3 Body-Based Tools For When You Feel Triggered

I'm Michelle!

Master Life Coach, Wife & Mom, Certified Nervous System Fitness Expert, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Podcaster, Attorney, and Deep Believer in Curiosity and Self-Compassion

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Ah, summertime! It brings a change of pace, a shift in schedules, and—let’s be honest—a noisier and messier house. With all these changes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or triggered. Let’s explore some soothing techniques that can help us manage those moments and maintain our calm.

Why Focus on Body-Based Tools? Our bodies react, or feel triggered, to stress before we even get a chance to articulate what’s happening. They communicate through nonverbal cues, like increasing our heart rate or making our palms sweat. By using body-based tools, we can tap into this language and reassure our nervous system that all is well.

Shaking Off Stress

Shaking is a simple yet powerful way to help regulate your nervous system. Here’s why it works:

  1. Releases Built-Up Tension: When stressed, our muscles tense up. Shaking helps release this tension, allowing our muscles to relax.
  2. Completes the Stress Response Cycle: Mimicking the natural way animals shake after danger, it helps our bodies understand that the danger has passed, moving us from high alert to relaxation.
  3. Activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System: It interrupts ongoing stress responses and activates our rest-and-digest system, helping us calm down.
  4. Discharges Stress Hormones: Shaking helps to clear out adrenaline and cortisol, which spike during stress.
  5. Grounds You in the Present: Focusing on physical sensations as you shake can interrupt anxious thoughts and center you in the now.

How to Shake:

  • Find a private space.
  • Start gently with your hands or arms.
  • Gradually let the shaking encompass your whole body.
  • Continue for a few minutes.
  • Slow down, then stand still and breathe deeply, noticing any changes in your body.

Grounding Techniques

When you feel triggered up by stress, grounding can anchor you:

  1. Refocuses Attention: It shifts your focus from stress to the physical world.
  2. Calms the Fight or Flight Response: Activities like deep breathing or connecting with nature slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
  3. Increases Sensory Awareness: Concentrating on what you can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste brings you back to the present.
  4. Helps Manage Emotions: Grounding provides a pause that can stop emotional reactions from spiraling.
  5. Offers Stability: Physical sensations of stability, like pressing your feet into the floor, can emotionally stabilize you as well.

Try These Grounding Methods:

  • Deep breathing.
  • The 5-4-3-2-1 technique, engaging all your senses.
  • Holding a grounding object like a stone.
  • Pressing your feet firmly on the ground.
  • Mindful walking, focusing on each step.

Containment for Emotional Safety

Containment helps you manage overwhelming feelings by setting mental boundaries:

  1. Creates a Safe Mental Space: Imagine placing distressing emotions in a box or a secure container.
  2. Reduces Overwhelm: By compartmentalizing your feelings, they become more manageable.
  3. Encourages Relaxation: Feeling in control can trigger a relaxation response in your body.
  4. Aids Emotional Regulation: It provides a structured way to deal with emotions at a more appropriate time.
  5. Enhances Focus: Clearing your mind of immediate worries can improve concentration and decision-making.

Practical Containment Strategies:

  • Visualize a strong, secure container for your worries.
  • Use a physical containment object like a box where you can store notes with your concerns.
  • Combine grounding with visualization for added control.
  • Imagine a safe place where you can ‘store’ emotions.
  • Perform a body scan, placing any detected tension into an imaginary box.

Other Soothing Tips

  • Apply gentle pressure where you feel tense.
  • Place a hand on your heart or belly to soothe yourself.
  • Try havening, which involves gentle, repetitive touching of your arms, face, and hands.
  • Use a burrito wrap or a weighted blanket to feel snug and secure.

By incorporating these techniques into your daily routine, you can enjoy your summer more fully, feeling balanced and in control, even amidst the seasonal chaos!

Have a question you’d love Michelle to answer on the podcast? “Ask Michelle a Question.” Click this link, record your message, hit send, and I’ll answer it in a future episode!

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You my friend, are called to a life of fullness and abundance - no matter how wild this motherhood journey is. It's time to trade the exhaustion and overwhelm for peace and joy.  No more hot-mess express.  I've got you. 

Learn more

Let's redefine what's possible in motherhood.

cool as a cucumber, ENNEAGRAM 3, book hoarder, MATCHA LATTE LOVER, growth seeker, accountability partner, and your biggest cheerleader

I'm Michelle.
Your Master Coach.

You my friend, are called to a life of fullness and abundance - no matter how wild this motherhood journey is. It's time to trade the exhaustion and overwhelm for peace and joy.  No more hot-mess express.  I've got you. 

Learn more

Let's redefine what's possible in motherhood.


Cheers to starting your day right!  Make yourself comfortable and get ready to dig in, learn, and most importantly, take action!

You got it, Mama!

Game Changer

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