Restoring balance to the bodyMay 14, 2021
Feeling your emotions in your body is one way of then being able to respond to those emotions to restore balance.
Learning how to respond to our emotions in a way that restores balance rather than heightening them is essential if we want to make consistent and good decisions for our mental and physical health.
Many of us learn coping mechanisms that help us ride them out but that don’t necessarily help us to engage with them in a restorative and healthy way.
According to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor Who is a neuroscientist at Harvard, we can neutralise a fight of flight response in 90 seconds’. The issue is when we are triggered and our sympathetic nervous system has responded, we are experiencing high levels of cortisol and adrenaline and we keep on thinking about the trigger, we don’t remove ourselves from the trigger, we are stuck in a state where we are stressed out and unresponsive.
So what can you do to invite some calm back into the situation that will give you an opportunity to respond to your emotions.
Name the emotion
Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths
Closing your eyes and pressing your palms onto the closed lid
Drinking a glass of water
Removing yourself from the room/conversation
Dancing 30 seconds- 2minutes
shouting/singing - releasing the emotion
(these give you a chance to activate your parasympathetic nervous system)
Increase oxytocin lower cortisol
None of these suggestions are telling you that the emotion is bad or that in the moment you need to enquire deeply about why it has arisen and what it means.
There is information in the emotion, when things don’t feel good it’s because something is out of balance, maybe it’s us, maybe it’s because a boundary was crossed, at another moment i’d invite you to sit with it and consider what the factors were that lead to it if you want to become more aware of what triggered it. But simply emotions come and go, throughout the day and in a given moment we may feel a few different emotions at the same time.
I love my son, but when he loses his temper and scratches me (this happens sometimes) and it’s at the end of the day and i’m trying to get him in his pj’s or give him cuddles and he just flips, as toddlers do, most of the time i feel I can handle things and feel gentle and it doesn’t rattle me and other days when i’m tried to, it’s really hard. I don’t burden him with being responsible for my emotions and try and make him stop, instead I tell him that I love him, I name the feeling, I let him know that it’s ok, all that jazz, but I physically remove myself from him because I could feel myself getting stressed out. Once I have taken some breaths and also shared that with him, I can respond more calmly, charged up and can help him work through his emotions better.
Trying to calm someone else down when you are feeling triggered isn't easy. By doing these practices it gives you a chance to switch off fight or flight, lower cortisol and switch on rest and digest, more oxytocin. Bringing you back into your centre.
Breathe it in, name the emotion, allow it, notice it, don’t judge it, breathe in again and release it, allow it to move out of you like the wind moving the clouds x