Everyone likes Stages

Hello Internet People,

I hope the weather where ever you are is bursting forth with life and is very Spring-like. Portland feels delightful today. So of course I decide to go back inside and finish a post I have been thinking about for over a month.

I had received some feedback regarding self-care, self compassion, kindness and being overwhelmed—all the topics of recent posts and the request was for some more details.

What I have come up with looks a lot like a stages of stress response. So, let’s go with that.

I wanted to incorporate some graphics, or at least a flow chart, but the options online looked horrid so I reluctantly gave up on that idea. If any of you regularly use flowcharts maybe you can suggest a site or product that is fantastic.

The stages:

  1. Baseline. This is your starting position. Whatever that looks like for you.
  1. Challenged. This is a step up in intensity. But manageable. Without adequate self-care or self compassion, this stage can escalate into the next one.
  1. Triggered. We know what this. Most of tend to default to self protective, reactionary behaviors here. The only way to get better at managing how you handle being triggered is to do the work. Explore your history of acting out while triggered and then use self awareness to avoid the trap of acting defensively by reflex.
  1. Overwhelmed is one of 2 options that you have when Triggered.

The second option, actually is an option that is available all the time. I call it:

  1. Regenerating/Recuperative. This is where we take space, this is where we remember how to access the parasympathetic nervous system as the “brake” for our Fight or Flight or Freeze response that pushed us over the limit in 3 and moved us into Overwhelmed.

I numbered this stage 0 because ideally we can access it wherever we are in the previous four stages.

So, represented in a visual way, you get something like this. Apologies for the low tech approach here! I have no time to watch a tutorial about flow charts on YouTube.

1–>2 (or 0) –> 3 (or 0 ) –>4 (or 0)

With Easter weekend upon us, many of you with family may definitely be dealing with a lot of 2 and 3 scenarios. Please keep in mind what relaxes and replenishes you. If it happens to be small chocolates shaped as bunnies, you are going to do great.

I want to explore these stages more. So, let’s do that next time. Any questions?

About Therapyisdandy

A dandy therapist
This entry was posted in Adult Children of Narcissists, Mental health therapy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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