Orienting to Safe & Sound means when how do I regroup with looking and hearing from a safe space? It’s the first part of the OMG strategy to sensory calming.
O is for Orientation and refers to seeing and hearing. So when we’re orienting to feel safe, it’s seeing and hearing from a safe distance. For some people, a safe distance will be away from people or in a position where they can see who’s coming or going. For other’s it feels safer to be around people -maybe a few, maybe lots.
M is for Movement -how do you move to calm your body and feel safe and grounded.
G is for Grasp -our Touch sensation. What kind of touch helps you feel safe and grounded?
When something’s Cracked us Up or Shut us Down, we often find our thinking is all mucked up. It’s because the body has gone into survival mode and high adrenaline has turned off our clear thinking.
When our thinking shuts down we believe all our greatest fears -our Stinking Thinking or, we just plain can’t think straight!
That’s why we calm the body to calm the mind -through breathing and grounding with our senses.
Let’s think of an example of people getting Stressed -say getting nervous before a sailing race?
Some competitors will want to be with the crew and lots of people, others will want to go away to a quieter space to be alone or with one or 2 people in the distance…we’ll talk about the difference below.
Once we’ve figured out what our safe space is, the first thing we do is do slow and deep breathing to reverse the physiological changes of Stress that throw our thinking off track in the first place.
Then we get on with the job of calming the body through our senses. The first 2 are orienting senses, Seeing and Hearing.
- Safe Space: With people or away from people?
- Looking: Faces, things, busy, quiet, distractions?
- Hearing: What to hear, loud, soft, talking, white noise or music?
We can learn by tracking our acute response. That’s the first thing we do when we’re feeling nervous to calm down. Do we seek out people or move away. Do we like noise or want to get away from it?
Next time your nervous Track what you naturally do.
My safe space: Low stimulus, away from people, not too many faces, white noise or music.
Others: Low stimulus, with an adult, being distracted doing other simple tasks.
Everyone’s different but has their own style, so figure out yours. Then you’ll find it much easier to manage your nerves!