Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out. 

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out. 

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately. 

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it. 
I walk down another street. 

Copyright by Portia Nelson from the book There's A Hole in My Sidewalk     

Emotional Biochemistry

Like it or not, emotions share some very real biochemical links with your nervous, endocrine, immune and digestive systems. 

Research scientists have now been able to demonstrate how thoughts and emotions cause distinct neuron-firing patterns within various parts of the brain. They can also observe how these patterns coincide with chemical releases and reactions throughout the body. 

The science behind all this is fascinating, and the conclusions are staggering. It turns out that biochemical reactions to mental and emotional stimuli – your everyday thoughts and feelings – occur not just in the brain but also, often simultaneously, in virtually every system of your body

We also now know that the brain and nerves, and the immune, endocrine and digestive systems are in fact capable of releasing and receiving many of the same peptides.

Thus, all these systems are inextricably linked in a sort of secondary, chemically based nervous system, one that is intimately connected with (but not exclusively controlled by) the electrically based central nervous system with which most people are more familiar.

Emotional Stress Release (ESR)       

When you are feeling stressed, have a problem to solve or when you are looking for new ideas or options, ESR can help.

Find a place where you feel safe and can relax. Sit or lie in a comfortable position and take a few deep breaths

ESR can be used to deal with stress related to present issues  as well as stress associated with Past Trauma and Future Performance

Place one hand across the back of your head - this is your occipital lobe - associated with visual processing.
With your other hand, lightly touch the frontal eminences of the forehead with your fingertips or use the whole hand across the forehead. This is your frontal lobe - associated with reasoning, planning, short term memory, motivation and problem solving. 

Allow yourself  for a moment to feel and think about the the stressful experience or event. Continue breathing deeply.

Hold the front and back of your head until you feel or sense a light vibration or pulse.

The light touch on the reflex points brings increased blood flow to the areas and has a harmonizing effect on the brain, where new options and ideas are processed.  The brain can be creative and think of new solutions without old emotion being involved. Often a change in mood can be felt within a few minutes. This is effective both when someone does this for you or when you do it for yourself. 

We do this instinctively  in times of stress and may recognize this as a response to stress in others, but when done consciously the effect is more beneficial

You can use this technique anytime during the day when you get overwhelmed by emotions. Or when you lie in bed at night before you go to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night.