The biological spacesuit (body) comes with a handy feather-O-meter. There are 3 main states: GREEN, YELLOW, and RED. There are also blended states. AND… let’s not forget the 2 special blended states and fight or flight on hold and dorsal collapse. There are no bad states. These states help us stay alive and thrive (in that order). In a healthy, typical nervous system we are smoothly moving through all these states throughout the day… Just like when driving we need all the lights to (A) stay safe and (B) get to where we want to go (thrive and have adventures).
Safe — GREEN (Ventral Vagal)
Looking for an easy way to remember ventral vagal? Hold up 2 peace signs:
Safe — BLENDED STATE: GREEN-YELLOW
(The safety and connection of GREEN, plus some mobilization; e.g. sports and playing around)
Threat — YELLOW (Sympathetic)
Fight or flight on hold (freeze):
Safe — BLENDED STATE: RED-GREEN
(The safety and connection of GREEN plus some immobilization)
Threat — RED (Dorsal Vagal)
Tonic immobility and Collapsed Immobility (Dorsal Vagal tonic immobility/collapsed immobility are extreme reactions that occur when faced with an unavoidable danger after all other attempts at active defense have been unsuccessful; more here):
Neuroception – Co-Regulation
Neuroception preceded perception. Neuroception is our nervous system’s way of deeming a person, situation (internal or external… interpersonally, etc) as “threat” or “safe.” One thing we can do for each other is to do our best to show up in GREEN and give off the cues of safety and connection. Check out this “When their storm meets our calm,” from NorthStarPaths.com.