Quick Pain and Stress Relief for Coaches

If you or your clients ever experience a lot of tension, stress, or pain, it can be alleviated with a tool I call “Safe Spaces.”

Probably the worst part of feeling super stressed or in pain is the fear around the sensations you’re experiencing in those moments.

It feels scary to be in pain, whether it’s emotional, mental (aka tons of worrying), or physical.

Our minds go straight to thoughts like this:

When will this end?

This might not end.

What if it never ends?

Pretty soon, you’re spiraling down into despair and hopelessness, which feels terrible. (I’ve SO been there, a million times.)

Side note: If this is happening too frequently for you to feel steady, definitely seek therapy in addition to this tool. Past traumas can cause your brain to need the support of healing practices like EMDR or brainspotting.

I personally have CPTSD, and therapeutic tools have helped this greatly. I find, however, that I can support myself through a CPTSD meltdown, now that I’ve had therapy around it, with the Safe Spaces tool.

The reason this tool is so powerful is it gives our nervous system a new pathway out of the fight/flight/freeze/fawn response.

Whenever a lot of tension, stress, or pain is present, you can know for a fact that your nervous system is activated into a fight/flight response or shut down into a freeze response - or, a really uncomfortable combo of all three.

The Safe Spaces tool will help you tell your nervous system that it can de-activate right now. Your poor nervous system can’t tell if you’re thinking about your finances or actually being chased by a bear, so it’s just doing its job!

The key to the safe spaces tool is finding something to focus on that you find really comforting.

This is an age-old practice that’s been used in various cultures in different ways for centuries. Maybe you find chanting, singing, or humming very soothing. Maybe thinking about your favorite pet as they cuddle up to you is massively comforting. Maybe wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket by the fire gives you that settled, relaxed feeling in your body.

You’ll want to have a small little arsenal of soothing things to focus on so that you can rotate them as needed. Some can be small, simple, and easy, like a stone you can carry in your pocket and touch as needed, or a memory of a lake that glistened in the sunlight.

I personally have several different rivers that I bring with me in my mind’s eye wherever I go. Water is my favorite soothing touchstone.

When discomfort arises, you can simply shift into focusing on your soothing memory, object, or action.

The key here is to really notice how it feels in your body when you’re connecting with the soothing item.

Do you feel a little more open in your chest?

Do you feel like you can breathe?

Do you feel lighter?

Just notice.

You can spend several minutes doing this before returning to daily activities. That’s enough to shift tension, stress, and pain over time. (Will it work instantly? Not always. But it can!)

This is the gentlest way to stay connected to your body, aware of your body, aware of what’s happening in your world, and at the same time, allowing your nervous system to shift into a more relaxed, regulated state.

The more you can experience regulation in your nervous system, the more your muscles will relax, stress will melt away, and pain will lessen and even release.

Think about the classic experience of being a kid at play. For example, my daughter had a friend over last summer and they were playing outside on the concrete porch. Someone knocked over a glass and it shattered, cutting her friend.

They were so engaged in play and joy that her friend had no idea she was cut until my daughter suddenly saw the blood pouring down her leg. Then, her friend got scared and felt the pain rush in all at once!

They were both amazed that she could have a cut and not even know it.

When fear kicks in and our nervous systems get activated, we experience more discomfort and pain. Everything is heightened.

Using the Safe Spaces tool will help you release the heightened, activated state and drop into a healing response that feels so much better.

I teach somatic, mind-body healing tools you can use for yourself and your clients in my group program. You can learn more about this program and others here.


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