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How Can I Relax When the World Feels So Chaotic?

Can you be relaxed in a chaotic world? Kelly shares two science-based insights.

Hi, it's Kelly Boys here. I've been asked to answer the question: How can I relax when the world feels so chaotic? Hearing this question makes me feel the poignancy of this moment we're in globally. And I want you to know I've been working with a question myself lately. I'd love to share two pointers that have helped me and I've also seen help others regarding how to relax when the world feels and actually is really chaotic. These answers are based on a scientific understanding of the body and brain.

The first pointer I'd like to offer is to take your nervous system seriously. It's easy to dismiss our body and brain's stress response as we resonate with the chaos around us, you know, in the world and possibly also in our communities and families, and even in ourselves. We think we are overreacting, we can blame ourselves and we wish we could just relax. After all, nothing bad perhaps is going on in our own personal lives. But our primitive brain response is designed to feel the stress around us and to mirror it in ourselves.

It's an order to mobilize and take action to survive and to thrive. So just think of someone who is relaxing at the side of a stream and see someone having difficulty swimming in front of them. We are wired to activate mirror neurons and to recognize what that person's struggling to swim might be experiencing. So we can mobilize to jump in the water and help save them. It would be weird, right? If that person continued to just relax and look at the trees, swing in the wind.

So we need to acknowledge the positive functionality of our nervous system. It's here to help us in our world and to keep us safe. So one way to take your nervous system seriously is to notice your level of activation. Perhaps your whole body is tight after watching the news, you know, after talking to family or friends that are experiencing hardship. Acknowledge what is present by naming it inwardly.

Oh, my belly is tight. Acknowledge this is a natural response to viewing the chaos around you globally. Your body is actually right on track with a mobilized stress response. But here's where you can then step in and harness the energy of your nervous system in a positive way. You take a moment, you breathe into your belly.

You've named your experience, and you've normalized it. As you breathe into your belly, you're bringing yourself back to a sense of relaxation and calm. So this is a tool that will help us to have balance and relaxation in the face of a world that is really chaotic. And the thing is, many of us are not facing an immediate crisis right in front of us. So the world and our communities need us to be able to work with our own nervous system response in order to have enough calm and relaxation to find the best action, instead of moving from a stress response and fear.

So our systems are designed for that one discreet moment when it's all or nothing. We have to act now or we're going to jump into the stream. But yet the chronic stress we face makes it absolutely imperative that we harness the energy of our nervous systems so we can bring all of ourselves to the chaos that does surround us. So the tip here is acknowledge your nervous system is operating normally, take it seriously, name your experience, and then take an action, like a deep breath or another moment of self-care and down regulate, letting your body and mind relax even in the midst of the chaos. The next pointer that helps me tremendously is to engage a sense of play and humor.

So when you take a wider lens view, you can see yourself within the larger context of things, and you can bring a lightness, even in the midst of what is chaotic around you. It's really essential that your nervous system is able to feel a sense of play and laughter. For me, I recently had truly a three month bout of what I think was COVID and there weren't any tests available in this state where I live. So I don't know that it was, but I was very sick for a time period. And at different points in the process, even though it was really challenging, I would laugh and I would say, okay, when are the murder hornets coming? You know, it's something that had been in the news about these large hornets that were going to swarm the United States.

And after everything else that had happened, it made me feel better to joke about yet another thing beyond my control. There's something interesting that can occur in the presence of a lot of chaos. We begin to let go of the illusion of control and we align more with life as it is. So in that we begin to relax in the midst of what is outside of our control. It's like the cartoon where you see a guy falling through space, yelling and waving his arms in fright.

And then the next frame shows him kicked back and relaxed and it's entitled, two weeks later. One teacher once to said, you know, the bad news is that you're falling and the good news is that there's no ground. Hmm. So in this way, you know, with the tools of humor and play, we can learn a new way to navigate the chaos that is around us. It doesn't remove it, but it surely gives us access to better choices that aren't dependent only on our nervous system's stress response.

Now I think in the midst of what's happening in our world, there's this invitation for us to actually move toward a mindset of how can I help, instead of just being focused on our own survival/ it's bringing us together in community. Thank you for your practice. And I wish you well, as you work to relax amidst the chaos. Remember today to be gentle, see the beauty around you and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Talk

4.7

How Can I Relax When the World Feels So Chaotic?

