Who or what helps you get in balance?


Our autonomic nervous system helps us react to what’s happening around us.

This reaction is linked to our intuition about whether we are safe or not. This means that the places where we spend time, the people we spend time with, our memories and relational patterns, influence the body’s autopilot.

This may be in helpful or unhelpful ways.

It helps to begin to pay attention to whom or what helps us feel in or out of balance.

  1. Places

Some places can make us feel tense or worried, while others make us feel safe and calm. Think about the situations in which you spend time. Is there a balance between situations where you feel tense, and situations where you feel relaxed?

If it is difficult to answer this question, try tuning in with your breath it at different times of the day and in different situations: In the morning, in the evening, while scrolling social media or out with a friend.

Notice whatever causes your breath to become naturally slow and deep. Spend more time doing these things.

  1. Other People

Being around people can also affect how we feel. For example, when we’re with excited friends, we might feel excited too. If we’re with calm and reassuring people, we might feel more relaxed. Touch, like holding someone’s hand, can reduce pain by calming the nervous system.

But, relying on others for regulation has its downsides. For instance, depending on a partner for regulation can make it feel anxiety provoking to be alone. It can make us vulnerable to getting into co-dependent relationship patterns or find it hard to leave abusive relationships. If you recognize this in your relationships, it is important to learn skills to regulate by yourself.

Therapist Tip Sticker

Many people ‘switch off’ by stimulating the mind. In activities like scrolling social media, our body might not be moving, but our minds are active. An overactive mind can activate the fight-flight mode and increase bodily stress.

This is why something active, such as a walk in the woods, can be more relaxing for our bodies than lying on the couch with a mind full of worries. Start to notice how your body feels during and immediately after an activity. If you feel upset or tense after something you thought was relaxing, it might be stressing your body without you realizing it.