GETTING OUT OF OUR FLIGHT - FREEZE - FIGHT RESPONSE


Currently, we are confronted with the reality of living in uncertainty. Its natural to feel an increase in anxiety and tension when we feel our life is in overdrive. When we feel chronic stress our body needs help in recovering.


So, its important to learn how to turn down this stress response throughout our day. One way is to bring yourself back to your inner state by simply slowing down your breathing and paying attention to your current feeling state. I call this bringing yourself back to your center. This technique can assist those feelings when they come on strong like a huge WAVE. You can't stop a wave, but you can ride it to the shore. Now, I should note - its not about eliminating the feeling but rather helping the feeling simmer down so we can feel centered. Its learning how to ride the wave.


Steps:

1st Notice your feeling. Name it. Maybe its feeling scared, unsure, overwhelmed, angry or empty......

2nd Where do you feel it in your body. Put your hand in that spot: heart, throat, stomach...

3rd Allow yourself to feel the feeling for a second without trying to make it go away

4th Take a deep belly breath (Diaphragmatic breathing). Breathe in through your nose for about 6-8 seconds. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. During this type of breathing, make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still. Then SLOWLY exhale the air through your mouth. Its best to have the exhale last for 6-8 seconds.

-- On your next breath cycle, imagine the feeling you identified flowing out of your body on the exhale. Repeat 3x.

5th. What feeling would you like to replace this worry with?? Maybe peace, calm, stillness....

6th. On this step practice feeling the feeling you desire. Bring up that feeling in your mind and your heart. Bring that desired state alive in your mind. Take a SLOW inhale for 6-8 seconds as described above and exhale while keeping the desired feeling in your mind and heart. Repeat 3-4x.


The idea is to feel the feeling (ex. worry, anxiety, fear) and then on the exhale allow that feeling to flow out of you. Then do additional rounds with just the feeling of your desired emotion.


The key is to not get rid of the feeling of worry but instead to replace it with what you desire. Put your focus on your goal.


Here is an example:

"I feel a wave of sadness, I acknowledge it. I scan my body for areas of tension. I feel tension in my jaw. I take a slow long inhale (watch my stomach expand with air) and let go of that tension in my jaw on my long exhale. I relax my jaw. I do another body scan and again notice I have tension in my stomach. I inhale and on the exhale, I let go of my tension in my stomach. Relax those muscles. I pause again to notice the sadness. I do not judge my sadness. I breath in and allow that sadness to follow my breath out on my exhale. I do these 3x times. Emotions are energy....energy can move, so we move our emotions with our breath.

Next, I imagine what I desire to feel. I desire calmness. I imagine past moments in my life that I felt peace and calmness. I know what peace feels like and I bring that past feeling to my present attention. I don't just remember it. I feel it. I take another deep inhale (watch my stomach rise)and on the exhale I remember the feeling of calmness. " I sit with this feeling of calmness for a few minutes. I breath in and out feelings of calmness." I repeat the breathing rotation as needed.


Repeat this deep breathing exercise until you feel your worry dissipate. This exercise assists us in riding those WAVES of emotions that come on strong. I've had to do this exercise about 15 times a day sometimes. :)


With practice it gets easier and more useful.


HEARTMATH BREATHING

I'd also like to share HEARTMATH. HeartMath has discovered that our heart rhythm patterns are the best reflection of our inner state. By adding heart, you can shift in the moment into a state of balance and renewing feelings, such as appreciation, care, love and compassion. https://www.heartmath.com/


Learning how to put your heart in a smooth coherence state assists in managing feelings. You do this by rhythmic breathing while focusing a positive feelings. There are a variety of different techniques but below are two videos that explain ONE breathing technique to get started: Heartmath quick coherence

​Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.

Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds (or whatever rhythm is comfortable.)

Step 2: Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.

Suggestion: Try to re-experience the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, etc. or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.


2nd video is the same heartmath quick coherence technique


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