Check in with yourself regularly through the day, especially if you notice your shoulders are up around your ears or you’re holding your breath. Observe what is going on. Do a safety check. Much of the time we are triggered by something that reminds us of a time in the past when we didn’t feel safe. Our nervous systems have such a memory for danger. We have to deliberately look for safety.
Right in this moment, in this environment, am I safe? Is this level of tension necessary right now? Do I need to protect myself from immediate danger?
As we begin a relaxation practice or meditation, the instruction is “withdraw your mind from other times and places and bring your mind in to the present moment”.
Is this statement true for you right now? For the next twenty minutes in this environment I am in, I am safe. I can let down my guard and deeply relax.
It is good to notice when we are safe. Our nervous systems are kind of like children and need to be reassured. I put my hand on my heart and assure myself “I am safe. I am okay.”
We are not trying to override our experience if we don’t feel safe in the moment. We reassure ourselves to help our brain and body and nervous system be aware that we are safe right now. We look for and notice when we are actually safe. Thoughts might show up with words or images of times we were in danger or of something that could happen in the future. That’s natural. Let those thoughts be in the background. There is so much more to our experience than anxious thoughts that show up in our mind.
Bring your attention back to this moment and place your hand on your heart. Reassure yourself.
“Right now, in this moment, I am safe. It is okay to relax and rest.”