Practices to calm frazzled nerves

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
  • meditation
    • 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?

9 thoughts on “Practices to calm frazzled nerves

  1. A room with a door I can lock. A therapist who cares even though we likely have to take a therapy break due to not enough privacy for online therapy. Food in my belly, the internet connecting me to communities, free courses on Coursera to occupy my time. All comforting in their own ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What courses are you taking?
      Text/email therapy support? Could therapist talk to you via ear buds and you respond by typing/texting? Is there a site you could meet and sit far enough apart that is still private?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Coursera released a bunch of free courses, and among them is one studying healthy and dysfunctional relationships, another on exercise science, and a third on using various forms of art for healing. Pretty thrilled.

        As for therapy, that’s a good idea, I’ll suggest to her. She can’t meet face to face outside the office I think, but said even if online therapy isn’t feasible, I can email for some support. We’re both assessing if we should postpone our session.

        Liked by 1 person

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