When the lights go out
I’ve been reminded recently that when the nervous system enters a state of activation, the ability to think clearly becomes less available.
And so one of the obstacles to finding a mindful response is that it can be hard to remember what helps when we’re experiencing stress.
I’m a journaler and I like to write stuff down, including the ‘positive resources’ that I’ve discovered are helpful: the things that feel supportive, soothing, uplifting, or that just feel good somehow.
My own positive resources range from being outside, to self-kindness practice, to basic physical sensations that re-balance my system.
Being able to remember – in the middle of a flight-or-fight response – that my body likes sensations of warmth, softness and stability is priceless. A few minutes lying on the floor with a blanket and a hot water bottle can be as impactful, for me, as a half hour of self-compassion meditation.
Keeping a list of positive resources gives me access to that information when my brain is too busy with survival triggers to pull it up from memory storage. It’s like finding a light switch when you’re stumbling around in the dark.
Your positive resources may be different from mine, and some can be so simple that you might overlook them as a valid part of mindfulness practice. But simple can be powerful, especially when the lights have gone out.
You can listen to a 5-minute guided practice called Finding The Positive on my Short Meditations page.