PASSING THOUGHTS

EPISODE 81: THESE THINGS MAKE US FEEL SAFE | PASSING THOUGHTS PODCAST | rbccmnq

August 13, 2023 Rebecca-Monique Episode 81
PASSING THOUGHTS
EPISODE 81: THESE THINGS MAKE US FEEL SAFE | PASSING THOUGHTS PODCAST | rbccmnq
Show Notes Transcript

A well-stocked fridge, physical closeness...


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About host
Hi, I’m Rebecca-Monique: an ICF accredited (PCC) grief and trauma coach, and coach supervisor. My work is centred around supporting individuals through their healing and growth. 

My specialist areas are grief, trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, sense of Self (identity), boundaries and confidence. My modes of coaching are somatic (i.e. embodied awareness) and transformational (i.e. a focus on attitudes, values, beliefs, behaviours, etc.).

I have particular interests in social sciences and human-centred disciplines, including psychology, psycholinguistics, sociology, spirituality and philosophy. 

I live in London, UK with my son (who is also blessed with the awesomeness that is hyphenated first names!).

You can find out more about my personal journey and what led me to becoming a coach here, and here.

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Hi, I’m Rebecca-Monique – an ICF accredited coach and coach supervisor – and these are my passing thoughts.

Our body is primarily functional. And its primary function is to keep us alive. 

We are continually scanning for danger and safety. 

Orientation happens when our body mobilises its resources to restore our nervous system back to a state of equilibrium or balance from the  perceived or real danger warning to signalling safety. 

For many, especially those with unresolved trauma, this may be neurobiologically and somatically challenging, and may activate incomplete fight, flight, freeze responses. 

Some indicators of safety and danger are commonly experienced, and others are unique to our personal experiences. 

Here are some examples of indicators of danger:

Visual: 

  • Flashing or flickering lights
  • Darkness 
  • Unfamiliar faces
  • People wearing masks (particularly in the early stages of the pandemic)

Auditory:

  • Shouting, screaming, arguing 
  • Drilling, hammering, or doors slamming 
  • Emergency services sirens
  • Vehicles honking
  • Conversations: i.e tone, pace, and content  may make us feel uneasy 
  • Unfamiliar sounds
  • Silence

Kinaesthetic

  • People walking towards us 
  • Anyone jogging, running or walking fast 
  • Vehicles driving by, parking or stopping 
  • Nature such as a swarm of birds or sudden changes in the weather 

Somatic:

  • Shallow breath 
  • Heart racing
  • Sweaty palms
  • Dry mouth 
  • Goosebumps 
  • Ringing ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache 

Here are some examples of indicators of safety:

  • Nature such as the sunrise or birds singing 
  • A well-stocked fridge
  • Physical closeness or perhaps physical distance 
  • Wholesome meals 
  • Our bed or the sofa
  • A blanket, duvet or cushion 
  • Comforting words
  • A compassionate conversation 
  • A routine or ritual 
  • Reading or listening to a book
  • The TV or radio on in the background 
  • Calls or in-person meet-ups with loved ones 
  • Lightness in our bodies 
  • Deep breathing 

Throughout our healing journey, it’s paramount that we can access safety, externally and internally. For example, it’s not advisable to sit with triggering emotions if we do not yet have sufficient inner resources to anchor ourselves back into safety, a ventral vagal state, or our window of tolerance. Nor is it helpful to be in environments or around individuals that may cause re-wounding or retraumatisation.  

We can become conscious of our orienting responses by anchoring into the here and now, tracking our inner landscape and mindfully balancing our thoughts and physiological responses. 

It’s not enough to tell ourselves that we are safe. We must show our body that we are safe. 

I have a 3-part question for you this week:

  1. What or who makes you feel safe?
  2. How do you personally experience safety on a somatic level?
  3. How do you know you’re safe?

Speak to you next week. Until then, be well.