In all new situations, our sensory organs immediately begin an observational process to determine whether it is safe, or if we need to get out QUICK!
Dr. Stephen Porges, a neuroscientist, has termed this process of perception and evaluation “neuroception.” He defines this process as “how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous or life threatening”. This rapid response hardware and software integration takes place in the limbic system of our brain which works at a sub-conscious level.
One key element if we have experienced trauma, is the perception of threat can be real or has the "felt-sense" of being real to our body. Even when no threat exists in our environment.
When our nervous systems are designed to constantly seek safety from danger and threat, how do we manage to live harmoniously in a world full of new people and situations? How do we connect and establish relationships without freezing up or shutting down?