1. Pause and breathe. This pause is a gift to yourself and the person you’re interacting with. By taking a quick moment to breathe, you get to choose a response, rather than snapping into a reaction. By breathing, you reconnect with your body and the present moment, so it’s harder to abandon yourself, numb out, or dissociate. And if a quick pause and breath isn’t enough for the intensity of the situation, gently buy yourself some time to process and plan a response by saying, “I need some time to process this, and I will get back to you...”
2. Find comfortable transitions to help you move gracefully from one activity to another. It can be incredibly restorative to honor the time in between actions, and process what you just experienced, before jumping into the next item on your list.
3. Find a connection to nature. It could be as grand as a walk on the beach, or as simplistic as tending to a house plant. Even small connections to water are beneficial, like washing your hands, face, or body. Nature brings us back to ourselves, and helps regulate our nervous system, allowing us to access our authenticity more easily.
4. Tend to the sensation. If you feel a ball or lump in your throat, try not to judge it or add tension with narratives in your head. Just notice the sensation, breathe into it, and lovingly acknowledge it with, “I see and feel you. I permit you to move on. Let's do this together.” Then breathe into that space until the sensation resolves.
5. Get it out. Whatever thoughts and feelings are stifled within must be processed, or else they get stored within as “emotional baggage.” If you are unable to speak your truth verbally, try writing them out and practice speaking them aloud, alone. If you can’t even manage that, try dancing or exercising. Movement is an excellent tool for processing stagnated energy and encouraging physical self-expression. Over time, this practice can help encourage confidence in verbal self-expression too.