I love talking about nervous system regulation. But hearing “nervous system regulation” can be very daunting! It’s as if we are being asked to change our own volume or rewire our brain. And, in a way, we are. But the way we go about it doesn’t have to be this intense! Everything starts incrementally.
Here are 10 things you can do intentionally when you find yourself in deep anxiety or feeling hypervigilant.
Self-holds - head to this website to see some examples.
Take a deep breath and exhale with an audible sigh.
Put one hand on your heart and the other on your solar plexus (right above your belly button) and notice your breathing.
Splash cold water on your face.
Inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds - do this a few times if you’re able.
Journal about how you’re feeling from a place of observation, not judgment. Example: “I’m noticing my heart is racing and I’m pacing. I keep thinking about how I feel like I need to be in a hurry, even though there isn’t a deadline.”
Take a nap if your body is feeling tired.
Cry if you find yourself holding tears back.
Remember that there’s nothing wrong with you. Your body is always trying to keep you alive. Have compassion for yourself. Blaming yourself or telling yourself to “stop” will not only increase your anxiety or hypervigilance, it is basically telling your body that it doesn’t know what it’s doing when it totally does!
Even if you just do one of these things for a few seconds, it will make a difference and serve as a reminder that you can always take a pause and care for yourself.
Love you all!