How I calmed my highly sensitive startle response…

Listen to this post ...
I’ve had high anxiety for as long as I can remember. One of the bonus prizes of a life with ADHD.
 
I used to startle so easily I’d jump out of my chair from an unexpected touch or sound. I was always ready for fight or flight in some manner. These days, however, I can’t remember the last time it happened.
 
Over time, I learned to change my relationship with stress.
 
As I worked on my “stuff”, all the emotional crap you typically pretend you have handled but really just stuff down until it makes you sad, cranky and snacky. I deal with all that because I want to be free of it instead of passing it down to my kids.
 
In the past, I was just as enthusiastic as anyone about denying and distracting myself from the things that caused me pain or discomfort in life.
 
That’s what a startle response is, essentially. It’s the ultimate, “HOLY CRAP something that might hurt me just happened. Let’s kill it or run away!”
 
When you spend your life training yourself to avoid the things that make you uncomfortable, you increase your fear and anxiety. Because you prevent yourself from learning how to work through the tough stuff.
 
But when you approach your feelings with curiosity. A, “tell me your story, I’m listening” kind of approach.” You become a witness to your experiences, a student of them. As opposed to their prey.
 
While you’re sitting with a difficult emotion, allow yourself to breathe deeply into your abdomen and relax your body. In this way you’re training your body to relax when difficult emotions show up instead of wanting to run from them.
 
Discomfort or pain, psychologically or emotionally arises. Then you breathe deeply and relax your body, over and over and over again. Until it becomes automatic.
 
In time you will lessen the intensity of your startle response.
 
You’re welcome.

How do you feel about change?

Listen to this post … One assumption many parents and professionals make is that people with Neurodiversity aren’t motivated to improve their lives. It isn’t that they don’t want to change, they may not believe they’re able to change. They often have difficulty finishing what they start or getting started at all. Struggle with creating

Read More »

Thoughts on setting boundaries and sticking to them

When learning to set boundaries it can feel uncomfortable to do. Like breaking in a pair of new shoes. You have to walk around in them for a while before they feel natural.You may even feel like you’re being mean to others you’re setting boundaries with. Especially because many of them will say so.It’s important

Read More »

Getting things done when you don’t know how long it’ll take

Listen to this post … One of the challenges with time blindness is when you have a long to do list. It can be anxiety inducing because estimating how long it’ll take you is a shot in the dark. I don’t feel time passing unless I have a clock or clouds to watch, something that tells

Read More »

Nipping IMPULSIVITY in the bud!

Listen to this post … Not thinking before blurting out an embarrassing comment. Doing things that upset others as a matter of habit, only to regret them later. The seeming inability to learn from any of this is a hallmark of ADHD. I used to get in so much trouble because of this. The reason for impulsivity

Read More »

When a neurodivergent person seems controlling, they may just feel unsafe

Listen to this post … Saying someone has, “control issues” is often a misnomer. For neurodivergent folks its often an issue with anxiety. Feeling confused in a fast, noisy world demands you find something you can hold onto. Something to help you feel safe. It can be a collection, a routine, a mantra, a person whose word you

Read More »

Movement can be help you work through your emotions

Listen to this post … One of the best reasons to include movement breaks into your schedule is because movement plays an important role in relieving stress. Feeling trapped is a hallmark of a traumatic experience or an anxiety attack. Feeling like you can’t fight or flee. An example might be a child who is having severe

Read More »
%d bloggers like this: