If you experience from time to time, (or maybe all the time!), feelings of panic, overwhelm, anxiety, a sense of impending doom or other difficult sensations then resourcing is for you. These feelings often involve a sensation of feeling trapped or stuck with no way out, and then your thoughts say: “Oh my god, I really am stuck and have no way out,” and the sensations intensify. This cycle is often deeply imbedded in your mind, body, and even in the neural connections of your brain. So how then do we short circuit this cycle and experience something new?
Good question! There are things you probably already do that help when you’re feeling overwhelmed, some may include: Exercise, focusing on the breath, talking to a friend or family member, raging/blaming, praying, shopping, eating, having a drink, smoking weed, watching T.V., meditating, etc… Often these activities help you get out of the panic or anxiety for the time being, but some can lead to habits that are hard to break then you have an anxiety problem and, for example, a drinking problem!
So how about trying something else that can give you a little bit of breathing room and the possibility of choosing some different reactions? “Umm, that sounds kinda interesting, I’ll consider it.” Great! Here we go… First, recognize that all sensations and feelings are not stagnant and that they actually move fairly quickly and change into new feelings and sensations. From that understanding then all we have to do is give the sensation and feelings some space to move, to evolve without stopping them. I hear what you're saying, “Easier said than done!” I agree, so I’m going to give you a resource that will give you something to occupy your mind while the sensations and feelings change:
1. First, note the sensations of anxiety, panic, overwhelm arising. See it happening and say ok “I'm going to try this thing Karolina wrote about.”
2. Be aware of where the sensations are, for anxiety they are often in the upper body, stomach, chest, head.
3. Now put all your attention on the bottom of your feet, notice the pressure of your feet on the floor, maybe one side of the foot has more pressure on the floor than the other. Note sensations, tingling, “energy” moving, tension etc.…
4. Let the energy in your body follow your attention to your feet, allow the energy in your upper body to move and actually diffuse through the entirety of your body.
5. Now pause and check in with your level of activation/discomfort. Repeat if necessary.
What this process accomplishes is stretching your widow of tolerance for uncomfortable feelings. When that stretch happens you will be able to tolerate greater levels of discomfort and, conversely, good feelings too. The problem is not feeling anxiety, overwhelm, or panic; the problem is that your window of tolerance for these natural human sensations is too tight. Lets expand this window through staying with the sensations and letting them shift and change on their own. Ok, go give it a try and tell me how it goes in the comment section!
Karolina Walsh Psychotherapy
Providing psychotherapy, counseling, and support for grief, addictions, trauma, PTSD, relationship issues, and GLBTQIA.
“Karolina walks her talk, her ability to meet another in their capacities is sensational because she has done her own work” -Diane Israel
"An effective therapist needs to do at least two things: be compassionate and provide constructive feedback that actually changes the way people experience the world. I see many therapists who can do one or the other. I routinely watch Karolina do both..." -Patrick Weeg