When You Feel Anxious Try ‘Havening’

Feeling anxious? Even if this moment does not bother you, chances are good that at some point in the Year of Pandemic you will feel some anxiety; and you will most likely feel it again. If so, may I suggest that you try hugging yourself. A tight hug.

Even as I was typing the words “hug yourself,” the image of a person doing the same thing came to my mind as he turns his back on you and rubs his hands up and down his arms and neck in such a way that it looks like you have caught them. in the midst of intense kissing with someone. This is (mostly) different from this.

Let’s talk about anxiety first

If you experience anxiety often, you already know that he is feeling it – among other things, a mixture of nervousness, anxiety, irritability, panic, or fear. Melaina Huntti reports for Fatherhood what happens in the brain when we feel like this:

We each have an “emotional brain” and a “thinking brain”. The emotional brain, governed by the amygdala, is primary; he exists to assess threats and respond quickly to avoid danger. “The amygdala is designed to keep us safe,” says Keith Truitt, Ph.D., psychologist and board certified Havening . “He’s not very bright – he doesn’t think; it just runs in a safe or unsafe mode. When it senses a real threat, the amygdala activates the sympathetic nervous system, more commonly known as fight-or-flight mode. When we are in this state, we feel nervous and anxious.

Fortunately, the thinking brain also turns on when it perceives a threat, albeit four times slower than the emotional brain, Truitt says. It introduces reason, allowing us to respond more intelligently and appropriately, which may mean that we are not responding at all.

The problem – and this is where the concern comes in – is that the amygdala takes over the thinking brain and takes over, keeping our bodies in a fight or flight mode when there is nothing to fight or run with.

What is?

Havening techniques were developed by Dr. Ronald Ruden as a therapeutic tool for dealing with trauma. It consists of sensory input – human touch – of the hands, forearms, and face, typically used by a certified medical practitioner, and constructive messages or mantras. But a very simple version of it can be easily learned at home so that you can try on yourself or your children:

In this video , Havening Techniques practitioner James Hymers demonstrates how to cross your arms and gently rub your arms from shoulders to elbows, closing your eyes and repeating the phrase “calm down and relaxed” over and over.

As Huntti writes for paternity :

On a neurological level, having helps put the brain into parasympathetic mode. This is achieved in part by raising levels of oxytocin, a hormone that is usually triggered by human touch and binds to something that many of us are sorely lacking these days.

“Havening uses the brain’s ability to heal and build itself,” Truitt says. “Use this technique whenever your nervous system starts to feel unregulated. As soon as you notice a stressful stimulus like incoming text messages or CNN appearing on your phone, you have to put the system back to rest. ”

I first heard of this technique quite recently, when I was especially concerned about the start of the school year and the ongoing cancellation of my son’s childhood. I was skeptical, but I tried, and when I finished this very unscientific study of one of them, I would say I felt about 50 percent less anxiety. It didn’t relieve me of all my anxieties, but it did ease my edge and I started off with great advantage.

In an instructional video, Hymers suggests incorporating this technique into his daily routine for two minutes a day to calm his anxious brain.

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