We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

08-14-2022 Mood and More The Vagus Nerve
In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris Discusses the Vagus nerve and how to help heal this very important nerve in your journey of recovery from CPTSD

Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.

I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Okay, Susanna and I are doing live seminar on the 23rd. It will be through zoom, Krisgodinez.com for the live webinars that Susanna and I are doing, okay. All right, where was I? The vagus nerve. Okay, Vegas means wandering in Latin. It is the largest nerve that we have. It runs from the base of the brain all the way down to the stomach, and it branches off and it handles all of our parasympathetic systems so that we don’t have to think about it. So, in other words, we don’t have to think about the gut, we don’t have to think about our breathing. Usually, we don’t have to think about our heart beating, we don’t have to think about talking. It just happens. We don’t have to think about you know, fight, flight, freeze or fawn, it just kind of happens, right? So that is all part of our parasympathetic system. It controls everything and it branches off. So, the basic… the new theory is relatively new, it’s been around for a while, but the new theory is that the vagus nerve is partially responsible for the fight, flight, freeze or fawn.

Kris Godinez  02:05

And it is because it supplies the amygdala and everything. So, let’s talk about the amygdala. So, fight flight freeze or fawn is not something we think about we don’t it’s not like we go oh, I need to be frozen right now. Oh, I need to run right now. Or oh, I need to give in right. It’s not even a conscious thought it just the body just goes right. So, the amygdala is part of the whole vagus nerve thing, gut mind, you know, whole thing. So, if the vagus nerve is overstimulated, if it’s if it’s just you know, you’re constantly in a state of fight, flight freeze, or fawnn. So, when we have PTSD, which Hello, raise your hand, everybody who’s been through abuse have gotten has gotten PTSD, CPTSD, which is the constant. So, when we’re doing that, we’ve got hyper alertness, right? So hyper alertness is when our vagus nerve, our amygdala is on just hyper alert, where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? We’re looking for danger all the time, because we are trying to stay safe. And we’re not even really aware of it. And it almost feels like it’s out of our control, because it’s the parasympathetic system.

So okay, so let’s, let’s talk about how this affects everything. So, first of all, it affects the amygdala. So, when we have a huge amount of hyper vigilance, we are constantly, the amygdala is constantly going, where’s the danger? Where’s danger, right? So, the amygdala will miss interpret danger, or it will misinterpret things. So, remember, the amygdala, God love, it does not understand the difference between the past the present or thinking about a dangerous situation, you could be daydreaming, and your heart will start racing and your, your breath will start getting really puffy. And it’s because your amygdala is perceiving a threat. So, a great example I love to give is, have you ever had a daydream, where you were in danger, right? Like a bank was being robbed, or, you know, a fire breaks out or whatever, your body will start responding, parasympatheticly as if it was happening, because it can’t tell the difference. Okay. So, it’s basically there to keep us safe. But what happens when we are in abuse for years and years and years and years and years, is that poor system like everything else just gets overused? And it’s just on high alert all the time.

Remember, it also controls our gut how many survivors of abuse have got stomach issues? Hello I do. who has got irritable bowel who has got constipation issues, who has got, you know, sensitive stomach gets an upset stomach really easily? It’s all based on the amount of crap we’ve gone through. And the fact that the vagus nerve has been overstimulated, overstimulated and just finally goes. And it kind of stops, you know what I’m saying. So, it’s kind of like the adrenal gland. That’s where the adrenal fatigue comes from, if we’re constantly running at high alert all the time, adrenaline is meant for short term, it’s meant for Holy crap, there’s the danger, outrun the bear, or climb the tree or jump off the whatever is sinking, you know, that kind of thing. It’s meant for short term spikes and energy to get you out of danger. What ends up happening, though, is that it’s all the time, all the time, all the time. And the poor journaling gland is just like, you know, pulling the adrenal gland is just pumping, pumping, pumping, pumping, pumping, and it finally just gives you the middle finger and says, That’s it. I’m tired, I quit, you know. And so that’s what, that’s another lovely side effect of having been in an abusive relationship for years on end will do to you, there’s a reason why a lot of survivors of abuse have got auto immune issues, you know, chronic fatigue, etc, etc, etc. It’s because our bodies have been like, literally hit the ground, hit the ground running, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go go go for decades, in some cases.

So, the vagus nerve wanders, it goes all through our major systems, it controls all of our major systems. So, this is why fight, flight freeze or fawn our amygdala perceives danger. And here’s the funny thing. Even if it reminds us of something that happened in the past the amygdala will just throw a bunch of red flags and go, oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, tell the hippocampus, hypothalamus that sit on either side of it, we need cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone. So, the body dumps a whole ton of cortisol in your system. Now we’re starting to tense up because cortisol makes us tense up. Because we’re getting ready to run away, freeze like a bunny rabbit, you know how many rabbits freeze waiting for the predator to just walk on by given fawn or fight. So, we’re getting ready to take some sort of action, but we’re not even conscious of it. Why? Vagus nerve, because it’s all of the things that we don’t normally think about, right just runs in the background. You don’t have to tell your heart to be vagus nerve takes care of it. You don’t have to tell your lungs to breathe, vagus nerves take care of it.

