Trauma-Informed Series Exercises: Week 3: Self-Regulation continued…

By Dr. Will Henson

Last week I asked you to identify two stressful times and tune into what you were thinking and feeling during that time.   I only asked you to notice.  This week we are going to add two more things to the list.  During those predictably stressful times do these two things:

  1. Relax: Try to consciously relax.  Smile take a few deep breaths that are slow with a focus on exhalation.   Practice being calm in the face of stress itself!  Move more slowly and think more slowly. Think about the pace you use when you are relaxed on say…a weekend morning.  
  2. Identify your power:Think about the things you can and cannot control.  Focus on what you can change in your environment to make the time less stressful. Maybe this is just taking care of yourself in some small way, maybe it’s making some small changes in a way that improves the situation, and maybe it’s just not reacting in a way that makes things worse.

So try this twice a day in your most predictably stressful times and see what happens! (Hint: #1 is especially important).   Your goal is to replace your automatic reactions (negative thoughts, feelings of being overwhelmed etc…) with deliberate ones.   

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