In these difficult events we live, it is close to impossible to control our minds. Our nervous system is on the alertin the continuous "Fight or Flight" system; however, if we are not able to escape and/or fight when we are caught unexpectedly, we freeze in our selves or break away from the body..
Peter Levine says, “Normally, in danger, we either run or fight. But when that danger is something we can't see and find, the nervous system has a third response: our body shuts down, it's a kind of freezing feeling."
While the collective trauma we have been through continues to affect us deeply, it is very important that we regulate our nervous system and return to the body. Our nervous system is our magnificent communication network that transmits to the brain in the face of danger to keep us alive and protect us, and drives us away from danger with reflexes. While the collective trauma we are experiencing continues to affect us deeply, it is very important that we regulate our nervous system and return to the body! When we cannot control the mind, we can return to the body and send the message "I am safe" to our brain. In short, let's go back to our body when we can't control the mind.
Here are some simple and very effective practices that you can apply when you realize that you are drifting away from the 'Moment', or when you cannot control your mind:
The body's basic innate need is contact – just like a child, it needs human contact, cuddle, physical comfort, nutrition, warmth or a parent's heartbeat in order to feel that the world is a safe place and to regulate its own nervous system. The body also needs a warm, caring, reliable contact to feel safe. "I am here. Your body needs the message "Don't worry, you're safe no matter what, honey". For example, if the body is hungry for touch and love, it manifests itself with “dry skin” – the body shows the signal “touch me, touch me”. These signals come from within the body and are instantly communicated through pain, tension, aches, and psychosomatic illnesses.
Be in contact with the body. Creating a cream ritual every night, hugging yourself or putting your hand there if you have a tension in your body. Feeling what is going on in the body, by touching it thoroughly, will start to provide that confidence to the body. Look at how you feel rather than what you think. Observe how you feel inside; how is the body temperature, what is going on in the body, where and what do you feel, is there a point where you feel pain or a chronic ailment? If there is, put your hand there, see and listen to that pain! Only when we quiet our mind can we hear the voice of the body.
With our right hand, we hold our left armpit between our thumb and 4 other fingers. We hold our right shoulder with our left hand. In a way, we embrace ourselves.
size 4 years old
We can start by treating our body the way we would treat a 4-year-old child. When we love him, show interest, and make contact, he will guide us. When we establish a dialogue with our body, we begin to see the needs of our body. The attention we will show to these needs makes the child inside us more vocal and is the beginning of destroying the layers that have accumulated on us. When we do not show this interest in our body, it starts to shout in its own way; it responds to us with chronic pain and feelings of restlessness.
five senses exercise
It is an exercise that makes it easy to get back to the present moment and get away from our thoughts when our mind wanders through anxious thoughts in difficult moments. This five-step exercise involves focusing on some aspects of the five senses (touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell). The goal in this exercise is to calm your mind by using your five senses to focus on your surroundings instead of your thoughts.
5. Notice FIVE things you can see around you. Maybe a tree, maybe a book, maybe a spot on the wall. 5 things you see big or small.
4. Notice FOUR things around you that you can touch. List 4 things you feel like: your cheeks, your hands, the floor you touch, the bed you sleep on.
3. Notice THREE sounds you can hear. Try to hear outside sounds. List three of them: bird chirping, music, dog barking, or whatever sounds you can hear.
2. Notice TWO things you can smell.
1. Notice ONE thing you can taste. The taste of the food you eat for lunch or the tea you drink. What taste do you have in your mouth?
Calming: One-to-Two Breathing
When you feel hectic, let your exhale be longer than your inhale. Close your eyes to go inside. Breathe in and out through the nose for several rounds to settle down. Inhale for up to 2 counts and then exhale for up to 4 counts (We give back twice the exhale). If you wish, take 3 seconds and give 6 seconds, or take 4 seconds, give 8 seconds. Continue until you feel a change in the body. Be in contact with the body, use your hand. When you touch, you feel the body being seen and the nervous system calms down, you start to connect with the body.
The famous technique of Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing®, allows us to communicate with ourselves and our body. By activating the ventral vagus nerve, you can calm down and enter a resting and digesting mode.
1. Set up an area where you feel safe and come to a sitting position with your back straight.
2. Breathe naturally for 2-3 rounds with both hands in contact with your abdomen. Settle into the body.
3. Make a “Whoo” sound (like the sound of a steamboat) while breathing in and out of the abdomen. If possible, let the sound come from your stomach; feel the vibration of the sound in your body and let it continue until your breath ends naturally. When the breath is just over, wait for the next breath to come, from the abdomen up to the chest, again on your exhale: Wuuuuuuuu. After doing it a few times just listen to yourself, be aware of what you are experiencing, without judgment.
3. Continue for several rounds (3-5 minutes) until your body feels more confident and calm.
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