We all have moments in our day where life feels like too much, when we feel overwhelmed. When we don't know what to do and we feel out of control. Maybe we feel anxious or confused, maybe we feel sad or frightened. Maybe we feel disconnected from ourselves. Maybe we feel all these things, or other things that are uncomfortable and difficult for us. Here is a 5 minute reset that can be used in these moments. These simple actions will impact your body physiology and allow your nervous system to settle. They will bring you into your body and bring you back to a more calm, clear and present state.
Simple actions, profound effects. Sound good?
Ok. Let's begin :)
Look around and see where you are.
Let your head and neck turn and let your eyes go where they want to.
Name 3 things you can see, real simple.
Look around again, and name 3 more things you see, but get more detailed.
If looking around at a large area seems too stimulating, try a smaller area, or just gaze at one thing you see that is neutral or pleasant to you.
Now bring your attention to your body. What part of your body can you notice that feels neutral? That feels OK?
Maybe it’s the contact between the ground and your feet, your backside against the surface its on, or your hands clasped together gently. Spend a few moments really paying attention to what feels okay.
You may also be feeing something else at the same time that is unpleasant, but just try your best to put your attention to what is ok in your body.
If noticing your body is difficult, try tapping or rubbing your body with one of your hands and you can even say to yourself this is my chest, this is my arm as you touch each part.
Can you notice your jaw? Is it tight or loose? Are your teeth together or apart? Release it.
Can you pay attention to your breath? Don’t change it. just feel what its doing and allow it for a few moments.
Now try gently lengthening your exhale. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Don’t change your inhale.
Check in with yourself.
Do you feel any different than when you started? Don’t judge, try and be curious.
Are you more calm? Do you feel more in control? Do you feel more safe? Are you the same? Are you somehow totally different?
As you tune into yourself best you can, notice is there anything you feel an impulse to do?
Is there a sound your body wants to make? growl, grunt, cry, yell, laugh, speak something out loud?
Is there a movement or action your body wants to do? Tense your arms and fists, shake or tremble, move your legs or feet, retract your head, push away with your arms, collapse and get smaller? Or anything else?
Allow these things to happen if you feel them wanting to happen.
Look around again and see where you are. Name 3 things you see.
Now think of someone or something that makes you feel safe, strong, or calm.
This can be a person, place, an animal or object. It can be real in your life, past or present or made up. Like a beautiful beach or forest or your dog or a dog you wish you had.
Use your mind to create a picture like that person or animal is here or you are at that place or you have that object with you.
See as many details in your mind as you can. Really feel the realness of this image.
You can either see it through your own eyes or see yourself like a movie. Which ever feels more natural.
Place one hand gently on your forehead or on your chest.
See the picture in your mind like its real and happening at this moment, but also feel yourself here in the present by how your hand makes contact with your body.
After a few minutes, open your eyes and see the room again.
Turn your head and neck while using your eyes to see where you are. Name 3 things you see.
Check in again.
How do you feel? More calm? More present? More safe? No different? Very different? Try to be curious.
Finish by giving yourself a self-hug.
Place arm across your chest and place your hand under your armpit. Place the other arm overtop and other hand on the side of your shoulder.
Notice the containment that this self-hug provides.
Feel where your boundaries are and that they can contain all that you experience internally.
I encourage you to try this simple exercise when you are feeling like you need a reset, to give your nervous system the help it needs in these moments of overwhelm. It really appreciates it.
Thanks for reading!