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  • Writer's pictureAllie Mackay


When we are in a state of stress our nervous system is geared to trouble shoot, problem solve and fix. We seek closure, certainty and answers. This is a fabulous survival strategy however it can also lead to burnout, feeling anxious all the time and treating people like they are problems to fix.

In order to prevent this stress from taking over you can engage your parasympathetic nervous system which will help your body to relax.

To do this you need to know that you are safe. Even in the whirlwind of life in 2021, you can find moments of safety. Have you got a solid chair under you? Feel it now. Do you have anything in front of your eyes that would cue visual danger? No? Then you are safe. What can you hear that signals an immediate life/death response? Nothing right now? Good, you are safe.

Let your mind know what your body is trying to tell it - that right now - for the next 60 seconds, you can just enjoy being safe. You might even like to notice that you are enough, that you are on your own side, that you have supports. Let your mind and body connect this way and notice the subtle changes in your shoulders, jaw, breath rate and eye gaze. That is your PNS switching on and providing much needed oxygen to the muscles, reducing inflammation and returning your stress levels to a lower level.

You might even want to thank your body for its wisdom before finishing this exercise and you might notice that you can see the next person, rather than as a problem to fix, more as a complex interesting being - more like a sunrise than a mathematical equation.

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