How to cultivate safeness through engaging with our sensesJuly 04, 2020 3:00 pm
The need to feel safe is a basic human imperative along with the need for food, water and shelter. In the 1990s Stephen Porges, a neuroscientist, proposed an understanding of the physiology of how our nervous system is constantly working, outside of our consciousness, to try to keep us safe which was called the Polyvagal Theory. Porges named this newly discovered sense of safety neuroception. For us as human beings we rely heavily on our relationships for our sense of safety and equally relationships can be the cause of us feeling highly unsafe. The latter can have major impacts on our wellbeing as many of are finding in these Covid-times wherein we experience a high-level of unsafe feeling.
Living with a chronic pain condition, which I discovered was highly connected to a childhood of a constant sense of unsafeness, has led me to do a lot of exploring using Focusing to help my body learn to self-soothe, to self-regulate – or to put it more bluntly to feel safe. Whilst we can find an embodied sense of safeness when we are with others who feel neuroceptively safe to our bodies this is not something that is available all the time. So we also need to develop ways to auto-regulate and soothe our neuroceptive states when we are alone. I have found using the various senses such as smell, touch, sight and sound have been immensely helpful to me and my webinar is to give you a little taste into the world of using sensory support to encourage the embodied wellbeing that is inherent in safety.
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