How 90-second clearing helps

Here’s a picture of before and after I realized just how much 90-second clearing helps me:

This is what would happen before I could stop the crazy rush of panic chemicals:

Before – when my panic would get hold of me

Gray Zone

  • Stress response to the thought of change – adrenaline, etc.
  • Reduction in cognitive resources, narrowing, sense of danger, alert
  • Escalation of stress response, based on sense of narrowing options, bad past experiences
  • Fear / anxiety / dread mixture runs the show
  • Chase back to how things are – get content, stay stuck

Before, I would escalate really quickly, thinking that I couldn’t manage, or that I was trapped. The stress response would trigger a physical reaction with me that would make me feel like I was blocked in and didn’t have a way out, and I would begin to panic. It didn’t matter if the change was something as basic as fixing a curtain rod that had come loose from the wall, or starting a new job. I would still feel it coming on and have the same catastrophic reaction. And because my own personal catastrophic reaction often involves involuntary crying, and I cannot stand to cry in front of people for no apparent reason, I avoided a lot of situations that I feared would get hold of me.

But now, I have a different way of handling things, and so far it’s working pretty well — when I remember to do it, of course 😉

This is what is possible now, when I stop the escalation of stress chemicals and use my breathing for a minute and a half to calm everything down:

After – When I spend a minute or so clearing out the stress response and stop things from escalating

Yellow Zone

  • Stress Inoculation Training, Stress Hardiness Optimization
  • Ability to shift the physical experience by breathing and other coping mechanisms
  • Clearing of stress response broadens options, opens thinking
  • From fear / anxiety / dread into anticipation / engagement / hope

Basically, the difference is like night and day. The old storms that would come up don’t have to anymore. I have a way to calm them down and think more clearly about what is in front of me. And most importantly, I don’t feel like I’m hemmed in, simply because of a physical response.

My nervous system is wired to be, well, wired. It’s automatic with me. I’ve been trained that way by life. Now I need to train myself to be another way.

And so I am.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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