Posts tagged relaxation response
Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Concerns about the long-term impact of chronic stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia is a topic of concern for many of my coaching and therapy clients. A few stressful, sleepless nights can easily spiral into a regular problem as clients begin to develop a negative relationship with bedtime and sleep. Many will seek the help of a psychiatrist to obtain prescription medications in an effort to break the cycle. Not a bad option in the short-term, but less than ideal as a long-term solution. I always recommend lifestyle modifications and attempts at simple changes in the environment first. Before we move to information about engaging your vagus nerve and the relaxation response, let's clear the path to create an optimal environment for sleep. 

How can you modify your environment to promote better sleep? In addition to dimming the lights and reducing evening electronic stimulation, some helpful evening rituals include the following:

  • meditation

  • focused breathing

  • biofeedback

  • guided imagery

  • progressive muscle relaxation

  • restorative yoga

  • gentle stretching to release tension in the body

  • a warm bath

  • a soothing warm drink such as milk, nut milk or non-caffeinated tea 

  • herbs and homeopathic support 

How are you breathing during the day? You may not be aware that throughout your busy day, your breathing has become shallow. Your thoughts likely contribute

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Self-Care :: Support For Traumatic Stress + Loss

Whether you're struggling to manage challenging life-events, a trauma or accident, loss and grief or any kind of transition that causes you distress or destabilization, it's helpful to understand that your feelings, emotions and behaviors are a normal reaction to extreme or disturbing events. As a psychotherapist who uses EMDR therapy, supportive work and a focus on helping clients develop healthier coping skills, I'm happy to share tips to support you as you move through difficult times. What helps?

  • Allow yourself to acknowledge and accept that you're experiencing something difficult and that your reactions are normal, but that you can manage. Remind yourself about how you've handled difficult situations in the past. What healthy skills did you call upon previously to help you cope during stressful times?
  • Ask for help. This is hard for many, but people can be quite kind when it comes to supporting others. This also requires that you allow yourself to receive help and manage feelings of shame related to needing help.
  • Take exquisite care of yourself, when you can. Show self-compassion and practice self-care. Giving yourself permission for a "time out" can help you feel stronger and more resilient
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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Finding The Calm - An Emotion Shifting Meditation

I’ve borrowed this exercise from EMDR therapy, and it is one that I use regularly. It's not EMDR, but has elements of the EMDR resourcing protocol, and it may help you find safe, nurturing, protective places, experiences and people to create a sense of calm in your nervous system. It will hopefully give you a new skill and guide you towards finding a more positive emotional state, now and in future situations. Give it a try. First, find a comfortable position, either lying down or seated. Allow your body to feel fully supported and melt into this state of relaxation.

Next, think of a person, place or past experience that you associate with feeling happy, safe and well. This could be anything really — a cherished person, a childhood pet, a meal with a friend, a hike through the woods, a favorite vacation spot, playing with a puppy or any fond memory. It should be relatively conflict free. Don’t feel bad if this is hard for you. Some people haven’t had many positive experiences because of neglect or trauma. If this is you, it can be helpful to create an imaginary person or image that evokes a sense of calm in the mind and body. It might be a garden of your own making or you may create a person in your mind that embodies all the qualities you would need to help you feel protected and nurtured.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.