Day 5: The mind-body connection & polyvagal theory

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It's time to take a little deep dive and explore the mind-body connection a little better and how that impacts our nervous system.

In the podcast episode below, I'll explain briefly the three typical states our nervous systems inhabit, why each is important, and dive a little into polyvagal theory.

Afterwards, I'll invite you to try a short, gentle breathwork exercise (perfect for newbies) and see how your nervous system responds. You'll journal your experiences in your workbook afterwards.

Podcast episode

Nervous system states - what's your baseline today?

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It's common for ADHD brains to get stuck around a 7-10 on the baseline scale before... in hyperarousal.

If you're feeling hyperactive, agitated or anxious today, the following breathwork exercise can really help. If you're stuck in exhaustion & analysis paralsysis, there's a more activating breathwork exercise in Day 6 for analysis paralysis.

Let's calm your nervous system, and increase its capacity. Time to try some breathwork for yourself...

*The following recordings are freely available on Insight Timer app - I do not have any affiliation, and am simply sharing what has worked for me.

Find a comfortable place to do the breathwork exercise where you won't be disturbed. It's only a 9 min practice, so allowing 15 mins with a buffer either side of the practice should be enough time, but if you have longer, allow yourself to rest after the session. Let your nervous system guide you, and stop if anything becomes uncomfortable, or do shorter sessions as you acclimatize.

*click image below, and it will open the track in your Insight App.

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Click image above to open link in Insight app

1. Intro: Breathwork to slow down

As we ease into this breathwork experience, remember to trust your system and go gently. Try it with curiosity, and journal your experience afterwards in your workbook (on page 12).

This practice is the perfect way to introduce you to breathwork if it's your first time. Carolyn's style is so gentle and she connects the concepts we've been exploring with polyvagal theory and calming our vagus nerve to shift our body in to a parasympathetic response, and away from fight or flight mode.

9 min practice, easy to fit in anywhere in your day

Racing mind? Struggling to slow down?

If you find your mind is racing, and you're struggling to adjust to this slower pace, your nervous system has likely been stuck in the sympathetic fight-flight state for a long time and doesn't feel safe to shift out of what is familiar. That's okay, and listening to your system is key.

  • You can try this bee breath and lion's breath session with Carolyn instead - it's really yummy.
  • You could try adding bilateral stimulation to help your mind trust that it's safe to slow down. Cross your hands over your chest and try light, fast butterfly taps on your collarbones while doing the breathwork.


Fill in the Day 5 journal page

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