Have you ever entered a room and felt uneasy or uncomfortable when someone is about to approach you? In contrast to perception, “neuroception” is a cognition without awareness, the way in which your body responds to stress even before you notice there may be danger. It works like a subconscious scanner constantly searching for cues of safety and danger and offering you physiological responses according to its findings. Based on the signals, neurobiological mechanisms will be triggered spontaneously: either activating a sympathetic (arousing) or parasympathetic (calming) nervous system response. This is why sometimes being around people you don’t feel safe with activates your natural stress response. Neuroception belongs to our primitive past and precedes the evolution of the cortex, this is why a baby coos at a familiar caregiver but cries at the approach of a stranger. Sometimes, you may not recognise the triggers that precede a nervous system response, even when they dramatically change your mood, as in a fight response. You may even confusedly ask yourself “why did I react that way?” when you are back to feeling calm and safe. According to the Polyvagal theory, it is possible to strengthen a nervous system that has not yet grown up or has been dysregulated by trauma. To do this, you may want to: ⁎ Identify triggers ~ understanding why you feel a certain way can give you a sense of perspective and lift confusion; if triggers can be viewed with clarity, your response may change. ⁑ Recognize triggers as they happen ~ this will enable the immediate use of conscious coping mechanisms. ⁂ Reflect ~ the responses to triggers encourage contemplation of whether environments should be changed. I tell you this because understanding the biological basis of your responses can encourage you to be bold in changing your life to a healthier, happier one. I am here for you. ~ L, 🤍.