Do you suffer from stress?
Have strong reactions when things don’t go to plan?
Find that your happiness is overly dependant on the actions (or inactions) of others?
When we get stressed there is physiological reaction in the body
Here are a few tips that can help get your system back in to regulation:
1. Orient to your environment
In plain English that means notice your physical space , where you are sitting, the space around you, the quality of the light , what you can see out of the window, the temperature. Your nervous system needs to know where you are – then it will begin to calm down.
2. Orient to your physical body.
This time we are bringing our awareness to our physical body. How heavy or light do you feel, where are the points of contact between your body and the ground, or the chair. Notice which parts of your body is call your attention, are there parts of your body that feel more stressed, or more calm, and the temperature inside your body. Is it the same every where or is it different. Similar t o Point 1, this process helps to calm down the nervous system.
That’s right, SIGH! When you sigh you breath out . A simple sigh or two can reset your nervous system and you can start over. It works even better if you take the moment to recognise and experience the sigh in a physical way. We often sigh naturally but we can do it deliberately as well. Thanks to Deb Dana for this tip.
4. Build oxytocin.
Oxytocin is known as the ‘love hormone ‘ because it’s produced when we make love, when we hug, and when we are close to others. It is also produced when we touch our own body, like on the chest, or the back of the head, or anywhere else that feels good. I love touching the inside of my arms and wrists, because they are so sensitive. But we can also produce oxytocin when we remember or think about someone we care about, and feel loved – it could be a spiritual leader like the Dalai Lama, or someone in your imagination.
5. Build your resources.
Resources are anything that help you feel better. So we can talk about external resources like talking to a friend, stroking your pet, going for a walk in nature, enjoying a time of day or season, or staring in to space. I like quiet time in the morning, when I sit and drink my cup of tea and get ready for my day. Even when I have an early start, I won’t miss it because I really appreciate the quiet. When I remember that special time, later during my day – it has become an internal resource. Remembering your connection with someone you love can also be a resource. Having internal resources means you can calm your self down without external inputs. Sometimes I can get stressed for now particular reason, or for example when I am running late for a train. I just tell myself ‘CALM’. Usually that is enough to get things back on track and I do calm myself down.
6. Name and Notice
As it says, this one is quite simple, and it makes a real difference to your nervous system, to really notice the changes and it’s a starting point to identify what’s going on. You can name it out loud or you can write it down. Make space for it and get curious about what is happening in your inner experience, and take a moment to really listen to your inner experience. This will also help over the long run to build a resilient nervous system. This one also comes from Deb Dana. This process is also at the core of focusing , which you can read about over here
7. Build social connections.
Ever noticed that sharing a problem usually helps you feel better a bout things. We are wired for connection – so reach out to someone else – or even a pet, to help build your resiliency. It will help you feel more calm and resilient.