So, all right. So, with the vagus nerve, it’s important to take care of it now that you are out of the situation. And even if you’re not out of the situation, it’s important to start taking care of the vagus nerve and start taking care of your body and start taking care of, and I think a lot of us, either raised by narcissists, or around narcissists have a lot of it’s partially codependency. But it’s also this shame of self-care that has been being brought to my attention over and over and over again, in the last few weeks, a lot of my clients, I started talking to them about self-care, started talking to them about meditation or taking time for themselves, even just you know, shutting the door and using the bathroom by yourself, you know, and a lot of them are like, Oh, I can’t do that. That’s selfish. No, it’s not guys, it is not selfish. You cannot ignore your body, your body exists, your body is here for a reason your body is this fabulous meat skeleton that walks us through life. And if you don’t take care of it, like I always tell people take care of your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. You know, you’ll miss it when it’s gone. So, it’s really important to really get back into touch with your body really get back in your body, a lot of us are floating around five feet above, because it’s been so painful to exist, that we kind of ignore and deny our bodies and our bodies will keep knocking on that door louder and louder and louder until we listen. Let me say that again. If you ignore your body, it’s going to just keep knocking at your door until you listen and you don’t want to wait until it’s knocking on your door because by the time it’s knocking on your door, it’s doing some really funky dunky things to get your attention.

So, the vagus nerve is responsible for gut issues the vagus nerve is responsible for a rhythm via the vagus nerve is responsible for breathing issues and because some people have their lyrics, you know, swell up some people are unable to talk. Some people you know, it depends on the level of trauma it depends on what’s going on depends on the physical abuse, you know, the whole thing. So, the vagus nerve is very important.

So, let me read an article on psychology today. That why is the vagus nerve important, okay. And this is by it just says reviewed by Psychology Today staff so it must have been written by several people on the staff. Okay. Why is the vagus nerve important and this is on psychology today and all I did was look up vagus nerve and it popped up a ton of articles okay the biggest means wandering in Latin. It leaves the base of the brain since branches to the ears throat hearts long digestive track with stops along the way to the vocal cords and the diaphragm lot of people to that have trauma and this is interesting have hiccups like an ending hiccups diaphragm. That’s That to me was interesting because I get the hiccups a lot I was like, ah, interesting.

Kris Godinez  10:28

The vagus nerve is why your heart races and stomach curdles when you sense a threat and why your breathing slows and your body relaxes. When you’re welcoming friends into your house. The vagus nerve is the key player in the autonomic nervous system controlling your internal organs. The vagus nerve is a major pathway with parasympathetic nervous system a lot which along with the sympathetic nervous system, constitutes the autonomic nervous system. That’s a lot of words. Normally, sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves act synergistically and together create the state of equilibrium known as homeostasis. disruption of the balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity is characteristic of a number of physical disorders with a strong psychological component, irritable bowel syndrome, for example, and some therapies target stimulation of the vagus nerve as a way to restore the physiological and the psychological balance.

So that makes total sense. Okay, um, the biggest fear was incredibly important because information flows both from and to the brain via the vagal pathways. It can be it’s a major Mind Body highway so this goes back to mind body highway you’ve got, we’re not separate the mind and the body are not separate as people especially Western cultures tend to treat it like it’s somehow separate. And I’m like, guys, they are all one you know, so the mind and body you know, how you think it is how your body goes. Like I said, if you ever been sitting and pretending are thinking about something, catastrous happening, so what happens is your body starts responding as if that catastrophe is actually happening, even though you’re just imagining it. So, the mind and the body are not separate, they are a one, they are one they float, they float, what happens to one affects the other. Does that make sense? Both ways, you know? Okay, so let me get back to this article.

