Hypervigilance, as most experiences, has shades, gradations. Many people feel a heightened sense of fear in times of high stress. If you have experienced Trauma, that increase can push you out of your window of tolerance.
We are finding our baseline is now out of the window of tolerance.
Practices to get back into our window of tolerance include:
- breath work in a quiet space (early morning and getting into bed early especially). we like to get our exhale longer than our inhale by exhaling through lips pursed like a straw. we might follow a breath all the way in and all the way out with our attention until we are relaxed enough that we can stop thinking at all about our breath
- using our senses to perceive the actual safety surrounding us in our home, including scented candles, essential oils, and smelling bags of our favorite teas; hearing familiar sounds of our home; seeing our anchors that are always available to see; tasting our favorite flavors; feeling comforting fabrics (we like the silky edge of blankets)
- relaxing parts of our body we often tense: jaw, shoulders, toes/feet
- stretching and yoga to release tension
- eat enough! starving ourself is OCD’s go-to for control during tumult. Sufficient calories allow more resourced decision-making
- open sky: just breathe and fly through an endless sky for some peace
- naming: name feeling and sensations as they arise. name them without judgment and let them go. this reminds us that all is impermanent. we will get through any tough time
- metta: we breathe in and think of our posture and breathe out to phrases that are hopeful and calming. we can say them for ourself and can say them or any combination of them about other people. Our phrases have grown from four to these ten:
- may we be safe
- may we be happy
- may we be healthy
- may we live gently
- may we love ourselves
- may we embrace our humanness
- may be we flexible
- may we live with ease
- may we be free of suffering
- may we be filled with compassion
- R-A-I-N to resolve a specific situation
For most of us, this time is not a Trauma time. It feels like it, and Now is different than before. What can you name that is safe about your Now?