The nervous system is a complex network of nerve cells and other structures that help us think, feel, and act. It also regulates our vital bodily functions, such as breathing and heartbeat. The nervous system plays a key role in our mental health, as it affects how we process information, cope with stress, and express emotions.it does most of this without us even knowing it is happening.
The nervous system communicates with the brain through chemicals called neurotransmitters, which send messages from one nerve cell to another. When these neurotransmitters are imbalanced, it can cause problems in the communication among nerve cells, leading to mental health challenges as life progresses.
The nervous system responds to traumatic events by activating the fight, flight, or freeze response, which helps us to survive in dangerous situations. However, if the trauma is not resolved, it can get stored in the body and cause chronic stress, which can affect our mental health negatively.
The nervous system interacts with the environment and learns from our experiences. This shapes our memory, learning, and behavior. Some factors that can affect our nervous system and mental health are genetics, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, social media, tv, school, work....the list is endless of the barrage of information coming through our body, senses and mind!
The nervous system and mental health are closely connected, and understanding how they work together can help us to improve our well-being and cope with challenges.
Sadly as a society many of us have grown up without any of understanding of the nervous system or had any tools to regulate it and find ourselves using other little helpers to do just that.
Some great, some not so great...(the pour me a wine at 4pm jokes are funny but that balance is short lived), so maybe its time for a new little helper?
We can , however make other choices for ourselves through taking some time to read information that can support then take action consistently, including making a choice to support our children through play to regulate theirs ,so it can come back to balance after an event that will always arise in our bodies over and over in daily life.
So How does Lavenderbuddy help our children when he is just a Soft Teddy?
Lavenderbuddy was created to look familiar for our children and the more we learn why he is a an important Tool the less we see him as some generic teddy bear off the shelf!
When we are upset and feel the Dysregulation arising, you feel a change in behaviour, body language, tone, eating, sleeping etc . Children do not always recognise this the way we can, they just know they feel big emotions and are not always sure where they are in the body and most times shows up as behaviour. ( hands up if the epic meltdown has come from nowhere and swept in faster than Aladdin on his magic carpet)
So when we use Lavenderbuddy at these times we catch the dysregulation/ trigger after the incident/upset, (because we never use that in the actual moment)
We start with Oxytocin -Hug and sensory fabric- brings the body back to self l
Then a squeeze to release the scent of the Lavender flowers - activates the Vagus Nerve to slow down many functions in the body
Then Breath , big breath in at each chakra and a longer blow out.
The chakra card lets them and you understand physically where emotions can be stored/blocked or rise within the body to be released.
All of this together brings grounding to the body through the senses as a team hit!
The important part after the upset( is something we have all missed for a long time that is crucial to it not being stored in the amygdala), is then the connection with other people who are Safe and Regulated.
This social engagement with another person is key to recognising in the amygdala that it can be let go instead of stored, to pop up later.
But we are not always there supporting comforting/ validating them For whatever reasons
we don't know they have been upset that day as they are not with us
time/ work /family, we may be feeding a younger child and may say, " oh you are ok"
at someone else's house for a playdate or sleepover
So until you can do all of this for them, Lavenderbuddy steps in as your Wing Man, oxytocin can be released with an inanimate object!
This way, they have a familiar safe friend until you are there. This reinforces the message to the the vagus nerve to come back rebalance quickly .This creates a strong bounce back after upset, rather than it being constant consistent and weakening the vagus nerve activation to stay in like a braking system, locked and always ready to fire off stress hormones.
Almost like your your muscle having a lovely rub/massage or bath after over use . the muscle will relax back to its original state.
The Nervous system is just, if not more important to rebalance when fear, upset,terror, etc arrives the body releases hormones and chemicals into our muscles and nerves and if this is happening all the time and we don't let this balance and then it can build up and may affect the physical, which leads to disease long-term or mental health challenges.
The words on the I am Affirmation cards, used from a better balanced state of relaxation, now go deeper into the subconscious. The validation of self rather than the validation from other's is a continuation of the deep co-regulation process.
( A small reminder that not all children will have an attentive or safe adullt around them or someone to soother fter upset as a lot of the time, the adults that should be there, are causing the apset and traum sadly)
Using the I am safe , I am enough I am brave cards will send a positive action to the sub-conscious from their own mouths, rather than waiting on hearing them from someone else later or not at all.
When parent's/ carers miss these opportunities for all of the above, because we are not there 24/7 for whatever reason, they can then be sure in the knowing that some regulation has taken place and go over anything else that needs your input, then let the child and Lavenderbuddy know how capable they were together in doing a wonderful Job of managing these big emotions
Let them see you hugging Lavender buddy and stroking him, using the chakras for breath work as children emulate what they see and this also creates trust that you think Lavenderbuddy and your child have handled this so well and you believe in them. This communicates to them that this is a safe space for regulation when you are not there
It's not a one time fix , It's a tool to use to build that self soothe, validation, love, safety, all the needs they deserve for a balanced strong nervous system, alone and with an adult support, which will help them through the rest of their lives.
This is also why it is also an added bedtime support tool because when bedtime arrives, its another space of being alone, exhausted, emotional for them, but when their brain and body feel and smell Lavenderbuddy again, after knowing it helped before, the brain and body remember and cascade these hormones and relaxation signals in seconds without them even knowing The safe space is back and the Oxytocin is flowing from the hug ,the body and Nervous sytem are relaxing, then they slip into that sleep they crave.
I'm sure you will agree it beats sitting on the floor next to the bed or outside the room and constantly settling them and you scurry across the carpet like a Ninja, then one little eye opens at the slightest brush of fabric or the tiniest noise and you are back to square one!!