How to Regulate a Dysregulated Nervous System

How to Regulate a Dysregulated Nervous System

As an entrepreneur, it’s critical you learn how to regulate a dysregulated nervous system. Entrepreneurship is both an amazing (and terrible) journey filled with opportunities for growth. Amazing, because you remove constraints on your income, and terrible because you’re taking the reins on your life and business.

I LOVE being an entrepreneur, but it’s also a path laden with stressors that can challenge even the most resilient individuals.

and that’s why in my opinion, a crucial but often overlooked aspect of entrepreneurship is the need to regulate your nervous system.

A dysregulated nervous system can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and even hinder your ability to make decisions. I

n this article, we will explore why it’s essential for entrepreneurs to regulate their nervous system, and how the nervous system works. Then I’ll provide some tools and resources for achieving that balance.

Why Regulating Your Nervous System Matters for Entrepreneurs:

Why do entrepreneurs need to know how to how to regulate a dysregulated nervous system?

Entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges that can disrupt their nervous systems. These challenges include long working hours, financial pressures, uncertainty, and the constant need to adapt to changing circumstances.

When the nervous system becomes dysregulated, it can lead to a range of issues, such as:

  • Chronic Stress: Prolonged periods of stress can lead to burnout, decreased resilience, and impaired decision-making.
  • Anxiety and Overwhelm: The constant juggling of tasks and responsibilities can trigger anxiety and a sense of overwhelm.
  • Poor Health: A dysregulated nervous system can weaken the immune system, disrupt sleep, and contribute to physical health problems.
  • Decreased Creativity: Stress can inhibit creative thinking, which is vital for problem-solving and innovation.
  • Strained Relationships: When we’re on edge due to a dysregulated nervous system, it can impact our interactions with colleagues, clients, and loved ones.
  • Challenges Manifesting: in order to manifest goals instead of just applying more force, we have to be able to feel good. A regulated nervous system helps you stay in the energy to manifest.

Understanding How the Nervous System Works

To effectively regulate your nervous system, it’s crucial to understand its two primary modes:

  1. Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS): This is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response. When activated, it prepares your body to respond to perceived threats. This can be helpful in emergencies but can become problematic if it remains overactive, leading to chronic stress.
  2. Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS): This is the “rest and digest” mode. It promotes relaxation, recovery, and the conservation of energy. Entrepreneurs need to engage their PNS regularly to counterbalance the stress of their busy lives.

Understanding the dynamics of the nervous system, particularly the responses known as “fight, flight, freeze, and fawn,” is crucial for entrepreneurs aiming to navigate the often demanding and unpredictable world of online business.

These responses are deeply rooted in our evolutionary biology and are fundamental to our survival, but in the context of entrepreneurship, they take on a unique significance.

Stress Responses

The “fight” response is all about mobilizing energy to confront a threat. Entrepreneurs often face challenges and competition, which can trigger this response. While a degree of fight-mode energy can be motivating, prolonged activation can lead to aggression or chronic stress.

The “flight” response involves the desire to escape or avoid a perceived danger. Entrepreneurs may experience this when overwhelmed by tasks or when facing difficult decisions. Understanding this response can help entrepreneurs identify when they might be avoiding necessary actions or procrastinating due to fear.

Are you running your business in fight or flight mode? Read more here.

The “freeze” response is akin to a deer caught in headlights. In entrepreneurship, it can manifest as indecision or feeling stuck when confronted with a complex problem. Recognizing this state allows entrepreneurs to break free from analysis paralysis and move toward more effective decision-making.

Lastly, the “fawn” response is about seeking to appease or please others to gain acceptance or avoid conflict. Entrepreneurs, especially those in client-facing roles, may fall into this pattern to maintain relationships or secure business deals. While it can be beneficial, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to be aware when it’s compromising their boundaries and authenticity.

Tools and Resources for Regulating Your Nervous System

Now that we’ve discussed why nervous system regulation is vital for entrepreneurs and the basic understanding of how it works, let’s explore some practical tools and resources to help you achieve balance:

1. Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices help activate the PNS, reduce stress, and enhance self-awareness. Consider apps like Headspace or Calm to get started.

2. Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises can quickly shift your nervous system from SNS to PNS dominance. Try the 4-7-8 technique or box breathing.

Or you can check out my playlist on YouTube for some of my favorite breathwork videos.

Keep in mind that not all breathwork is created equal. I personally love intensive somatic breathwork, but this can be too stressful for some people when they’re getting started. Pay attention to how you feel and find breathwork that works for YOU.

3. Yoga and Tai Chi: These mind-body practices combine movement and breath control to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Or if you want to do something less structured, you can even practice intuitive movement to music that inspires you.

4. Somatic Coaching: Consider working with a certified somatic coach who can help you connect with and regulate your body’s sensations, emotions, and physical responses.

5. Time Management and Boundaries: Setting clear boundaries and managing your time effectively can reduce stress and prevent burnout. Proper time management helps you allocate sufficient time for tasks, reducing the pressure of tight deadlines and last-minute rushes. It also creates predictability.

Clear boundaries help you avoid overcommitting and spreading yourself too thin, which can lead to chronic stress. Knowing when to say “no” or when to limit your availability can protect your mental and emotional well-being.

6. Physical Activity: Regular exercise releases endorphins, which boost mood and help regulate the nervous system.

7. Professional Support: If you’re struggling with chronic stress or anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counselor specializing in stress management.

8. Community and Networking: Engaging with other entrepreneurs can provide emotional support and opportunities to share experiences and coping strategies.


As an entrepreneur, success is not solely measured by financial achievements but also by your ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance and preserve your well-being.

This includes learning how to regulate a dysregulated nervous system.

Regulating your nervous system is a fundamental skill that can enhance your resilience, creativity, and overall quality of life. By incorporating the tools and resources mentioned above into your routine, you can embark on a more sustainable and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.

Remember, your nervous system is your ally on this path, and taking care of it is an investment in your long-term success and happiness.

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