Um, okay. states of viseral calm get relayed to the brain brainstem, which then transmits the information to the more highly evolved brain structures allowing full access to the brains means of expressions in enabling social interaction. It has the effect of perpetuating the state of neural calm, but in potential danger states such as a completely novel environment, those higher symptoms turn off, and we become defensive and on high alert, hyper vigilance. The vagal circuitry narrows our focus and prepares us to fight, flight, freeze or fawn. Okay, if the danger is so overwhelming that there’s no escape, there’s a feeling of being trapped a third circuit of the vagal operations engineers a shut down. This out of focus numb state social contact becomes aversive. Such bodily responses are not voluntary. And often people are not aware of what triggered them, which is why it is so vitally important when you are having panic attacks because that vagus nerve, that’s why is because you’re perceiving a threat or danger and panic ensues, and you’re not even aware of it. So, part of the way to get a grip and to help the vagal nerve, the vagus nerve is to start figuring out what the trigger is, work with a good trauma therapist. So that means EMDR, CBT. EFT any of those therapies are good to help you start working through the trauma, start identifying the triggers. Now for me, one that triggers me, and John’s unfortunately been with me when this happens, if a place is too crowded, if there are too many people, I freak out. One time we were shopping, and this was years ago, this was in LA. And we were at one of the galleries back when we had malls. And it was Christmas time. And it just got to the point where I was like, if you do not get me out here, I am literally going to pass out I’m totally going to have a panic attack and pass out. In fact, I’m on my way right now. So, he had to get me out of there because I was just, you know, it was just too much. So, you know, couldn’t have told you at the time why but then, you know, working on all of the abuse, it’s like, oh, well, that makes perfect sense. I didn’t feel safe, you know. So, it’s it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen in weird ways. And you just kind of got to know your triggers. And one thing to do when you realize you’re triggered is you can either remove yourself from the situation or you basically have a chat with yourself. Have, oh, damn, I’m in a really crowded space. Oh, okay, breathe, breathe, breathe. Okay, breathing in breathing and holding it for a few seconds breathing in and letting it out super slowly.

Kris Godinez  15:16

So, breathing, and it’s so funny because I’ve said this for years is your best friend, then this is we’re going to get into that. So, healing helping the vagus nerve is breathing, one of the big components is breathing. And when you breathe, you don’t want to take the puffy little breaths that we get with the panic attacks. You want to take in breath as slowly as you can about four seconds. So, hold it, and then let it out super, super slowly. And while you’re doing that, you remind yourself, hey, this is why I’m triggered. Hey, there’s a lot of people here, hey, I’m okay. Hey, I’m safe. Okay, there’s a lot of people here, maybe I need to leave. Okay, I’m just going to let the air out really slowly and keep breathing as I find the nearest exit, you know? I mean, that’s what you got to do. So, it’s knowing your body, it’s recognizing, when are you getting triggered? What is your first symptom? So, for some people, the first symptom of a panic attack is when they start to tense up, right? That’s their first clue. For me, I generally don’t notice it until my ears and my shoulders have become one and I’m already taking puffy little breaths. So, it’s a matter of when you catch it. And if you can catch the earlier you can catch it, the better and even if you’re in a full-blown panic attack, once you recognize it, that kind of gives you power.

Knowledge is power, guys, it really does help because otherwise it’s like what’s happening? What’s happening? Why is this happening? Why am I Why is my heart racing? Why is so a lot of times clients will tell me they feel like they’re having a heart attack that doesn’t usually feel that way. To me, it’s more like the dizziness in the going to pass out kind of thing. So, what I tell them is okay, if it’s a panic attack, the first thing you’re going to do is breathe. Second thing you’re going to do is raise your arms over your head, if you’re able to do that you are not having a heart attack. So yeah, so it’s ways to calm the irrational thoughts down and it’s ways to help the system start calming itself down, bringing in the oxygen. So, remember, in a panic attack, the vagal nerve is doing its thing it’s trying to keep us safe, right amygdala is sounding the alarm sending off the cortisol, we’re tensing up taking puffy little breaths, that tells another part of the brainstem, which is also on the vagal nerve. That oh my gosh, we don’t have enough oxygen, we really are going to die Holy crap. That tells the adrenal gland to release everything at once. Now we’re sitting there racing thoughts, racing thoughts, pounding heart pounding her puffy little breaths not going anywhere, right. And at this point, people do one of two things. They go into a panic attack, which you know, is then you keel over, because you’re hyperventilating. Or they turn into the Incredible Hulk, they have a rage attack that is part of fight flight, freeze or fawn. So, if you recognize that that’s where the anger is coming from, because you’re afraid it’s because you’re afraid you’re going to die. Hello. Anger is not a pure emotion. All the other emotions are pure love as love, lust as lust, happy is happy, sad is sad. Anger is driven by fear. So, if you’re feeling like you’re coming unglued, because oh my god, I’m really angry. Okay. Let’s take them mall example So, let’s say instead of going into the I started getting angry, then it would be like, Oh, okay, I’m angry because I feel trapped. I’m angry because I’m perceiving a threat. I need to breathe, okay. I also need to remove myself from the situation and then you find your way out. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is power, knowledge is power.

