3 Steps to Calm an Anxious Brain – Step 1
Alternate (bilateral) Tapping
Our brains and nervous systems respond to rhythm. Fast music energizes us, slow music is calming. Have you ever noticed that music that is out of sync with where we are emotionally and can be irritating? If we are feeling a lot of anxiety because something distressing or challenging is happening, slow calming music might actually add to our agitation because it is so out of sync with where we are emotionally.
The same thing is true of exercises that are meant to calm us down. If anxiety is high, it may just be too great a leap to go from high anxiety to a calming breathing exercise.
This is where Alternate (bilateral) Tapping comes in. We use the fact that your brain entrains to rhythm to meet your brain and nervous system where they are – faster tapping – for 30 or 40 seconds. When we then slow the tapping down, the brain and nervous system slow along with it. This can create a “bridge” from a higher activation state to a lower one so that the breathing exercise in Step 2 can be more effective. The video below walks you through Step 1.