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Anchoring Calm During Stressful Circumstances
These times can be triggering for some people. Given the current circumstances, it's possible that some people have lost loved ones in the past few months. Also, organized family gatherings, zoom links, update conversations, new ways of performing our jobs, etc. It can all be anxiety provoking.
For those being filled with sadness, anxiety, or any kind of intrusive thoughts... Here's a little exercise. When you start to feel a bit tense, angry, or uncomfortable, "anchoring" may be able to help you.
Starting Your "Anchoring" Journey:
Anchoring is a stimulus response process. Yvonne Pavlov has made a similar research with stimulus response research. The term neurofeedback may also give you a hint.
You will access a particular emotional state. To do this, follow these steps:
1) Get into a quiet place and choose a part of your body that will work as an "anchor". It's best if you choose a part you won't be touching constantly. The lobe of your ear is a good example.
2) Take a deep breath and think of a specific situation or place that made you feel totally calm. It can be a special occasion or a daily activity. What makes you feel at peace? Probably the day you graduated, wedding day, , a vacation, carrying your child for the first time… or just driving down the highway, lighting a scented candle, painting, walking. It's up to you and there are no right or wrong answers.
3) Once you choose a moment, step into your body at that specific time. Remember what you saw, what you heard, and how you felt.
4) Once you are at the peak of the moment, touch your anchor for 5 to 15 seconds. Then release.
Repeat this process when you have some spare time. It's even better if you do this even at times when you don't feel anxious yet! This is like a "prep" stage.
When you are at your peak moment, feeling calm and relaxed, and touch the anchor; you are conditioning your body to make the connection: anchor - peaceful state. After some repetitions, you will have that anchor "installed".
So, what if you find yourself in a situation that causes you anxiety, anger, or stress? Press your anchor until you are able to start feeling that calmness and relaxation. Hold it for just a few seconds and then release.
Write in the comments your experience with this process, and whether you were able to install your anchor. Would you like to learn more resources like this one?
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