In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to control yourself. Stress levels are rising. Your body’s sympathetic nervous system is activating, and you are feeling the fight-or-flight response. You have to act, but how?
Pause. Take a moment to calm and collect yourself. Then you will be able to think more clearly, and act in a way that better supports your loved one. Again, back to the issue of control, when things get out of control, it can help to pause and get in control of yourself.
One of the easiest exercises to collect yourself when caught up in the heat of the moment is a simple breathing exercise. By first controlling your breath, you start to control your body’s stress response, and calm yourself to think more clearly.
Try box breathing. It is recommended to practice this technique several times in calm situations so you can recall how to do so properly in a stressful situation.
Inhale while counting out four seconds in your head.
Hold your breath for four seconds.
Exhale, again mentally counting four seconds.
Keep your lungs empty, for a total of four seconds.
Repeat as necessary until you are calm and able to more effectively act according to the situation.