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You have put together a lot of good information about your body, your history, and all the different ways and reasons you have reacted to stress. NOW WHAT?

The place to start is as always when you feel lower levels of stress at 4, 5 and 6.  At these key levels HOLDING is about recognition and usefulness of the experience.  OF COURSE I AM REACTING THIS WAY>>>> OK, now what?
By recognizing the main theme of your experience you will find the clarity to resolve the real cause or at least the immediate effect – and not get lost in the loop of thinking about it. This is self orientation so that you can move forward with proactive ways of interacting in your own experience.

It seems odd that just by recognizing the emotions, behaviors, thoughts behind the experience that you would feel better, but this actually changes your brain from reactive mode to a sense of  useful self-knowledge – HOW does this emotion make sense with my history?

Holding onto the personal meaning of stress is a gentle art of not blaming yourself or anyone else. It is like holding a small creature in your hand – this is not holding tight and not holding back.  Put both hands together out in front of yourself with your palms up.  This is how you hold your real experience of your emotions, your body, and your actions as a fact.  If there were a small bird in your hands you don’t want to jump and run or drop it or ignore it. You want to pay attention to it in the ways that make sense.

Once your experiences and ways of adapting in the past make sense you have the ability to refocus on a reaction that  ‘fits’ your current life.

EXAMPLE: Maria comes from a family who don’t talk about problems – “we just work harder”. Of course she has chronic indigestion and inflammation.

She was full of self-hatred for being a weak person at level 8-10.  Her lack of self- expression was about being defensive and quickly  burying strong emotions. Not a bad adaptation to some surroundings but she wants her home to be safe and realxing and expressive.

Her teenage children are often sarcastic and demanding:  STOP/WAIT – I know what this is… “I feel scared, I feel worried and my stomach gets tight.  OK, I have choices of what to say and do in my own home.

The tool of HOLDING is not a magical way of thinking positive thoughts. When you use the repetitive HOLDING tool you are reminding yourself of what you know to be real for you because of past experiences. Emotions are useful facts of experience not illogical or random.

STOP/WAIT – find the emotion and physical feelings – use words that are simple and fit your experience of stress at level 3-4-5: I feel tight, loose, pain, confused, upset, crazy, light, alone, etc… Use all the senses you have to be physically and emotionally aware as you see where it fits in your history.  Now what do I want for myself?

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