A thought has just occurred to you. It’s come out of nowhere. But all at once, it feels like you have a big hard knot in your stomach, and that your stomach has dropped into your shoes.
Breathing gets hard, you can’t quite seem to get enough air in your lungs – and it’s not the 10 ciggs you smoked last night.
Your thoughts are heading down some dark alley ways, with no pepper spray for defence. And then the self recriminations start. “How did you let that happen?”, “Why me?”, “It’s too hard, I can’t handle this”.
STOP. Just stop, ok?
Your lizard brain (the old brain from pre-evolved times) has hijacked both your body and the thinking centre of your brain. It doesn’t have to stay like this for you. There are ways of taking back control.
For me, having a daily mindfulness meditation practice for the past few years has built up the ability to have more control over what my body is doing. It’s become easier to de-escalate when I feel like I’m being hijacked, or entering flight, fight, freeze. I’m more aware of my body being tense, and also what it feels like to relax my body. Being able to relax your body when you choose, allows for greater awareness over how your body is reacting. In turn, leading to greater tranquility.
Other ways include incorporating more mindfulness into your daily routines.
There are other types of meditation that may work better for you.
Regular exercise is another way that works for some people.
I’m not a psychologist and I don’t play one on the internet, I like to share what works for me, and inspire you to find what works for you. So go out there and try some things, and find what works for you.