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Desensitizing Your Stress Reaction

How wonderful it would be to have a genuine sense of belonging and presence in your body, to be in tune with its wants and signals and to have a reciprocal, loving, and respectful relationship with it. It would be great if you could just let all of life's expressions—love, grief, despair, and joy—flow through you without fighting them or trying to suppress them. The connection between you and your body is mutual. As you tune in to it and meet its demands, it will impart clarity and insight that will improve your existence in every way. It takes time, like in every relationship, to heal, to create a depth of understanding and a loving affinity after hardships and trials have been faced.

Regardless of where you are on the journey to healing and embodiment, it is crucial to either reacquaint yourself with the feeling of safety in your body or to begin to feel safe in your body for the first time as you recover your body/mind from the effects of trauma. Having a sense of security is fundamental to development, regardless of how much time has passed since the traumatic event. Trusting emotions encircle you and secure you from the inside out. They facilitate a more profound sense of oneness with one's physical self, with other people, and with the wider world. The greatest method to protect yourself from the influx of potentially challenging or foreign emotions, feelings, and energy is to create safe havens for yourself. You may trust your body and your mind to connect with your own innate healing wisdom when you create an environment of safety and self-awareness.

You can intentionally create an environment of physical security. Science in the field of neurobiology has shown how vital a secure environment is to one's social abilities. 12 This chapter is full with preparatory techniques that can help you cultivate present, connection, and safety in the face of trauma and lessen its widespread effects. The more secure you feel, the less likely you are to resort to more primal survival behaviors like fighting, running away, or freezing. If you can't tap into a sense of security, your survival biology may be yelling at you to both run away and freeze. Pretend that your life energy is a horse that you are riding, and that you can make it both gallop and stop at will. It's taxing and complicated on the inside, making it hard to identify potential dangers and respond sensibly.

Your ability to tell the difference between danger and safety as an adult may be impaired by childhood experiences of insecurity, disconnection, and neglect from caregivers and social groups. It's as if the signals from your safety detectors are garbled and you can't distinguish if someone is safe or not. In order to identify true safety or threat as an adult, your neuroceptive systems (perception that is underneath your conscious awareness) needed constant access to safety as a child. The degree of this distortion varies. Developing a sense of personal security is the first step toward improved neuroception.

Being physically present is not necessary for healing after traumatic experiences. It's about getting back in touch with it by fixing whatever caused your initial alienation. Create personal safe havens and you may find that communication becomes easier.

Zones of relative security

If you can establish some sense of security in your physical being and fully feel it, even if it's just a tiny safe haven, you'll be better able to go back there whenever you need to. In a safe environment, your brain is better able to help you interact with others and keep yourself in check. Your voice, facial emotions, and eyes will portray that safety, and you'll end up helping to govern others as a result.

Practicing and refining skills that increase safety is important since it plays a critical role in your recovery. The organic and intuitive aspects of your body are invited by all your body awareness explorations to join the logic and rationality of your intellect, thereby strengthening your innate knowledge. In addition to bridging your physical and mental experiences, the visuals you encounter during healing will do the same. New cerebral connections are represented by these pictures and will direct your emergent development.

Exercising a Sense of Security

To begin the process of feeling safe from the inside out, you will use your imagination to conjure up a safe person or place, and then anchor that sensation in your body. Before starting the activity, go over it and then do it at your own pace.

Get cozy and relaxed in your seat. Consider for a moment when and where you feel most secure. Think outside the box. It could be spending time in nature, in a special room at home, under a cozy blanket, in the company of a loved one, or in the presence of a spiritual figure you imagine to be holding or protecting you.

Visualize yourself in a secure setting, with your trusted support system close by. Feel what's going on in your body. If possible, try this in your actual fortress.

Try to pinpoint any bodily feelings that go along with mental pictures of security. Images have the ability to change minds and hearts.

Notice if there are any areas of your body that seem warmer, more relaxed, more open, softer, more spacious, or if your breathing is deepening at all.

What does it feel like to be secure? Write down your thoughts on this prompt here or in a journal.

Perhaps you still haven't found a place in your body where you feel completely secure. If you had to choose, what would you say is the least frightening, easiest, and loosest in your body?


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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