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In a perfect world, the human body’s nervous system would be perfectly balanced. When the body is in homeostasis, it keeps biological functions like heart rate, oxygen levels, and sleep cycles in harmony. However, the nervous system can be thrown out of whack due to factors like chronic stress, trauma, and neurological disorders.


A dysregulated nervous system can have a profound effect on your mental health and well-being. That’s why it’s important to understand the connection between the two and to recognize the signs of an imbalanced nervous system when they happen.  The mental health experts at Mount Juneau Counseling & Recovery offer valuable insights and effective strategies for overcoming these imbalances. Continue reading to discover how to regulate the nervous system.



The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It controls both voluntary and involuntary body functions (somatic and autonomic functions) and is ultimately responsible for things like sensory processing, cognitive function, and emotional regulation. When outside stimuli and stressful changes to your environment occur, a regulated nervous system ensures that your body can adapt and respond accordingly. However, when your nervous system becomes overloaded or overstimulated, your physical and mental health will suffer. Pay attention to the following signs and symptoms of a deregulated nervous system:

  • Sense of Overwhelm
  • Difficulty Focusing
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Digestive Problems
  • Headaches or Body Pains
  • Skin Irritation
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Dizziness
  • Body Tension
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Feelings of Panic or Dread
  • Unexplained Explosion of Emotions

Chronic anxiety, traumatic events, relationship conflict, inadequate sleep, depression, underlying health conditions, and environmental factors are all things that can cause the nervous system to become dysregulated.



If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system, don’t lose hope. It is possible to regulate it again, though it may require a combination of patience and thoughtful lifestyle changes. It is not an overnight process, but with consistent effort, you can gradually reorient the balance between your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  

Here are some helpful techniques to get you started:


1. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is all about reconnecting your body and its sensations with the present moment. Creating intentional moments of psychological awareness without judgment is a good way to promote peace and relaxation. You might achieve mindfulness through deep breathing, meditation, exercise, or yoga.


2. Improve Your Diet

Improving your diet and physical health can greatly alleviate nervous system imbalances. Stress and anxiety often influence eating behaviors, leading to a vicious cycle of food cravings and emotional eating. Start making wiser food choices by eating whole fruits and vegetables and avoiding highly processed foods.


3. Seek Outside Support

Positive social interactions and nourishing relationships with other people can greatly improve your emotional and physical health. Whether it’s talking things out with a friend, or seeking the services of a mental health professional, the support of other humans will lead to greater well-being and re-regulation of the nervous system.



One of the most helpful treatments available at Mount Juneau is a version of talk therapy known as DBT, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Our licensed and certified professionals recommend DBT to people who experience emotions very intensely and need help changing their unhelpful behaviors.


DBT is all about recognizing your triggers, accepting your reality, and learning healthier ways to cope. Managing and regulating your emotions with a combination of DBT and mindfulness practices has proved effective for treating nearly all symptoms associated with a dysregulated nervous system.



The first step in learning how to regulate your nervous system is to recognize when you need help. The next step is to reach out to the mental health professionals at Mount Juneau Counseling & Recovery in Juneau, Alaska. We offer compassionate and confidential care through individual and group counseling. Get started with us today by filling out an intake request form.