When we are in hypoarousal (when we have gone into freeze and dissociation) we have started to numb and dissociate.
To help yourself when you are on this end of the spectrum, you need to stimulate the senses and get back into your body. One way to do this is to look around the room and notice:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
I like to do this with some deep belly breathing. I find long, slow breaths help to calm me down and to feel connected to my body. I then do the exercise above.
If you experience hypoarousal, I’d love to hear what helps to bring you out of that state. Drop a message in the comments.
References: Ogden, P. (2009). Modulation, mindfulness, and movement in the treatment of trauma-related depression. Pat.
Siegel, D. (1999). The developing mind. New York: Guilford.