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1. Finding Safety and Connection

First and most important, get away from danger and find safety!


But after finding safety, even years later, many people feel unsafe. These techniques will help you find inner safety. While they can be done alone, they can be even more healing and effective when done with a safe friend or partner.

Getting Here and Now

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Gentle Journaling

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Self-Acceptance Technique

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Soothing Butterfly Hug

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2.  Waking Up Out of Shock

Shock is an innate response that allows us to endure overwhelming pain and distress by disconnecting, freezing and shutting down. It is important after a traumatic or stressful event to rest and allow the body to reawaken on its own by shaking, trembling, stretching, yawning, expressing intense emotions, re-orienting and re-integrating itself. The following techniques can be helpful in this process.

3. Healing Wounded Hearts

Just as we may have been wounded in relationship, it is in and through relationships that we heal. These techniques are most effective when done with a safe and supportive friend or partner.

4. Calming and Balancing

The stress response (flight/flight) mobilizes us to defend ourselves or flee from danger. After the danger passes, our bodies usually down-regulate automatically, and we return to a normal state of calm and balance.

But when our sympathetic nervous system is in a state of continual arousal due to constant “threats” and “dangers” seen on the media or personally, our bodies do not relax and down-regulate, and we experience what is called toxic stress. We may feel anxious, uptight, reactive and stressed out, and have difficulties relaxing, sleeping and winding down.

These techniques can help to calm this response, shift the body into rest and repair mode, and return us to balance.

Optional add-in: Calm Breathing

(Alpha-Theta Breathing)

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Balance Hook Up

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Healing Head Holding 

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5. Unscrambling and Re-Organizing

Chronic stress, information overload or intense trauma can “scramble” our brains and nervous systems. This can cause conditions referred to as “switching off.” Symptoms of switching off or neurological overload can include:

  • having confusion or difficulty following directions

  • feeling clumsy, uncoordinated or making mistakes

  • having problems walking or with balance

  • having “brain fog,” reading difficulties, or learning disabilities

The following techniques can correct “switching off” and help you return to a normal state of neurological balance and functioning. (These exercises may be repeated throughout the day, as needed.)

6. Resolving Traumatic Reactions

Traumatic memories and reactions can be defused and desensitized by gently thinking of the memory while tapping acupressure points. This process defuses and discharges negative emotions associated with painful memories, allowing the body to calm, relax and return to balance.

Although there are several different tapping techniques, we recommend using TTT — the Trauma Tapping Technique — as it is simple, culturally neutral and not dependent on words or language. TTT and other tapping techniques, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and TFT (Thought Field Therapy) are being used all over the world to resolve trauma and relieve people of emotional distress from violence, terrorism and natural disasters.

If you still need assistance,
please contact a mental health professional.

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The information on this page is educational in nature and is provided only as general information for stress reduction. It is not intended to create, and does not constitute a professional relationship between Resource for Resilience project team members or the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) and the viewer. It should not be relied upon as medical, psychological, coaching, or other professional advice of any kind or nature whatsoever.

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