Extreme trauma can send you reeling, and out of your body. Being out of body adds to your stress and confusion. However, it is a normal reaction when you experience pain and suffering. It is also a common occurrence when you're feeling emotionally overwhelmed, or don't want to deal with certain emotional issues.
Many people in the rest of the country have been unable to watch the media when global tragedies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes floods, and fires happen because they feel the feelings, leading to emotional overwhelm. Many of these sensitive folks will turn to avoidance mechanisms, addictions or overwork in order to deal with the emotional overwhelm.
There are techniques and tools that are helpful and can make a difference in how you feel, whether you are a bystander or a survivor. These tools don't require anything other than your intention, your focus and your time. You may be familiar with many, however in times of crisis a reminder may be helpful. We forget that we can make a change. We forget that we are powerful within ourselves. We forget that we are strong and resilient. We forget that we inherently have a desire to survive and to thrive.
Here are a list of several reminders (tools and techniques) that anyone can use at any time:
- Get Grounded - One powerful, daily practice is to visualize yourself being connected to the earth through 'roots' from the bottom of your feet. Being grounded, or connected strongly with the earth keeps your foundation solid. This focused grounding visualization keeps you planted within your body, helping you to process emotion with courage and stability.
Focus your energies into your feet and down through roots into the ground; feel the stability and security of being solidly planted. Visualize your body as a tree that is planted in the ground, drawing nourishment from below, while your branches reach up to the sky drawing nourishment from above. This brings a feeling of connectedness, or oneness with all life. It's important to know that you are not alone during times of stress or crisis. Reach deep within yourself and connect, then reach outward and ask for help if needed. Get grounded and stay connected.
- Quiet Your Mind - Another practice which can be used several times a day is simply to quiet your mind. Start by closing your eyes, breathing deeply and allowing whatever thoughts that go through your mind to drift to the side, focusing only on your breath. Feel the air going in through your nose and out through your mouth. Each time there is a thought, allow it to go to the sidelines, fading into the background while you focus on your breath.
This is a calming meditative practice. There is no outcome or desired result. It is simply about quieting the mind. As you follow your breath, you will notice your body begin to relax, allowing more oxygen to flow through your muscles, calming your body response. You may feel sleepy after a few minutes, this can be very helpful for people who have been under extreme stress for several days.
- Hydrate - If available, drink as much pure water as you can. The quantity may be different for each person. Do not overwhelm your body with too much water if you have been deprived of it for several days. Water will flush toxins from the body, but will also flush stress and emotional overwhelm. It clears the body, mind and spirit.
- Rescue Remedy - If you have the availability, have a Bach Flower Remedy on hand. This is an all natural, homeopathic remedy made from flowers that calms the emotional body in times of extreme stress, panic and anxiety. It can be found in most health food stores and is available online.
- Accept Help - Allow yourself to receive help and support from those around you. Trust that you are being cared for and know that you are worthy and deserving of that assistance. Also, allow yourself to experience relief as it washes over you. Relief is an emotional release as well as a release of physical tension. It gives your body permission to let go of the tension and stress that has built up, allowing the entire body to relax. You may notice an emotional release at this time. Simply give in and allow your feelings to flow. Know that you are safe.