*How to come back from a stressful moment*

Let's have a look at what is preventing us from experiencing a peaceful state by looking at our nervous system. It is stress. Stress lets us either go into flight, fight or freeze mode. These are physical reactions: the release of certain hormones accompanied by a neuro muscular pattern. 

When we hear a loud noise or we perceive ourselves being attacked from someone saying something against us ... or just by thinking: "I HAVE TO do this or that ... quickly ... but it's too much / too complicated etc" - while looking at our long to do list. Or by thinking thoughts like "I can't do it (having a challenging conversation with our boss / saying no to something, what feels wrong to you or asking for something ...)". 


So the stress reaction is not only happening because the modern version of a sabre-tooth tiger in form of traffic or something threatening from the outside is happeing, but it is also triggered by thoughts, through our internal world.

This stress reaction used to be something useful back then, in our times as cave people and sometimes still is: it lets us react very quickly, when we need to use the break because a child is running in front of our car or other situations, where we really need to be quick.

And when we actually do have an accident, the freeze mode lets us move through the process of healing, if we don't disturb it by moving on to quickly.

Maybe you know these moments, when you're falling down on the street or from your bike and you are surrounded by people and you just move on, because you are to ashamed to truly stay with what you are feeling in this moment and be with it and cry and shake. I know this very well and used to just move on, as if everything was fine.
Since I know more about my nervous system and am more in contact with it, I allow myself to go through the process of freezing and sometimes shaking, so that there is no residual tension left in my system.


The tension and problems come in, when we don't allow ourselves to come back to neutral again. When the stress level just sums up and the tension within our bodies sums up. Or if we have the stress response in inappropriate situations (which you can decide individually what inappropriate means to YOU).

The foundation to work with stressful situations towards more peace, is what we started practicing already: being aware of what is actually going on within the body and the mind. When you have a good connection with what is going on within the body, you can sense earlier when you are actually in the stress mode. And the earlier you are able to notice, the easier it is to come back to a more quiet and peaceful state in your nervous systems.

So that you can move on to the next moment of your life with more openness and with a relaxed body.



Here is a simple example to practice with:

I'm assuming you know the feeling of tightness, and increasing heartbeat and contraction, when you're looking at your to do list. 

You are looking at this list and what happens in the body is: the stress hormons are being released. In this moment you can't change this state in a direct way. The neck tightens, shoulders go up, breathing gets shallow, the body contracts till your toes (if it's the full stress pattern).

Now - what can you do?


  1. Notice what is happening and don't change it directly by doing something. If you do have a response of changing something directly (like stretching yourself, jumping up, ...just notice that)

  2. Notice your feet on the ground or the contact with the chair / bed / sofa.

You can stay with only the awareness for the contact with the ground as a very useful practice. The nervous system is told, that it is safe by acknowledging the ground.

(This is why I put so much emphasis on noticing the ground in my meditations. Through practicing noticing the ground and feeling the safe place, your nervous system gets wired to have easier access to that more calm state. So that you also have an easier access to this calm state, when it gets more challenging in your life).


From this place of "doing nothing" but just being aware of the ground you can also see if there is some sort of subtle or less subtle movement that wants to appear. If not: that’s fine! Just stay, with what is.


Share in the group ... 


  • What are the stressful moments in your life? 

  • In which situation do you want to practice this?

  • How did the practice work for you, when you've done it?


With so much Love,