Those times of dreaming of a person who gets you.
An accepting confidant who stays beside you through it all.
Life feels better when they’re around.
Maybe you know someone like that. Maybe not … yet. So keep reading.
The impact of contact with that person (or pet) is so universal it’s been given a name—coregulation.
It acts to calm the nervous system and helps ease away from a panic response—a response like tension, anxiety, hyperalertness, spiraling thoughts, or stuckness.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the frantic energy that has you bouncing off the walls, the uneasiness that makes you want to get out of a situation immediately, or the hopelessness that shuts you down.
Having someone with you who’s grounded, open and unquestioningly supportive helps you move toward calm.
In the moment that person or pet isn’t there, is there anything else that will help?
The answer is yes.
Experiment with these two simple steps and see for yourself. They’re surprisingly effective.
Step 1: Identify what you’d dearly love someone to say or do for you
- Say, “I see what you’re going through—you’re so brave.”
- Reassure me that what I’m feeling makes sense and I’ll get through it
- Take me for a walk to get me out of my head
- Make me a cuppa and tell me to take a break
- Tell me I’m ok
- Sit beside me
Step 2: Choose one thing and explore ways to recreate it for and to yourself
- Acknowledge, “yes, this is something I’m going through—I’m so brave.”
- Remind yourself that what you’re feeling makes sense and you’ll get through it
- Go out for a walk and feel the breeze on your face
- Make that cuppa and take a break
- Notice if, in this very moment, you’re safe
- Say to yourself, “I’m right here with you.” (Even if that sounds strange, give it a try. Or take an action step, like wrapping up in a favourite fleece.)
Top tip: decide on the words or action you’d like to experiment with in advance, and try it out a few times. It’ll be so much easier to access in a triggering moment if you’ve already planned for and practiced exactly what you’ll do.
Being there for yourself no matter what, can offer a form coregulation from the inside.
You can be who you’re looking for.