Welcome to Emotional First Aid!
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We have all been taken over by strong emotion at some time. Whether it’s anger, grief, hurt, or fear, a strong emotion can overwhelm our system and make us incapable of rational thought or considered action. Yet there are times when we really need to keep it together and continue to function.
Use these simple yet effective techniques to quickly calm the nervous system and restore your presence of mind.
Developed in clinical practice and validated by scientific study, these techniques offer freedom and peace of mind to anyone who struggles with intense emotions manifesting at awkward moments.
What Is Emotional First Aid?
Emotional First Aid Techniques
Calming Techniques (For Agitation)
Self-hug – Wrap your arms firmly around your abdomen or ribs, curl forward slightly, and rock gently.
Head shaking – A few seconds of side-to-side shaking of the head, as fast as possible.
Scream into a pillow – Scream as loudly as possible, using a pillow or ball of cloth to muffle the sound.
Silent scream – Fill your lungs with air, lock the throat to prevent air entering the vocal cords, and scream fully.
Exercise – Use large muscles in vigorous activity to burn through adrenaline – running, push-ups, kick-boxing, etc.
Submerge Your Face – Putting your face into cool water will trigger the mammalian dive reflex, which calms your nervous system to conserve oxygen.
Write it down/speak it aloud – Write in a journal or record yourself talking through the problem.
Sigh release – Breathe in as fully as possible, and sigh out with an audible “aaah” sound.
Blow release – Part your teeth slightly, purse your lips as though blowing out a candle, and blow air forcefully to empty the lungs. It can help to bend forward.
Kumbhaka breathing – Take a comfortable, full in-breath, hold for two seconds, gently breathe out all the way, hold for two seconds, and repeat.
Outward breathing – Breathe in swiftly, and make each out breath longer than the one before.
Deep breathing – Make each breath longer, slower, and deeper than the one before.
Activating Techniques (For Zoning Out)
Finger Grounding – put the fingertips on a flat surface, or somewhere on your body. Tap each fingertip, one after the other, and count 1,2,3,4,5, pause, 1,2,3,4,5. Counting can be silent or aloud.
Foot Grounding – press the feet into the floor. Tap each foot, one after the other, and say left, right, left, right (silently or aloud)
Stretch – Stand up, press your feet to the floor, and reach both arms to the ceiling, to the left, and then to the right. This can also be done while seated, if standing is not an option.