Can you be relaxed in a chaotic world? Kelly shares two science-based insights.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, it's Kelly Boys here. I've been asked to answer the question: How can I relax when the world feels so chaotic? Hearing this question makes me feel the poignancy of this moment we're in globally. And I want you to know I've been working with a question myself lately. I'd love to share two pointers that have helped me and I've also seen help others regarding how to relax when the world feels and actually is really chaotic. These answers are based on a scientific understanding of the body and brain.

The first pointer I'd like to offer is to take your nervous system seriously. It's easy to dismiss our body and brain's stress response as we resonate with the chaos around us, you know, in the world and possibly also in our communities and families, and even in ourselves. We think we are overreacting, we can blame ourselves and we wish we could just relax. After all, nothing bad perhaps is going on in our own personal lives. But our primitive brain response is designed to feel the stress around us and to mirror it in ourselves.

It's an order to mobilize and take action to survive and to thrive. So just think of someone who is relaxing at the side of a stream and see someone having difficulty swimming in front of them. We are wired to activate mirror neurons and to recognize what that person's struggling to swim might be experiencing. So we can mobilize to jump in the water and help save them. It would be weird, right? If that person continued to just relax and look at the trees, swing in the wind.

So we need to acknowledge the positive functionality of our nervous system. It's here to help us in our world and to keep us safe. So one way to take your nervous system seriously is to notice your level of activation. Perhaps your whole body is tight after watching the news, you know, after talking to family or friends that are experiencing hardship. Acknowledge what is present by naming it inwardly.

Oh, my belly is tight. Acknowledge this is a natural response to viewing the chaos around you globally. Your body is actually right on track with a mobilized stress response. But here's where you can then step in and harness the energy of your nervous system in a positive way. You take a moment, you breathe into your belly.

You've named your experience, and you've normalized it. As you breathe into your belly, you're bringing yourself back to a sense of relaxation and calm. So this is a tool that will help us to have balance and relaxation in the face of a world that is really chaotic. And the thing is, many of us are not facing an immediate crisis right in front of us. So the world and our communities need us to be able to work with our own nervous system response in order to have enough calm and relaxation to find the best action, instead of moving from a stress response and fear.

So our systems are designed for that one discreet moment when it's all or nothing. We have to act now or we're going to jump into the stream. But yet the chronic stress we face makes it absolutely imperative that we harness the energy of our nervous systems so we can bring all of ourselves to the chaos that does surround us. So the tip here is acknowledge your nervous system is operating normally, take it seriously, name your experience, and then take an action, like a deep breath or another moment of self-care and down regulate, letting your body and mind relax even in the midst of the chaos. The next pointer that helps me tremendously is to engage a sense of play and humor.

So when you take a wider lens view, you can see yourself within the larger context of things, and you can bring a lightness, even in the midst of what is chaotic around you. It's really essential that your nervous system is able to feel a sense of play and laughter. For me, I recently had truly a three month bout of what I think was COVID and there weren't any tests available in this state where I live. So I don't know that it was, but I was very sick for a time period. And at different points in the process, even though it was really challenging, I would laugh and I would say, okay, when are the murder hornets coming? You know, it's something that had been in the news about these large hornets that were going to swarm the United States.

And after everything else that had happened, it made me feel better to joke about yet another thing beyond my control. There's something interesting that can occur in the presence of a lot of chaos. We begin to let go of the illusion of control and we align more with life as it is. So in that we begin to relax in the midst of what is outside of our control. It's like the cartoon where you see a guy falling through space, yelling and waving his arms in fright.

And then the next frame shows him kicked back and relaxed and it's entitled, two weeks later. One teacher once to said, you know, the bad news is that you're falling and the good news is that there's no ground. Hmm. So in this way, you know, with the tools of humor and play, we can learn a new way to navigate the chaos that is around us. It doesn't remove it, but it surely gives us access to better choices that aren't dependent only on our nervous system's stress response.

Now I think in the midst of what's happening in our world, there's this invitation for us to actually move toward a mindset of how can I help, instead of just being focused on our own survival/ it's bringing us together in community. Thank you for your practice. And I wish you well, as you work to relax amidst the chaos. Remember today to be gentle, see the beauty around you and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Talk

4.7

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