Anxiety, Overwhelm, and Stress: Returning to Your Calm Steady Center

Anxiety, Overwhelm, and Stress: Returning to Your Calm Steady Center
March 16, 2023 Ann Weiser Cornell

When stress levels are up and calm feels a thousand miles away, being taken over by anxious parts of you is even more likely.

Ideally, when parts of you get anxious, you turn toward them and acknowledge them. This allows you to keep your cool. Things don’t escalate.

But that doesn’t always happen…

Sometimes triggered parts really take over. But they don’t have to be in the driver’s seat. You can come back to your calm, steady center.

Here’s a simple practice that helps you choose Calm Presence when your parts are stirred up:

Pause: Feel your body’s contact on the chair, your feet on the floor. Breathe.

Notice: Are you activated by something right now? Stirred up? Bothered? Just notice whatever you are feeling right now.

Accept: Let the feeling be as it is. Say to the feeling, “I know you’re there… and I am here with you.”

Why does this work? When you’re triggered, it’s easy to feel out of control. And the typical response to that is to try to fix it. Fixing it often looks like shutting down or ignoring your feelings. As we’ve talked about previously, when you do that, feelings usually get stronger. So it has the opposite effect of what you’re wanting.

But Presence offers an alternative way of being. YOU are there. You can be the space where what you feel is okay. That’s what I call “being the environment where change can happen.”

Here’s the amazing thing…

When you can allow your feelings to be as they are, they’ll shift on their own. You don’t have to fix them or change them or act on them. It’s a life-changing practice. One I trust will help you return to your calm steady center whenever you need to.


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