We’ve just had a public shooting in Denmark. Fortunately, such events are extremely rare here, and it has been many years since the previous one. But that also makes us react stronger to each of them. Some people experience increased stress levels or problems sleeping or concentrating.
If you experience an unexpectedly strong reaction to a traumatic event that you did not witness yourself, take extra care of yourself. You are allowed to feel this. It is normal for people who feel vulnerable in their lives to react more strongly. Untreated trauma from many years ago can also strengthen your reaction to tragic events your hear about in the news or on social media.
Seek help from a professional if you have strong reactions for more than a few days after the event. As a professional trauma therapist, I recommend looking for a professional specializing in trauma.
Your body knows what is bothering you, even if your conscious mind doesn’t. I am reading Bruce Perry’s book “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog,” and he explains how he discovered a way to detect past trauma still stuck in the body: With a heart rate monitor.
A child wanted to try the heart rate monitor Bruce was still wearing after a run. He put in on the boy and the heart rate was normal. But then Bruce said something that caused the boy’s heart rate to increase dramatically. He later discovered that his words had triggered a memory of past trauma in the boy.
If you have an Apple Watch or a similar device that measures your pulse, pay attention to the data it gives you. You might discover that a specific task or an upcoming event with certain people sets your heart racing. That tells you that you have something you need to work on. While you do that, also try to reduce this kind of stress-inducing activity. Maybe someone else can do the task, or you don’t need to go to that meeting. I’m not a big gadget fan, but here is a place where a device can actually be helpful.
How is your breathing? Now that I ask, you might be noticing it. But most of the time, your breathing just happens. Now decide to take deeper breaths. Notice how you feel calmer.
Breathing is interesting because there is a direct two-way connection between your breathing and your emotional state. Your stress level affects your breathing, but your breathing also affects your stress level.
To make sure you remember to take some time to breathe deeply, connect breathing with something you already do. Find some action you take several times a day, and take a few deep breaths before you do it. For example, whenever you pick up your coffee or tea mug for a refill, hold the mug while you take three deep breaths. Getting some good breathing into your life will reduce stress and improve your health.
Hitting someone is a bad response. At the Oscars ceremony, one of the hosts made a joke about an actor’s wife, and the actor stormed up on stage and slapped the host in front of 15 million TV viewers. No matter how bad or tasteless the joke, physically hitting out is the wrong way to react.
Instead, prepare a stress response in advance. One powerful technique is called “anchoring” where you connect a physical feeling to an emotional state. Sit in your favorite place, listen to your favorite music and think of all the good things that have happened in your life. As you really feel good, press your thumb against your middle finger. Say in your mind “I am anchoring this good feeling in my body.” Do this several times on different days.
When faced with a stressful situation in the future, you can call upon your anchor. Touch your thumb against your middle finger and you will feel the calm you have stored in advance. If you see Will Smith, feel free to pass this tip to him.
emotions where visible, when my resent client talked about, how he kept
stopping himself for moving forward. He would start on a project, and then,
when he had completed just over half the project, “things” got in the way.
emotions as a doorway in. We went back to a situation in childhood, where he had
been ridiculed in front of the class for a project, he had spent quite an amount
of time on. As he sensed himself in the classroom, he could hear his classmates
laugh, and feel how his whole body had tensed up to keep him from crying. And
he realized that the little boy right there, had made a decision to never
complete a project again, in order to protect himself from being hurt once more.
client into a dialog with his younger age self, he was able to comfort the young
self and support him in moving through the emotions. And they both realized,
that completing projects was something they truly wanted.
week my client happily shared with me how he had gone home and worked on his recent
project. And had completed it within a few days.
to use the emotions as a doorway into helping our clients, is an effective way
to uncover and work through the roots to our clients problems. And RIM
(Regenerating Image in Memory) is a great tool to have in your toolbox, when you
are searching for the best way to help your client.
You can learn more by participating in a free online group demonstration. Here you can get a taste of how RIM can benefit yourself and your clients and learn more about the RIM method. Sign up to join the next available call here
Doing the webinar you will be guided through a group RIM experienced. Doing the discussion afterwards, you will learn more about the RIM method, have time to ask your questions, and find out if RIM is a good fit for you. Sign up here
To Learn more about the RIM method and upcoming trainings Click here