My go-to advice for dealing with stress, overwhelm or triggers.

Trauma or not, the speed of our world can feel like an embodied emergency.

Never ending Inbox. Forever flowing newsfeed. Ceaseless responsibilities. Pressing social, political and financial pressures.

…and the speed of emergency is fast and contagious.

Let’s talk bodies and business for a sec to demo the point…

In the beginning of running a business with employees, I noticed that before and during any of our big planning meetings, my entire body was rushing with jitters through the center of me – especially my heart. Pumping, pumping, pumping, something about the perceived pressure of “getting it all right” and “getting it all done” raised my cortisol and adrenaline.

So I started doing a practice with a previous employee called the Body-Based Business Check-In. At the beginning of each call, we’d do a quick survey…

On a scale from 1-10 how grounded and centered do I feel?

1’s on the uncomfortable side – wobbly, ungrounded, dis-regulated or generally unnourished.

10’s on the brighter side – vivacious and alive, while also calm, grounded and ready to go.

We’d check in, zero judgement, then ask ourselves, what’s something I can do that’s 5 minutes or less to increase my sense of stability before we dive into our meeting?

Through this shared practice, we began co-creating a work culture rooted in embodied grace, ease, groundedness and care. It was radical… and felt amazing. Additionally, when we noticed our bodies dis-regulating during meetings, we were much sooner to catch it and simply do something small to re-center.

Overall? It meant a more grounded, efficient and joyful work experience – in situations that used to create fast and contagious speed, stress, overwhelm and anxiety.

After a little bit of time doing this practice together, we’d show up to meetings and our numbers were higher and higher. Something about co-creating a culture of doing small easy steps to increase embodied stability trickled out into our whole lives, and we got better at cultivating a general momentum of health in our worlds.

I’ve learned from working with lots of people who have different kinds of stress, overwhelm and triggers, that the same culture-making tool can be applied anywhere – not just at work.

At breakfast with your kids you can all play the Body Check-In Game… On a scale of 1-10 how grounded and centered do I feel? And what’s something quick and easy that could add to my sense of stability and nourishment?

In bed with you boo before doing anything sexual. The Body Check-In Game…

Before you go to write that next blog post…

Definitely at the beginning of your next therapy appointment…

Basically, before any stressful, challenging or triggering situation, you can pause the speed of emergency before it ever happens by asking, what’s something I can do – small and easy – to increase my stability?

If you can cultivate a regular shared practice of Body Check-Ins with another person when stress isn’t even occurring, you can begin to co-create a micro-culture of health that ushers you both into a slower and steadier momentum – one that’s rooted in the true rhythms and needs of your very own bodies.

Because when we put our bodies first, it’s so much easier for our brains to work – rationally, creatively, mystically. Worth it? Only like… infinitely.

Bonus practice: One thing I do with all of my clients at the very beginning of our work together is have them come up with a “Whole Body Exhale List”.

Transforming trauma can definitely be triggering, stressful and overwhelming at times. Having a list that reminds you of the things you can do, easy and simple, to bring on a whole body exhale, is invaluable for physical and emotional safety.

Follow the link right here to get a free fillable PDF worksheet with tons of Whole Body Exhale examples, as well as instructions for writing your own. Then when you’re done, print your list and plaster that baby all over your house! Trust me. It helps. 😉

To putting our bodies first, with so much love and care, every day, everywhere…

xo,
Rachael

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