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Even short moments of reprieve are beneficial as they help reset enabling us to find the middle ground between overwhelm and denial. It’s in this place that we’re able to make better choices and are best placed to support ourselves and those around us.
We recommend trying out the following as often as you need to:
Any kind of physical movement is a great way of releasing the build-up of excess energy that accompanies the acute stress (‘fight or flight’) response – take yourself for a walk or run outside; do some stretching, yoga or some other form of mindful movement; or crank some uplifting music and dance around the house for a few minutes.
When you slow your breathing rate down the uncomfortable physical sensations of fear and anxiety start to subside. Try the following:
Stop what you’re doing, take three long, slow deep breaths.
Impose a rhythm on your breathing so that your out-breath becomes longer than your in-breath.
Try a 4-2-6 rhythm – e.g. breathe for 4 counts, hold your breath for 2 counts, and breathe out for 6 counts.
If that doesn’t feel comfortable, try imposing a 3-1-4 rhythm. The main thing is that your out-breath is slightly longer than your in-breath.
Connect to what is happening in this moment right now more consciously engaging your senses. Try the following:
Splash cold water on your face
Take a hot (or cold) shower
Cuddle your pet
Smell and/or diffuse a relaxing essential oil (i.e. lavender, geranium, ylang ylang)
Take a moment to enjoy a cup of tea – really pay attention to the aroma and taste