Organizational Style

An individual with a well-functioning nervous system regularly experiences a sense of confidence, coherence, flexibility, and is resilient in the face of stress or challenge. Organizational style is a measure of the nervous system's tendency to operate outside of this happy homeostasis, due to unprocessed trauma remaining in the body. The healthy zone for the nervous system operates primarily within a window of tolerance (as described by Ogden, Minton, and Pain, 2006), where one can tolerate occasional dips out of this range. However, a disorganized nervous system frequently functions above or below this window, with too much (hyperarousal) or too little (hypoarousal) activation. Hyperarousal, also known as fragmentation, involves activation of the sympathetic branch of the nervous system (flight-or-fight) and results in a fragmentation of the system, in which the individual has difficulty managing overwhelming emotions or racing thoughts, and may feel on guard. Hypoarousal, aloso known as rigidity, involves activation of the dorsal vagal branch of the vagus nerve and results in a sense of rigidity within the system, in which one tends toward emotional numbness, rigid thoughts and behaviors, as well as dissociation. Each extreme comes with specific physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral tendencies. Anyone can experience this nervous system dysregulation sometimes, however with unprocessed trauma one may either remain stuck in this place or return too easily to either extreme. Some individuals bounce between the two. Understanding your organizational style can help you identify areas in which you are struggling that you may not realize are due to the state of your nervous system. Completing exercises tailored to your particular system may help you move toward a sense of inner peace, confidence and harmony.

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