puzzle or soccer ball

  • Play is reciprocal and synchronous

  • Shared, safe and in same bodily State

  • Exercises the ability to shift up and down the ladder

  • Using mobility with safety

MOBILIZATION WITHOUT SAFETY

For traumatized individuals, play may activate the defense systems without the ability to co-regulate

  • Depends on their play history

  • “Doesn’t play well with others.”

  • Kids that push the limit of acceptable play

  • “Accidentally hurt someone”

  • Won’t have guilt (social engagement system isn't as available)

WHY IS MOBILIZATION UNSAFE?

Anything is unsafe without safety state

  • The State of flight and fight is used when things aren’t safe, but it needs the Safe & Social system to be active. Otherwise, it’s an increased heart rate

  • Environment becomes a threat without the safety to keep it in check

STILLNESS

Social Engagement + Shut Down = Stillness

  • Stillness without Fear, Sitting in silence, Self-reflection, Using the restroom, Intimacy with a partner, Sleeping

  • Traumatized people experience a body perception of danger when still

STILLNESS WITHOUT SAFETY

An inability to tolerate stillness/quiet for those down the ladder

  • Sitting still is unsafe

  • Classroom environment is unsafe: people, sounds, pressure, falling behind in class, feeling dumb, teacher comments/sarcasm

Meditation becomes unsafe

  • Closing eyes = dark, inward = danger, in a group especially

Sleep is unsafe

  • Anxiety feelings that lead to anxiety thoughts

  • About the next day or the previous day, something you didn’t do, panic about not falling asleep

  • Trauma memories, flashbacks and feelings

  • Plus darkness is a cue in itself of danger, also being alone

WHY IS STILLNESS UNSAFE?

Anything is unsafe without the social engagement system active

  • Being still means being open to a predator

“Story follows State”

  • Your thoughts and feelings will match the State you are in

COPING WITH STILLNESS

Sleep

  • Tv on, using a substance

Classroom

  • Behavior problems to avoid the stillness and unsafe feelings

  • Creating the external world to match the internal

  • Make the environment match the story which matches the state



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