Being able to tell your inner child what’s going on is going to help. Because if you’re just having a panic attack, and there’s no discussion, like think about it, how upsetting is it when there’s not enough communication? Like when people aren’t giving you clear communication? It’s the same thing between you and your little inner child. Give the good communication talk to your inner child. This is what’s happened in little one. Okay, we’re not dying. This is good. Okay, everything’s fine. I’m going to breathe. Okay, a little one we’re getting, we’re just having a panic attack. Everything’s okay. You got to talk. You got to talk to your inner child. Now, immediately, the inner critic is going to pop up and be like, Oh my God, that’s so stupid. Why are you doing I’m about thank you for your input. Shut the bleep up. Why? Because I say so. I get to talk to my inner child and having a panic attack right now. Thank you go pound sand. You know what I’m saying? And then get back to okay, I’m having a panic attack. So, when I’m talking to myself, I get to do self-care. I get to I get to talk to myself. I get to communicate with my inner child, because obviously my parents never did. You know what I’m saying? So, you can’t Do you get to speak to your inner child in a way that will help them? Alright, so, back to the vagal nerve hold on vagus nerve. Okay? And it is also called vagal.

Kris Godinez  20:14

So, I’m okay. I’m okay. So, because the vagus nerve operates bi directionally. So, it’s like signals being sent from the brain down to the gut, and sometimes from the gut up to the brain, gut instincts, trust your gut. It can be directed from top or bottom to help. So, in other words, listen to your body. Where is it causing you problems, start working with that area. So, for the gut, you may want to go to a naturopath, you may want to look into probiotics, you may want to look into enzymes, you may want to look into things that are going to help the health the bacterial health of your gut.

So, something that happens with a lot of kids that are raised by abusers is that the parents love to we’ve talked about this before Munchausen by proxy, they love to drag the kids to doctors, and a lot of times the doctors out of stupidity and frustration will just prescribe antibiotics. So, person brings the kid and the kid has an viral issue. The doctor will prescribe antibiotics even though there’s no bacterial infection. What does that do over time, if you’re constantly prescribing bacterial anti-bacterial things, is going to start killing the bacteria in your gut, it’s going to kill the good stuff. This is this is another you know, another study I was reading is that they’re thinking that that’s part of the reason why there’s so many gut issues in survivors of abuse. So anyway, so there is that all right, so it’s bilateral our guts talk to us, our brains talk to us and it kind of goes back and forth.

Okay, so um, okay, so it’s the autonomic system, it’s giving all the signals the chemicals, okay? It also can cause inflammation, inflammatory compounds to circulate through the body, including the brain. Anxiety is the name we give to the visceral unease we feel under such conditions. This makes so much sense. So, if our bodies are pumping out a ton of iron going to go way over on this a ton of cortisol. It’s putting out inflammatory compounds. This makes so much sense. This is why we’re having so many autoimmune issues are the inflammation because the vagus nerve is just, you know, telling the body to pump out this stuff because we’re constantly in a state of high alert, danger, fight flight freeze, or fawn, etc. Okay, so let’s get to Okay, so we’ve covered everything that it does. How does it affect the mind body influence, okay? We’re not separate. It controls everything it can create a state of alarm. It can also usher in a sense of safety if you are, you know, aware of it, which the body needs to repair and take care of itself. The disturbed physiological physiology that Mark states of threat is often a player sometimes an unrecognized one in chronic physical and psychiatric disorders, such as chronic anxiety, chronic depression, etc., giving the vagus nerve a huge role in maintaining the health in the body and the brain. Okay, what is the role of the vagus nerve in the gut brain access the vagus nerve oversees digestion, how many of us have digestion issues, one of the main channels of connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. Among other interactions, it varies to the brain signals generated by the metabolic actions of the gut bacteria on specific types of food. One means by which diet plays an important role in mental health.

Kris Godinez  24:06

So oftentimes what happens is, we seek comfort and what do we seek out a lot of times sugar, what is sugar? It’s an inflammatory so even though it tastes really good, oh, my good lord, it messes with our system. So it’s really important to start kind of figuring out what are you eating? What are you drinking? What are you, you know, are you drinking a lot of alcohol? Alcohol is a depressant. If you’re depressed, don’t drink alcohol. Not a good idea. You know, it’s really important to start tracking What are you eating? Are you eating fresh fruits? Are you eating fresh vegetables? Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? Are you helping your gut, repopulate with healthy bacteria? What are you doing? How are you treating your body? And it’s not about weight, and it’s not about calories, and it’s not about stuff like that. It’s like what are you doing to eat as healthy as possiblel to support the gut bacteria that supports the mood, the anxiety, the depression, etc. This also has to do with our thyroid, our thyroid controls a lot about our moods. One of the things I suggest is if somebody’s having depression or other weird issues, get your thyroid checked. How is your thyroid health? How is that doing? Is that okay? Is it hype or is it hyper or hypo? So either one causes problems Hashimoto’s disease, can’t remember what the other one is. But you want to make sure your thyroid is okay. And a lot of survivors of abuse have got Say with me, thyroid issues. Thanks, dad.

