Sometimes, when we come across difficult situations – not knowing how to respond to it – we may feel the need to shut down. The flight or fight response takes over and we emotionally shut down as a defense mechanism. “Before you dive in, I want you to be aware of this important reminder: Emotionally Shutting down during difficult moments is not something you – or other people – choose to do consciously. If you weren’t taught how to process your emotions as a child, then this can become an unconscious response to trauma or distressing situations that you internalise.,” wrote Therapist Sadaf Siddiqi.
Here are a few ways to help ourselves from shutting down in such situations:
Identify patterns: We need to proactovely and consciously invest in finding our situations and patterns in which we tend to develop the necessity of shutting down. Becoming aware of such situations will help us to address them better.
Avoiding or approaching: Once we are aware of the situations, we should analyse them to understand if shutting down helps us to avoid the situation or approach the situation better. This will give us more clarity on how to respond to such situations in the future.
Impact on others: We should try to analyse how shutting down can affect the people around us. Sometimes stonewalling people and not responding in a healthy manner can impact communication and emotional connection that we share with others.
Find safe people: We should try to find safe people to connect with who can help us get into healthier behavioral patterns and understand ourselves better.
Move the body: We should incorporate somatic practices to release pent-up emotions and stored emotions – this will help us to feel more relieved. Movement helps in engaging the senses and bringing us back to the present instead of letting us dwell on the past.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com