Is Your Danger Thermostat Set Too High?
💡When our danger thermostat is set too high and we feel anxious, unsafe or triggered, we are generally thinking about danger as a future event, about something that could happen, not something that is currently happening.
💡Thoughts like “I don’t think I will make a good impression today”. “I doubt I can handle this task”. “I know this is going to make me so upset”. (None of these things have happened yet)
💡We can counteract these anxieties with feelings of present safety!
Antidote to Perceived Danger = Actual Safety +Perceived Safety
In this post, I offer you a grounding technique used in therapy to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and awaken the sensation that you are safe.
If you are currently in a safe space (and not in actual danger) please join me this exercise! Here is what we will do:
🌻Begin by thinking about & creating a peaceful & safe space in your mind. This can be a real of fictional place. Maybe somewhere you read in a book or a movie you saw that really felt good, or a memory of a place that you visited, or an imaginary place.
🌻Start with feet on the ground
🌻 Begin doing a quick scan of your body for any tension.
For instance, you could be feeling your shoulders tensed.
🌻Try to relax that one particular area
For instance, lower shoulders, roll them back and forth a few times
🌻Now bring your mind to your safe space, think of as much detail as possible
What does it look like?
What does it sound like, smell like?
What else do you notice when you are there?
Can you notice what it feels like to lay or sit there?
Notice how you feel when you touch the things around you.
🌻Imagine yourself residing there, with no alarm clock to let you know you’ve got to return. You are free to enjoy this moment.
In this space, you have ALL of your senses, and they ALL make you feel safe.
You have a never-expiring ticket to go here whenever you please.
🌻 When you feel your body calming, your thoughts slowing down and you are ready to bring your self back to the present moment, let yourself come back
With practice, this technique will create neural pathways in the brain that safety is a real thing!