Our brains and bodies are designed to manage stress and even trauma and be able to recover and heal if given adequate support. That support is both external- good self-care, food, sleep, working on something productive, playing, connecting with others, and also internal- talking to yourself like you would to someone you care about, deep breathing, using creativity and imagination to feel better when stressed.
Notice feeling anxious and attend to it proactively. Don’t let the scared little kid inside drive your vehicle (body). Pay attention to the signals your body gives you of early warning signs of anxiety- racing thoughts, the tension in the jaw, back, chest, urge to fight- get mad, urge to flight- numb out, run away, avoid feelings.
Use your ability to direct your attention away from distress triggers and towards what feels better. Deep breathe, imagine someone who loves you unconditionally (Jesus, angel, mother nature, ancestor, totem or spirit animal) offering comfort and wisdom to you. When you pray, remember to listen for the unconditionally loving messages from these Beings who love you. Read poetry, sing, play music, use your creativity to tap into the part of your brain that can transcend the present moment distress and rest in feeling held in a larger perspective.
Reach out for help to develop these self-support skills if needed because chronic stress creates wear and tear on the body and mind that is harmful if left untreated.
Staff Article by
Director of Clinical Training