Addressing alcohol and drug-related issues: Reducing harm and supporting positive change.


Addressing alcohol and drug-related issues: Reducing harm and supporting positive change.


Making Our Nervous System Work for Us

Self-Help Booklet and Worksheets

Do you ever feel anxious, stressed, or find it hard to keep your emotions under control? We all do. Understanding how your brain works and techniques you can use to regulate your emotions will help keep things in check and improve your well-being.

Polyvagal theory, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, emphasizes the role of the vagus nerve in emotional regulation, social connection, and stress response. It identifies three nervous system states: social engagement, fight-or-flight, and shutdown. By understanding these states, you can better manage stress and enhance resilience. The theory suggests that fostering safe, supportive environments and engaging in activities that stimulate the vagus nerve, like deep breathing and social interaction, can shift the nervous system towards a state of calm and connection. This supports overall well-being by improving emotional regulation, reducing anxiety, and promoting healthy relationships.

Below is a series of short videos has been created by Ed Sipler, Health Development Specialist working in the South Eastern Health and social Care Trust and ASCERT with 11 clips for you to watch that explores the Polyvagal theory and how you can use it to support your wellbeing. Below is a self-help guide and worksheets that you can download and use to put the theory into practice at your own pace.

Video tutorials

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service Directories

These downloadable service directories provide information on all mental health and emotional wellbeing services in each of the Health & Social Care Trust areas across Northern Ireland


S. Eastern




If you are in crisis or despair, talk to someone, you are not alone.

Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and help, in confidence.

Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000. Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.