So what you want to do is you want to rule out everything physical first, make sure you get a physical once a year, go get things checked out, especially if you haven’t gone for a while. You know, go get things checked out. Make sure everything physically is going okay. Okay. If there’s gut issues go see a good naturopath. They’re wonderful. I’ve got a great one. Laurie, Laurie Pavatis us over at Debbie health. She’s amazing. I love her. So yeah, go take care of yourself. Go take care of yourself your body. Because body mind spirit are not separate. They’re all one. Okay, hold on. We are definitely going to be going over time here. Hold on. I’m sorry. I will get to the questions, I promise.

Okay, so how do we heal it? Okay. So for healing, some of the things that you can do, like I said, deep and slow breathing. This too was on Psychology Today, there was a whole series of articles on the vagus nerve and how to how to help it. cold exposure can help you know going you know, taking a bath, but then in the last 30 seconds, maybe doing a cold shower kind of thing. See how you feel afterwards. Now I personally don’t like cold showers because I don’t like the cold so doesn’t work for me. But the deep slow breathing. something I thought was interesting. Singing, humming, chanting and garbling I know. So those all help with soothing think about it. Singing is really soothing. It can really help humming it is really soothing when you meditate one of the meditations. One of the sounds that uses ohm ohm, you know, that kind of thing. So, gargling, you’re also making noises when you’re gurgling. So it’s just tuning back into your body. Breathing, huge breathing meditation. So one of the things you could do is breathe in through one nostril. Breathe out through the other.

Kris Godinez  27:49

That slows things down. You’re not doing the puffy breaths kind of thing. I have a hard time with that because I have a deviated septum. So it’s kind of like Am I really breathing here because it doesn’t feel like I’m getting enough oxygen. But you know, so you can do that breathing meditations are great. They are all over YouTube, find one that works for you. But doing the nostril breathing, that’s the yogic breathing that helps. A lot of my clients say that they really like that. Okay, hold on back to this article. Probiotics obviously I mentioned that meditation, omega three fatty acids. So when I was living at home, I once I got into my naturopath I realized I was not doing enough fish. I wasn’t doing enough fatty acids. I was having skin issues. You know the whole thing, lots of anxiety. I started taking supplements, it’s the skin issues absolutely cleared up the anxiety went way down. You know, so it’s take care of your body. Take care your body, make sure you got enough vitamin D take care of your body. Make sure you’re doing things for your body. Exercise is another great one. To help with that. Massage is wonderful. laughing laughing is healing I kid you not so, I love comedy clubs. I love going to comedy clubs. I love listening to comedians. I love watching funny movies. And laughing laughing laughing Ghosts, BBC my favorite show right now that and What We Do in the Shadows. So it’s funny, it makes you laugh, and it makes you feel good. And it jacks up those endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and it helps you feel safe. Isn’t that interesting? So, if we’re laughing, we feel safe. You know, a real laugh not like a you know, a sardonic laugh but like a real just gut belly laughing funny kind of thing. So do that. Okay, so let’s see socializing and laughing Okay, so there is that the other Take back your life, okay, that’s that okay. Tapping vocal tones. So, you know the tapping the EFT stuff that helps Making noises just garbling or making noises or doing the home or humming or singing. That all helps breathing into the count of four. Hold your breath for a few moments. Exhale slowly to the count of eight. So, you can then you do it to sounds. Ooh, wow, blue. Um, that kind of thing that helps you I know it sounds very out there and metaphysical, but this is on psychology today. Toning with the alphabet. AEIOU. Yeah, there was a weird song when I was in high school college. And it was AEIOU. and sometimes Y. I don’t know why that made me think of it. But it was like it was a whole song about it. And that was the entire song and I’m like, Yeah, they were definitely doing drugs back then. Okay. Anyway, um, okay. Vocal noises own that kind of thing. So really, it is going to be self-care, self care, body care, get back in touch with our bodies. And for a lot of us, that’s really scary. Because there’s either been physical and sexual abuse, or there’s been body shaming, or there’s been something that has caused us to feel separate from, from our lovely bodies that get us through life. So really important to work on any of the body shame. Any of the toxic thoughts or mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs that you got from your abuser about your body. Or that the mistaken thoughts mistaken beliefs about it’s okay, you know, it’s that it’s, you know, they tell you, it’s not okay to take care of yourself. You’re being selfish bla, bla, that’s mistaken thoughts, mistaken belief, it is okay to take care of yourself. It’s all right. So, another thing you can do is the mirror work.

