In order to understand what calming strategies will work for you, you first need to determine what things stress you and have some understanding of the context in which you “melt down.”
- Recognize the physical signs (e.g., muscle tension) and the environmental triggers (e.g., transitioning from one activity to the next) that indicate you are becoming distressed, and intervene immediately. Redirect yourself to an alternative activity, something that you enjoy.
- Remove yourself from the area where your meltdown is beginning to build-up steam and go to a “safe zone” (i.e., a place that feels calming to you). For example, if you begin tensing-up while sitting in the living room watching the news, go outside on the porch for a few minutes and breathe deeply 10 times while visualizing a pleasant scene or activity.
- (a) get your body in to a different location,
- (b) get fresh oxygen to your brain (when we are anxious, our breathing becomes very shallow, which in turn sends a message to the brain that there really is something to be upset about),
- and (c) get your mind on to pleasantly distracting thoughts (e.g., visualizing that Cancun vacation you took last year).
==> More on meltdowns can be found here...
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