This is the sixth of eight new articles by Olivia Mellan and Sherry Christie that continue the discussion on Your Client’s Brain that began with Investment Advisor’s February 2013 cover story—Double Think: Getting Past the Conflict in Your Clients’ Two Brains—and a feature article—Second Thoughts: Making Better Decisions—in the March 2013 issue of IA.
There are many body-based techniques for reducing feelings of stress. One of the simplest is Hand On the Heart from therapist and trainer Linda Graham’s new book, “Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being.” To restore calm in yourself, she recommends you follow these four steps (edited here for brevity):
1. Begin by placing your hand on your heart, feeling the warmth of your own touch. Breathe gently and deeply into your heart center. Breathe in any sense of goodness, safety, trust, acceptance and ease you can muster. Breathe a sense of calm and peace into your heart center… a sense of contentment, well-being, a sense of kindness for yourself, gratitude for others, self-care and self-love.
2. Once that’s steady, call to mind a moment of being with someone who loves you unconditionally, someone you feel completely safe with, at a moment when you felt seen and accepted, loved and cherished. It may be a beloved partner or a beloved child or parent, a dear friend, a trusted teacher, a close colleague or neighbor, your therapist, your grandmother, a third-grade teacher or a spiritual figure like Jesus or the Dalai Lama; it could be your Wiser Self. It could be a beloved pet.
3. As you remember feeling safe and loved with this person or pet, see if you can sense in your body the positive feelings and sensations that come up with that memory. Really savor this feeling of warmth, safety, trust and love in your body. Take a moment to allow the feeling to become steady in your body.