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How To Instantly Soothe A Distressed Person

Feb 06, 2024

I love the Feel, Deal then Heal Policy when it comes to our emotions. However, there are those times when very distressing triggers or traumatic events occur and even the healthiest person can briefly lose their marbles. There are a few simple things that you can do in the event of a nervous system emergency to help the brain calm down so the event doesn't lead to PTSD later on. 

The first time I used these techniques together was when my ex-boyfriend's 7-year-old son walked into a spider web. This sweet little boy was absolutely terrified of spiders so his reaction to the web was instant hysteria. I immediately put my hands on his little shoulders and brushed my hands down his entire arms with slight pressure over and over again. During the arm brushing, I was looking him straight in the eyes repeating "You are safe." Within 30 seconds he was noticeably calmer. Within 2 minutes, he was able to speak calmly about why he was scared and he now felt okay. This technique is called Havening. You can learn more here.

The second technique I use, typically a follow-up from a little Havening session, is HUGGING. I hug as often as possible (only those with good energy obvi) because it helps both their and my immune system and nervous system. Hugs decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase oxytocin, the happy bonding hormone. Did you know that a five-minute hug between a couple can melt away years of resentment, disconnection, and intimacy issues? I hope you take me on this offer. Many haven't. A five-minute hug is just TOO intimate and scary? I'd much rather give it a try than pay thousands or millions in divorce attorneys, alimony, and all the pent up cardiovascular and kidney issues! 

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