If you missed Tuesday’s Lovetter, How to Recover From Triggers – Part 1, start here. It takes you through what it means to be triggered.
If you have that part down (don’t we all!!) and want to go straight to the “What do I do about it part?” Here are three of my most accessible techniques.
Step 1: The Discharging Breath.
Breathe in through your nose and then out through your mouth like a straw.
Be sure to make your exhale longer than your inhale.
This will literally help “discharge” nervous “fight or flight energy” caused by the adrenaline and cortisol that pump through your body when you are triggered. It activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the “I’m going to calm down and be in my body” part of your nervous system.
Deep breathing and paying attention to what’s going on in your environment will ground you and help bring your nervous system back online when it’s been hijacked.
Step 2: Pay Attention To All Five Senses.
It is simple but profound. Go through each sense, sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Go as slowly as is comfortable, pausing to notice as many details as you can. This simple awareness practice will literally bring you back into your body, which is the easiest way I know to experience embodiment and grounding.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes (or don’t if it doesn’t feel safe) and ask yourself the following:
1) SIGHT: How many things can you see? OR, close your eyes and try to remember how many things you saw before you closed your eyes.
2) SOUND: What sounds do you hear? Which sounds are far away? Which ones are close?
3) TASTE: What is the taste in your mouth right now?
4) TOUCH: How many places on your body are in contact with your surroundings? Your butt? Your back? Your feet?
5) SMELL: Does the room you are in have a particular smell? Does it remind you of anything?
Step 3: Relax Your Pelvic Floor.
The one might be a little more challenging at first, so stick with the first two, and when you’re ready, add relaxing your pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor is tied to everything in your body: your gut, the back of your brain. When your sympathetic nervous system is over-activated, and you’re in fight or flight, your pelvic muscles tighten. Releasing them is a huge cue to your nervous system that it is OK to relax, and you are safe.
These are the three steps I take to calm my nervous system down. I am several years out now from my divorce, and it’s gotten more manageable. But, if I spend too much time around my ex or we have challenging conversations (those haven’t stopped and probably won’t), my body and brain can still get “high-jacked.”
That is when I use these awareness exercises to bring me back to the present moment and remind me: I am safe.
Want more easy techniques? Download my free Surviving Sex Addiction Guidebook and learn more techniques for calming and quieting your nervous system.
Want a weekly dose of support and community? Join my private Facebook group where you will find a group of women ready to provide you with safety, support and strength.
Until next time,