The other day during a session with a client, the phrase “stop, drop and breathe” presented itself in my mind while I was explaining what to do the moment my client felt a trigger strongly arise. I thought, “Wow! This is such a good phrase to use and action to go to in times of anxiety.”
I thought, “I love this Phrase! Psychotherapy with Shelley should trademark this!” Then I realized that many others had already discovered this phrase and used it regularly! It was simply new to me.
What Is a Trigger?
Often times when we are triggered by something, the first thing that happens is we forget to breathe. Our heart starts racing, we feel floaty and light headed. These feelings alone intensify our anxiety and make it very difficult for us to regulate.
If we are already in a place of being in a state of high alert most of the time as it is, the anxiety reaction is even greater.
Our brains get stuck in a cycle of fight or flight. When we are regularly experiencing this state, our brain creates chemicals in response each time and eventually, we can become addicted to these chemicals.
Imagine that! We become addicted to the chemicals our brain creates during times of high stress!
Have you ever known someone who seems to “always be creating drama”, or “who is always looking for a fight” or “always has a problem with something/somebody?” I think we all know of people like this. Often times the reality for them though is that they have become addicted to the chemicals that their own brain produces in times of high stress. In order to feel a sense of relief, they must “create drama” or in other words, create a stress situation which will trigger the emittance of this chemical. When this happens, they can feel a sense of relief when that chemical floods their system. Like any other addiction, this feeling only lasts for a certain amount of time and then they need another hit.
How I Can Help You
Part of the work I do with my clients with high anxiety is too help them learn how to circumvent this automatic reaction and triggering of this chemical. I provide tools to help them “Stop, Drop and Breathe” and to “re-program” their neuropathways with the goal that eventually, they will move away from the panic and increased anxiety pattern to being able to regulate themselves quickly in moments of high stress.
When we are faced with an emergency such as a fire, we Stop, Drop and Roll right? We need to do something similar when in an emotional emergency. We need to Stop, Drop and Breathe!
If you need assistance in learning how to do this, Please contact Psychotherapy with Shelley for a free consultation.