Reset to Calm A Guided Practice to Help You Step Out of "Fight, Flight, or Freeze", Reset Your Nervous System to Calm, and Find Your Happy, Grounded Place
For many people the last year has been a time of intense anxiety related to personal and global challenges. Some of this stress has been related to events and circumstances that are far out of our control.
Fires, floods, and random shootings have dominated our newsfeeds here in California. And hit way too close to home for many. Several friends lost everything they owned in recent fires. A meditation center where I once lived and worked partially burned. A client’s family was deeply traumatized by the tragic shooting in Las Vegas.
Global political drama ramps up and down, and then up again. Right along with the volatile financial markets. Just as the stress of one event starts to subside, another wave of uncertainty rolls through our collective awareness. There has been little time to calm down and get back to feeling calm, safe, and “normal” again before the next tragedy hits.
Even if all is well in your own life, the collective anxiety ripples through all of our psyches.
After these times of collective trauma, if the needed healing and reset doesn’t happen, your nervous system can stay in a perpetual state of high alert. This often happens on a subtle level you might not even recognize. It can show up as stress, overwhelm, sleep issues, or fatigue. Or all of them together creating the perfect storm that brings you down.
When we are faced with a challenging situation, our “fight, flight or freeze” response is triggered. We go into high alert. This happens when our well being or safety are threatened in some way.
The threat can be physical or emotional, real or imagined, in your own home or around the globe.
The “fight, flight or freeze” response is part of a built-in survival mechanism that helps us deal with threatening situations. A part of the brain called the amygdala sounds the alarm for danger. This activates a whole host of physical and emotional responses that are designed to empowered us to meet the perceived threat head on. And hopefully, come out triumphant.
We’ve all know what this “fight, flight or freeze” response feels like…. rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, and the dry mouth that comes with a rush of adrenalin. Our breathing accelerates and digestion slows as the hormonal mix of our whole system rapidly changes. Cortisol, a powerful stress hormone, has its way with us. These physical changes are meant to give us the heightened awareness and abilities needed to deal with the threat at hand.
A problem emerges when we are regularly in situations where we feel our well being or survival are threatened. Maybe it is the boss who demands too much from you, or maybe it is ongoing financial pressure. Maybe you get trigger by challenges in your relationships, or by health issues.
A combination of stressful situations can easily push you over the edge. Whatever the catalyst, when you go into chronic “fight, flight or freeze” it doesn’t feel good.
You feel anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed. Fragmented, with a racing mind. Haunted by the neverending TO DO list that consumes every free moment.
You may toss and turn at night… waking up in the morning more tired than you were the night before.
You need a carb rush to get through that afternoon slump. Maybe you drink too much coffee to get it all done. And then drink too much wine to calm it all down.
You're just trying to get through the day intact… hoping for happy, settling for productive.
We’ve all had those kind of days.
The problem is when those anxious days turn into stressed out weeks, or even months and years.
Logically, even if you know you are safe and have survived whatever seemed to be so threatening, your nervous system stays on alert unless it is reset.
When that happens you become hyper-vigilant, ready to fend off any perceived threat to your well being and survival. In these challenging times it is easy to get caught in a near constant state of fear and uncertainty.
Until you crash and burn.
Sometimes, the people you love hold you up, and love you up until the needed relaxation and rewiring can happen. But usually, the people you love suffer right along with you.
Here's the good news… In recent years, a tremendous amount of research has been done on the brain and nervous system. As a result of this leading edge research, we have a much deeper understanding of how these survival mechanisms can be managed in ways that foster greater well being and happiness.
Many highly effective techniques have been developed that can rapidly reset your nervous system to calm. These practices, which I often do with my clients, can be done in as little as 15 minutes. They rapidly clear and reset your autonomic nervous system to a calm and safe mode. Then you can naturally and appropriately respond in the present moment with more love, creativity, and awareness.
I'm sharing a few practices for clearing trauma and emotions from your body, brain, and nervous system. Through these practices, I am going to teach you how to reset your system to calm, even in the midst of stressful times, personal or global.
Until then… take a deep breath, wiggle your toes, and feel your feet on the floor. Pause and simply be aware of your breath for a moment or two. Even one conscious breath can begin to turn your nervous system towards calm. Click the audio below to access the first practice and discover how to unwind your nervous system and find your happy place… anytime, anywhere. All love, Ariana
A Guided Practice to Reset Your Nervous System to Calm