Kris Godinez  31:44

Good to see you have a great day, you know what? It’s okay to take care of your body, it’s okay to do self-care. Let’s do a few vocal things in the mirror ohm, ah, do you see where I’m going with that, play with it have fun. Little kids do that all the time. If you ever watch little kids in front of a mirror, they’ll do that they’ll make different noises. And they’ll do different faces and things like that. Allow yourself to have a child like Wonder, get back in touch with that, because that’s the one that’s a little one inside of you that needs to be healed. And that’s really what this is all about is healing that inner child, getting back in touch with our bodies, really understanding our triggers, being able to name them and being able to do something about it so that we don’t feel helpless. That is the big thing. That’s why we have panic attacks because it feels like we’re trapped. So, if you can name it, if you can explain to your inner child what’s going on, raise your hands over your head, you’re good to go. So, I hope that explains the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is hugely important. It controls all of this stuff that we don’t normally think about. We can control our breathing to a certain extent, heart racing gets controlled by the breathing. So really, if you look at it, the breathing is the most important component. Everything else is going to help. So, breathing most important work on that. Alright, now that I’ve gone way over time. Let’s get to the questions. Okay.

All right question. How do we regulate the vagus nerve on a day-to-day basis? Again, it’s going to be breathing, you’re going to have to really focus in on mindfulfulness. What is your body doing? How are you feeling? Where in your body do you feel it now for me, my gut was talking to me the whole time I was growing up, I would have stomach upsets and throwing up and the whole thing when I was a little kid all the time. Why? Because I was a nervous wreck all the time. So, you listen to your body, if your gut is having issues, honor it, do what you can for it and make an appointment to go talk to a naturopath or go talk, go get a colonoscopy done was the last time you guys had a colonoscopy really important. You know, especially because Chad, what was his name Black Panther. He was only in his 30s I think when they discovered the rectal cancer. And so, it’s because of our diets, I think is that we’re not eating healthy. We’re not eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Really important to take care of your body. Go do those physicals that we need to get done. So, on a day to day basis is going to be listening to your body. Listen to your body. Listen to your body. What is your body saying? What is it telling you? Is there something that’s off? Somewhere in your body? You know, what, how is your heart feeling? Are you having racing heart episodes? You know, how is your breathing? How was your sleeping? Do you have sleep apnea? Are you sleeping well, that’s again your body talking to you. You know, it’s like where are you feeling it in your body. So, pay attention to your body breathing That is the best way to do it is just making sure you’re breathing.

So, what I tell people a lot of times, especially if they have a lot of stress, anxiety, worry that kind of thing. Once an hour, check in with your body is your tongue glued to the top of the roof of your mouth? Are you clenching your jaw? If so, open your mouth and undo your… Oh, lord. Yeah, I guess I do clench. Hello, hello. So yeah, unclench your jaw. Rub that wonderful little muscle right there on your jaw. And I will tell you everything you need to know. Do you clench your jaw? Yeah. And I do do that. I do know that I clench my jaw a lot. So, check in, release the tongue, open the mouth, ah, and, you know, rub that little jaw area, give yourself a break, push your shoulders down. How many of us have our shoulders and years becoming one, push the shoulders down. Take a deep breath. I’m safe I’m okay. Everything’s fine. I can relax. I don’t need to be on high alert. Hello inner child. Everything’s okay. We’re good. See where I’m going with that once an hour? Or even once every, you know, top of the hour bottom of the hour? Check in where what is your body telling you how stressed out or is your body behaving? You know, are you know, are you doing that? Are you releasing and letting go. So twice, twice the hour at the top of the hour and bottom of the hour check in. Let your open your mouth. Ah, put your talk down. Rub that jaw, open that mouth, get that relaxed, push your shoulders down, taken some deep breaths and check in where’s your body?

Kris Godinez  36:45

Where’s your body talking to you? And that’s this is often where we hold a lot of our stress is in our jaws and our shoulders. So, check in what is your body saying?

