The Anatomy of Calm

December 1, 2022
A woman sitting holding a mug and wearing a face mask next to words that read "The Anatomy of Calm"

Do you wish your nervous system came with an instruction manual?

Fortunately, Dr. Stephen Porges has identified a biological order of human response active in all human experiences, known today as Polyvagal Theory. The theory explains the inner workings of our brain and nervous system because it's the vehicle through which we drive through life. Polyvagal Theory is based on an evolutionary, neuropsychological understanding of the vagus nerve's role in emotion regulation, social connection, and fear response. More specifically, it explains the interconnectedness of body reactivity, cognitive and emotional function, and social behavior. It reveals that humans are meant to regulate each other, and that proximity, social interaction, and voice intonation are all powerful neural signals.

If you want to learn more about how our physiologic state influences how we react to the world and how we make our way through it, check out "The Anatomy of Calm" by Stephen Porges, Ph.D. If you want to talk to a counselor about the Polyvagal Theory, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 512-471-3366 or email