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Tools to activate your parasympathetic response

Cuddle up with a fluffy pet or stuffed animal
Use the diving reflex (face in cold water for 30 seconds)
Choose happy or self celebratory activities that help you feel calm and safe:
Jiggle to your favourite music (if you are very weak, you can do this lying down)
Take a hot bath
Go on a mini walk round the garden and find some lovely flowers to smell/ gaze at
Take your inner child on playdates...skip a little, pick daisies, dance in the living room, do a puzzle, make a drawing or finger painting
Doing math sums (engage the pre-frontal cortex)

Physical Distraction of calming sensations can also be helpful. Here are some you can use (you can also invent your own):

  • Move head side to side slowly, noticing everything your eyes see as you move

  • Arm sweep, stroke one arm from tips of fingers to shoulder with the opposite hand

  • Look at your toes wiggling!

  • Cross over thumbs on chest. Lift one thumb up slowly then the other. Focus on the sensations

  • Close one eye and look across at your nose, do the same on the other side

Invent your own:-)

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