Okay, um Okay, how do you make your vagus nerve better after High Alert it again is going to be self-awareness is going to be checking in taking care of yourself, seriously, I will say hey, go do some self-care, go take a hot bubble bath or, you know, go do some exercise or take an hour just to yourself, you know work on the self-esteem workbook, by Glen Schiraldi, you know, things like that. And they’ll be like, Oh, no, no, no, I can’t that’s selfish. So, addressing and confronting the mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs is the first thing you do in helping to take care of the vagus nerve. Because you’ve got to get rid of all of that nasty inner critic, sludge that has been shoved into our head about you can’t take care of yourself, your selfish, you don’t have time. It’s like okay, wait, stop. Guess what I do have time, I’ve got to make myself priority. Because remember, again, you cannot pour from an empty pot. If you’re sitting, there taking care of everybody else and you never replenish your teapot. Y’all are going to keel over your body is going to make you take a rest one way or another and trust me you want to do it consciously rather than unconsciously, unconsciously is where the system just goes. And you keel over. You don’t want that. So, get start getting figuring out what the negative stuff is. What was the nasty messages about not taking care of yourself? What was the body shaming? Who gave you that? So, the first step to taking care of the vagus nerve is getting rid of all the negative nasty sludge that the inner critic is throwing back at you and saying no, you can’t No you can’t No you can’t How dare you You’re selfish bla bla bla, put it back on the abuser CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker. Do a go pound sand letter to whoever taught you the body shaming the not okay to take care of yourself that you had to take care of them, or you had to take care of everybody else that wasn’t okay for you to take time. Or how dare you you know, like your body. How dare you enjoy your body there. There’s a lot of that from abusers too. So, the first step is getting rid of those mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs, putting it back onto the abusers. And then the next step is okay, what does my body need? Now for me, I get a massage regularly once a month, like clockwork, I go to my buddy Diane she’s a frickin Shaman. I swear to you she starts working on me and within two seconds I’m sound asleep and I don’t do that with everybody because I don’t trust but I trust her. So, you get a good massage therapist that you trust and it will work literally wonders so I’m Kid you not and it’s good for you. It really is good for you just to have some downtime and to not think because I can guarantee you all of us that have been through abuse, we over think Everything in our brains are always going. Because we’re always okay. Well, what about this? What about this? What if we do this? So, what if da, da, da, Okay, should I know what I’m saying? So yeah, massage is a great way to do it. So, massage is one way to do it. Exercises. Another swimming for me is meditative. And it’s exercise because it’s a solo endeavor. Usually, I’m usually doing laps, and it’s rhythmic, which is what the body needs. And it’s healing. It helps. So, find what were some people love jogging. I don’t. No, no, thank you. So, if you want to jog, go jog that if that helps you do that it too is a solo activity that’s rhythmic. So again, things like that help heal. But the first thing you got to do is get rid of the sludge, get rid of the sludge and hand it back to the abusers write to go pound sand letter Dear Mom, dear dad, dear abuser. You lied to me about my body. You lied to me about me being able to love myself. Guess what? Self-love is loving my body. Screw you go pound sand. I’m taking my power back. This is what I’m doing to heal myself. I am no longer listening to you. You are invalid. Have a nice life. Goodbye and Bye. Have a nice, nice life. I mean, go pound sand and then trot it out to the barbecue. Read it out loud once burn it, let it go and then start allowing yourself to work on you. And when those negative thoughts pop up, you’re going to do thought Stop it. You can’t work on yourself. That’s selfish, blah, blah, blah. Okay, thank you for your input. Shut the bleep up. Why? Because I say so. I am the boss of you. You are not the boss of me. I get to love my body. Why? Because I say so. Because I’m the boss.

Kris Godinez  41:45

Let it go. Okay, there is that I’m okay. Are we doing on time? We’re doing good.

My mother is narcissistic slash alcoholic, and I went no contact a year ago. Good for you. Does my mother know deep down why I pulled away? Okay. Yes. Let us be clear here. I think on some level, yes. So, this is this now we are now veering into the realm of the metaphysical and the existential. So, do they know why you’ve pulled away? Yeah, on some level? I think so. I do believe that narcissists. Absolutely. plan and plot and know exactly what they’re doing. They’re not innocent. They’re not like this oops abuse happened. No, they plan it. Absolutely. Their ego defenses are the ones that do the abuse, amnesia. And in order to have an ego defense, you have to know that you’ve done something that you need to defend against. So yes, they know exactly why you are no contact. They know exactly why you have stopped talking. And what drives me crazy is that they do the Hoover by playing the victim.

So, remember, narcissists can flow between the different types. So, there’s the overt, the covert, the communal and the somatic. So, the overt, you know, I’m great. I’m very telling that when they you know, are always running their mouths. Covert ones are the ones that play the victims, communal or the cult type of thing, and the somatic are very much into their body. So um, do they know? Yes, absolutely. Because in order to have an ego defense, you have to know what you’re defending against. So yeah, they know exactly what they’ve done. And they do the abuse amnesia. I don’t remember that. Oh, I never said that. I never did that. It’s breathtaking. It’s my favorite word to use with what abusers come up with in their absolute and utter…… You know what I mean? So yeah, they know, on some level, they absolutely know they just don’t want to take responsibility for it. And they won’t take responsibility for it, and they will not change and they do not change and good for you for going no contact and stay no contact because it’s never going to change. If you go back out of no contact. What they will do is they will wait until they know that you’re entrenched in the system and the abuse will start all over again worse. So yeah, they absolutely know what they’re doing. Don’t buy the whole I’m innocent. I’ve never done a wrong thing in my life. Right? I never said that? Oh, please gaslighting they’re gaslighting you guess what? In order to gaslight, you need to know what your guests fighting about. Do they know? Yes, they do. Okay, um, but it’s not going to make a difference. They’re not going to change so don’t expect it.

