Here’s a great list of techniques from Renee Jain – I know it says to try with kids but I think that a lot of the things on this list could be used for anyone. Some of my personal favourites are:
- Bathe – Take a warm bath, a cold shower or go for a swim. Activating your system with heat or cold is a useful way to reset or reboot emotional states. Think of that sudden rush you get when you jump into cold water – that same jolt can be used to great effect at home. Likewise, the soothing feeling of immersion in warm water can be great for taking the edge off if you’ve got the jitters.
- Stretch – Lower your head beneath your heart with stretches, handstands or just by sitting bent forward with your head low down between your legs. When you lower your head beneath your heart you change the way blood flows to your heart (and so to the rest of your body) and you change your heart-rate. You also allow greater blood flow to the brain (which is why it’s a treatment for people who feel faint) and you can use it if you’re feeling panicky too.
- Burst – Sing, yell, scream … let it out, LOUD.
- Make – Create anything. A cake, a finger-painting, a colouring-in page, squishy play-doh or clay, anything. Just get your mind and body involved in something that provides your senses with a focus.
- Move – Find a way to activate your body; do some movement to increase your breathing rate, your heart-rate and you will change your state. Dance, run, jump up-and-down, go for a walk, skip, go to a park and swing on a swing (nobody’s too old for that).
- Breathe – Do special timed-breathing, blow bubbles, or lie still and visualise a happy place and purposefully slow your breathing down. When you take control of your breathing you can hijack your heart-rate and some of your emotion.
- Retreat – Find a safe spot and go there while you gather yourself together. Explore your inner world while you’re there by:
1. Name 5 things you can see.
2. Close your eyes, feel your way through your body and silently name 4 things you can feel.
3. Listen carefully to the world inside and out and name 3 things you can hear.
4. Draw in a deep breath and name 2 things you can smell.
5. Taste your mouth to find 1 taste that lingers.