1. STOP for a moment. Observe and Name the experience you are having "I am freaking out". This already starts to turn on your prefrontal cortex.
2. Grab ice cubes and hold them as long as you can. YIkes! You won't last long. (An alternative would be to pop a warhead candy or a lemon/lime slice into your mouth). This will trick your brain in a helpful way.
3. Place the entire palm of your hand over your forehead, gently pressing for 1 - 5 minutes. Until you feel better. This sends signals for blood to comes back to the prefrontal cortex. The trick is it can take several minutes.
4. Take 3 full belly breaths. As best as you can. You have now tolerated the worst of it, using your skills, and can regulate the emotional experience. You may reflect to gain insight. Write about it. Start problem solving. Or distract yourself.
Learn to take one action step at a time to reduce overwhelming feeling and to overcome procrastination.
Determine 1 goal you want to accomplish. Write out, or name, all the action steps you need to take to reach your goal. Put the steps in order, and start with 1 action step at a time.
Doing things step by step, one small action step at time, moves us forward. Looking too far ahead all the time keeps us from the moment and increase anxiety.
We will get further in life if we set a goal, and then work on it, each step, in the present moment.
Reminder: It is the process that is often most rewarding.
Working with the urge to lash out.
GIVE helps us…
· Communicate needs effectively
· Maintain important relationships
· Promote healthy communication
· Improves relationship
Gentleness – Be nice. Be Respectful. No attacks, threats, judging or sneering
Interest – Listen and appear interested. Don’t interrupt. Patience
Validate – Show you understand. Support. Empathy (be in their shoes)
Easy manner – Humor. Softness. No attitude. Let go of being right
Consider: how do I want the other person to feel about me after our communication?
“Intense Sensations” is a Distress Tolerance skill to use when you are feeling intense emotions. It is especially good to use with panic, anger, disgust, & jealousy. Yet, it can also be used with other emotion’s. The premise is that it tricks the brain to go to the new “Intense Sensation” and therefore the brain shifts and stops sending out messages for the unwanted emotional experience. This will not take the emotion away entirely, but will bring it down enough that you can better manage the emotion, OR enough so you don’t act out.
Safe Intense Ideas
· Put ice cubes in hand; hold until you can’t anymore
· Put 1 or 2 Warhead candies in your mouth
· Use COLD water on hands & face
· Short burst of Intense exercise
· Put a lime or lemon wedge in your mouth
· Put an atomic bomb candy in your mouth (must be intense)
· Put a Jalapeno in your mouth
· Put a “VERY Strong” mint in your mouth
· Put pop rocks candy in your mouth
Trauma treatment involves accessing one’s imagination and innate creativity, enhancing competence and taking effective action in the goal to be in charge of yourself. Bessel van der Kolk