Okay, does the abuse narcs did to us deregulate the vagus nerve. Yes. And cause chronic stress which then causes chronic fatigue? Yes, yes. Yes. Yes, absolutely. So, when our system just gets overloaded. It just goes and quits. Right. And so, it causes all sorts of adrenal fatigue. Hello, chronic fatigue, yes, rheumatology issues, the gut issues, the irritable bowel.

Kris Godinez  45:14

Yes, absolutely. So that’s why it’s really, really important for us to work on all of the mistaken thoughts, all of the mistaken beliefs, get back in touch with our bodies, do what we can for our bodies to help heal all of that damage that these Jack wagons had put into our place. Get rid of the sludge, allow ourselves to love our bodies, and I can guarantee you the body is going to start responding positively. Now, is it going to completely heal? I don’t know. I don’t know. I haven’t seen enough studies on that. So, but it’s going to help. It couldn’t hurt. Let me put it to you that way. It could not hurt. It can only help. So, is it going to heal completely? I don’t know. I don’t know. I hope so. But I don’t know. So, start getting rid of the mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs, allow yourself to love your body, allow yourself to start working on the issues that are causing the problems. You know, getting the massage, doing the breathing, doing meditation, exercising, eating healthy, all of that good stuff. So, and getting rid of the body shame, lots and lots of body shame, it’s a body shame that we’ve had shoved into our space that prevent us from even looking at ourselves. The number of times I work with clients of freshly come out of abusive relationships or have freshly recognized that the family of origin was just FUBAR you know, and I, you know, we talk, we start talking about your work. Sometimes they can’t even look at themselves, because there’s so much shame shoved into their space. So, we have to take a step back and go okay, let’s deal with the shame. Is this statement true? No, it’s not they lied to you put it back onto them. Do not accept this thought. You know, and especially when we started working with the body shaming, because a lot of narcissistic parents love to body shame and they head trip their kids. You know, I can’t tell you the number of times myself included, where the parent would be like, You’re fat, you’re fat, you’re fat, you’re fat, you’re fat. And you go back, and you look at pictures of yourself at that age, and you weren’t fat, huh? Go figure. That’s their issue. That’s not yours. Does that make sense? So, start working on all of that stuff. So yeah, absolutely. Okay, where are we question? Um, yeah. So, start doing all of that stuff.

Okay. How do you calm the cortisol levels? Isn’t it at toxic levels after abuse? I would say so. Yeah. So, calming the cortisol levels means working with meditation, and breathing. So, remember breathing just like self-esteem is the key. Breathing is the key with the vagus nerve. It really is. Because once you get the vagus nerve calm, everything else starts falling into place. So yes, our cortisol levels are through the frickin roof. Absolutely, because we’ve been doing this for like, decades, you know? So, it’s really important to again, get a physical, go to a naturopath, get your gut biology back in in system, do bloodwork seriously, do blood work, make sure you are okay. You know what I’m saying? So, um, yeah, that’s it. Yes. And yes, you can work with that. I don’t know the specifics. I’m not a doctor. I don’t play one on TV. So go to your doctor, go to a good one, though. Don’t go to one of these narcissistic, Western, you know, jerks that are like good and believe that? Well, you may not believe in it a whole but it’s still happening. So, I’m to go to a naturopath, get it checked out. Work on that. So yeah, absolutely. And I do think, you know, our bodies are not stupid. Our bodies know what’s good for them. Have you ever craved like a fruit or vegetable? You know, or have you ever craved certain food? Well, besides being pregnant, it would be your body talking to you like, hey, you need this, hey, you need you know, like, for example, when I was still, you know, had my period, I would crave meat, like nobody’s business around my periods. Well, it’s because I was lacking iron, you know, so it makes sense. Listen to your body and start eating healthy and start slow because you know, if you’ve been eating junk food and sugar and stuff, you’re going to have to wean yourself off of that stuff and start replacing it with the healthy stuff, so it takes time. So gentle with you gentle with your things…. Rome was not built in a day. It’s going to take a little bit of time. So, start but do start to start so it doesn’t happen at once. Okay, some baby steps, baby steps. So, start replacing, you know, unhealthy food with healthy food and start working your way that way. Okay, let’s see. Um, you Yes toxic levels of abuse will cause that. Okay, I think alrighty then I think we are done.

Kris Godinez  50:10

Alright my loves go have a great week Drink plenty of water take good care of yourselves. If you see thunderclouds outside don’t go walking outside apparently there’s been a lot of people getting hit by lightning strikes happens every year. So there that is alright. Bye. Bye

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Krisgodinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

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