When you brain is stuck in survival system it can make you really anxious, your body is hyper vigilant and the rational bits of your brain stop working. This means it gets harder to think clearly and you are more likely to be convinced of the possible danger. You might notice your heart racing, feeling very jumpy, racing thoughts, sweaty palms and finding it difficult to breathe. This is information that you are outside of your window of tolerance!
Your body is keeping you on red alert to try and be helpful and keep you safe but we need to slowly give it the message that the danger has passed and that its okay to relax a bit (if your danger has already passed). We can do this by challenging the thought processes:
- assess how much danger there is really – are we responding to the present situation, or to a situation from our past?
- develop coping strategies that work for you, and then when you feel anxious, utilise one of your coping strategies that will self-soothe
To come back into your window of tolerance some people use a technique called “Grounding”. Doing things that stimulate your senses remind your brain that you are in the present where it is safe. What else do you think you could do? Make some time to make some notes.