Most people are wound up about something, stuck in their memory of an event or having difficulty moving through emotions that are dictating how they are thinking.
Fear is what fuels the winding up, like a vigorous cranking of a rope that is tightened, waiting or anticipating a snap.
The challenge is not to wipe away fear, but instead how you unwind from the reaction that happens to us all. Reactions are a necessity to our humanness so we can survive. We are predisposed to reactions and learn them in our early stages of life.
I think of my own reactions; the tightening of my chest, the clenching of my jaw, the judgements in my thoughts, or the loss of hunger. And all of those reactions could be over a small mistake, like being late or thinking I said the wrong thing.
The fear that dictates my reactions tell a different story to my body and brain before I am even conscious of what's happening.
The beginning step is to acknowledge I’ve reacted to something. These three awarenesses tell me if I need to unwind.
1. Identify the reaction in my body.
Where am I holding the tension?
Which muscles are tight and wound up?
2. Notice if there is a story you are telling yourself about a stressor or event.
I'm reacting this way because...
I've reacted this way before when....
This shows each of us the learned pattern we are in or the old story we hang onto out of fear, anger or sadness.
3. Name how you'd rather feel. If I can name another way that I want to feel then it is possible to not be wound up.
If it were possible to unwind this reaction I want to feel...
This is significant for building hope that you can work through this, reinforcing the benefit of unwinding the difficult reaction.
When you start noticing all the tension there may be many stories held in your body. Take your time, all of the stories cannot unwind at once. That which has been wound up can unwind.
Abbey Parker, LMHC
Therapist and Executive Director
I am a Staff Therapist and Executive Director of Stillpoint. I love practicing as a psychotherapist helping women, men, relationships and families.
I am committed to the therapeutic process to help individuals and relationships engage, resolve and reinvent life’s challenges. You can expect that I will engage with you and your family in a process that offers opportunity and healing.