Finding Your Calm When You’re Vulnerable

There is no doubt about it. The last few months have been some of the most intense that we’ve experienced. Our climate and the coronavirus situation have made it difficult to feel calm. In some situations, we actually have no reason to feel calm. So this post is certainly not written to tell you to “calm down.” In fact, when we’re offering individual therapy to clients, we offer encourage clients to learn how to accept the feelings that they have. At the same time, we can discover some spaces to feel more at ease, even when we’re going through difficult times.

I often talk about vulnerability in terms of opening up, sharing emotions, and trying something new in your relationship. However, there are a lot of things that can make us feel vulnerable.  We’re vulnerable all of the time. And when something dramatically shifts in our environment, like it has right now, we’re very likely going to experience some fear that comes with uncertainty. That is vulnerability as well.

Our belief that we can erase vulnerability from our lives can also impact us. We can feel shame about feeling a level of vulnerability or the fear that comes with vulnerability. We often think we should just be able to to control all of our emotions. It’s extremely important to know that fear is normal. However, when it heads into extreme places, it can lead to problems.

When we’re vulnerable, we have time for connection and growth. The challenges we face reshape us. And even so, me saying that won’t erase that rumbling feeling that is going to make you feel like you need to get out of the intensity of the feeling.

Getting away from it really doesn’t work for that long. We give up a lot when we run from vulnerability. For example, have you ever used social media to numb yourself when you’re feeling uncertain? If so, you’ve probably also noticed that you’re feeling disconnected in your relationship, at your work, etc.

I’m not saying, “you should never numb.” That’s not really possible. Instead, it’s important to balance numb periods with periods of being present. The truth is that we can’t stay intensely anxious or activated forever. That will change.

Our thinking also tells us that we can either be calm or anxious. There is a lot of middle ground however. You can, for example, feel a little more calm, without feeling completely calm. I often ask people to identify what makes them feel a little calmer. No feeling stays exactly the same indefinitely. So I recommend identifying things around you that help you feel more at ease.

I also recommend that you bring yourself into the present when you’re in a safe space. Our thinking often takes us to catastrophe. The truth is that we can’t anticipate a lot of the difficult things we face. Instead, orient around yourself to what is safe and ask yourself this questions: “how do you know that this space is safe?” You’ll be amazed at how it can help you feel a little calmer to just give yourself some reprieve from the future.

Remember that it’s normal to feel anxious and fearful in times of change. At the same time, you can practice these simple techniques and it may surprise you at how you are able to feel more grounded even when things are intense around you.

If you’re struggling to find a grounded space. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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