Deborah Dana - Befriending Your Nervous System
Harness the power of your nervous system to support healthy relationships and personal well-being.
Why is it that when you have a tense conversation with a boss, coworker, or partner, you feel like you’re staring down a charging rhinoceros? How is it that both situations cause a fight-or-flight response—and what can you learn from it?
As it turns out, the same neurological processes that cause unwanted stress can also be harnessed to summon relaxation, spaciousness, and equanimity. In Befriending Your Nervous System, clinician Deb Dana presents a simple, hopeful message: when you approach these subconscious processes with openness, mindful attention, and—above all—curiosity, you can gain the understanding necessary to shape their outcomes. Dana draws from the recent explosion of research in Polyvagal Theory, which posits that our most hardwired survival responses are regulated by the vagus nerve and can be consciously regulated through repeated exercises.
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Here, you will learn:
How to interpret the subtle language of the nervous system
Present-moment awareness and the mechanics of choice
Your personal “protection-connection” equation
How to cultivate and savor positive nervous states
Why it’s paramount that you examine your internalized stories about the world
How to discover the stillness available in every moment
What actually nourishes your autonomic nervous system
The continuum of resilience
The process of reciprocity, rupture, and repair
How to recognize physical cues of both safety and danger
Dana teaches how to work with the body’s innate ability to pick up social signals and cultivate “micro-moments” of safety, retraining your automatic responses to stress, conflict, and hardship. Including in-depth practices such as guided imagery, meditation, and ongoing self-inquiry, Befriending Your Nervous System offers a practical user’s manual for anyone seeking greater wellness, self-awareness, and emotional resilience.