The antidote? Surround yourself with creativity, positivity, humor and new perspectives.
When you play, laugh, cuddle, smile and connect in fun-loving ways with others and with yourself, you are activating highly evolved levels of your brain and nervous system. These include circuits linked with your tenth cranial nerve, the vagus nerve.
When you are relaxed and having fun (versus vigilant or negative), it physiologically means that your sympathetic nervous system is not being recruited for defense.
Smiling and laughing are indicators that your vagus nerve is being recruited as part of what Stephen Porges calls your Social Engagement System, a highly evolved level of brain-body circuitry mammals (including humans) use to survive through bonding and 'co-regulation'.
Activation of this system allows blood flow to open up to our higher order brain structures such as our prefrontal cortex, as well as to our internal organs. This gives them the nutrients and cellular activity they need to restore and heal.
The more you add fun, social connection, and playfulness to your life, the more you are firing up brain-body circuitry that keeps your brain from getting stuck in negative, fear-based patterns.