In a time of turmoil, uncertainty or even growing up with instability of any kind, many of us can learn what it is to survive and function but maybe never learned the feeling of safety. Feeling safe is a right that each person deserves to feel yet it is something that several of us need to learn as if it were a new skill like riding a new bike or learning how to swim and that is OK! It’s a skill that can help in times of distress or a skill that can be applied when we are simply resting. Learning this new skill of what it is to feel safe, can allow us not only to gain awareness of what we are feeling but also can be a light to understand others. According to Psychology Today article on How Our Feelings of Safety Guide Our Behavior, “what looks to be intentional—poor choices or character flaws—actually are not planned decisions made by our thinking brain. These are adaptive bodily reactions triggered by the autonomic nervous system and follow a sequence of survival responses we all share”. If you are unsure what this means to you or want to practice ways of feeling safe, some tips to help feel safe are:
1. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel supported, and safe.
2. Awareness of your feelings, not minimizing or pushing them away but accepting your feelings and giving them space
3. When you feel unsafe, seeking support or talking to someone and not keeping your thoughts to yourself.
Learning some of this can be a big pill to swallow! Learning what this kind of safety looks like is one where you do not need to do it alone, our therapists at Works Counseling Center are here to help when you are ready to start this learning journey!