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Anchored : How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory - Deb A. Dana


How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory

By: Deb A. Dana

Paperback | 9 August 2022

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Discover your body's neural pathways to calmness, safety, and connection.

An intense conversation, a spat with a partner, or even an obnoxious tweet-these situations aren't life-or-death, yet we often react as if they are. That's because our bodies treat most perceived threats the same way. Yet one approach has proven to be incredibly effective in training our nervous system to stop overreacting and start responding to the world with greater safety and ease: Polyvagal Theory.

In Anchored, expert teacher Deb Dana shares a down-to-earth presentation of Polyvagal Theory, then brings the science to life with practical, everyday ways to transform your relationship to your body. Using field-tested techniques, Dana helps you master the skills to become more aware of your nervous system moment to moment-and change the way you respond to the great and small challenges of life.

Here, you'll explore:
  • Polyvagal Theory-get to know the biology and function of your vagus nerve, the highway of the nervous system
  • Befriending Your Nervous System-attune to what's going on in your body by developing your "neuroception"
  • Using Your Vagal Brake-discover key techniques to consciously regulate the intensity of your emotions
  • Connection and Protection-learn to recognize and influence your internal cues for safety and danger
  • Your Social Engagement System-find ways to create nourishing relationships with others and the world around you
  • Practices and guidance to gently shape your nervous system for greater resilience, intuition, safety, and wonder
Through guided imagery, meditation, self-inquiry, and more, Anchored offers a practical user's manual for moving from a place of fear and panic into a grounded space of balance and confidence. "Once we know how our nervous system works, we can work with it," teaches Deb Dana. "We can learn to access an embodied, biological resource that is always present, available, and there to guide us toward well-being."

About the Author

Deb Dana, LCSW, is a clinician and teacher specializing in complex trauma, as well as a consultant to the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. Deb’s work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma in our lives.