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Understanding the Nervous System

The interconnection of our systems

We've inhertited this amazing nervous system that impacts all of our body's systems. The nervous system plays a vital role in various bodily functions, influencing our health, well-being, and daily activities. It controls sensory perception, thoughts, emotions, and physical functions.By understanding the nervous system, we can better comprehend our behavior and learn how to manage stress.


Parts of the Nervous System

Central Nervous System (CNS)
The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord, serving as the command center for the entire nervous system.
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
The PNS connects the CNS to muscles, organs, and senses, facilitating communication and coordination.
Somatic and Autonomic Nervous Systems
The PNS branches into the somatic system, responsible for sensory perception and motor skills, while the autonomic system controls organs and glands.
Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems
Within the autonomic system, the sympathetic division triggers the "fight or flight" response, while the parasympathetic division promotes relaxation and restoration.

the nervous system controls


Heart Rate Varaibility

Hearing and Voice

Hormone production

Muscle and organ contraction and relaxation

Digestion and the gut

Remember our Ancestors

Our nervous system isn't meant to stay calm all the time. It controls these bodily functions because its primary job is to ensure our survival. Our successful ancestors had highly attuned nervous systems that excelled at staying alert.

We want our nervous system to regulate our breathing, adjust our heart rate, dilate our pupils, supply glucose to our muscles, and activate muscle tension. These responses have been essential for our survival, inherited from our ancestors.

However, we can't fight or flee from psychological stressors, causing maladaptive behavior.

In modern times, we experience psychological stress, leading to similar physiological changes.

It's a survival mechanism from our ancestors' era, preparing us for physical threats.

This "fight or flight" response includes pupil dilation, increased heart rate, blood pressure, glucose release, and adrenaline.

The Nervous System's Role in Stress

When the nervous system perceives threats, it activates a stress response.

Impact on Behavior

  • Real and perceived stress trigger a response in our nervous system.
  • Thanks to our remarkable inherited nervous system, we react by entering fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode.
  • When we find ourselves in a dysregulated state, which includes these survival modes, our behavior undergoes alterations.
  • Dysregulation indicates that we are in survival mode, causing us to react to every situation as if it were a threat.
  • During this time, our nervous system takes control, and our thinking brain goes offline.

Understanding how our body functions helps us comprehend the reasons behind our behaviors.

Why this matters

A grasp of the nervous system aids in comprehending behavior and managing stress.