Have you felt stress because you feel lonely or alone?
The stress of isolation can be really powerful. If you feel alone or unsupported it can be incredibly stressful... even if it's just for a short time.
For example: Someone wrote in and said, "I feel like there's no one to support me in the evenings to help me watch my kids. I just feel like I have to do it all myself."
That can be really distressing feeling… And there are some things you can do to ease that isolation and reduce the stress you're feeling.
The primitive brain wasn't designed for us to have to do everything on our own.
We're capable of doing it as a survival mechanism for a short period of time, but it starts activating distresses inside the body.
One of the essences of tapping that we like is that we can speak a truth of how it feels to us, notice where we feel it in our body, and also choose a direction for our energy towards acceptance, towards loving ourselves, toward being open to change.
A lot of times when people have been isolated for a long time, there's a safety aspect to it, too. People have been let down in the past!
We've all been let down at some point.
Sometimes in really big ways, really painful ways... sometimes even in abusive ways.
Also, different people have different levels of desire to be around other people.
Sometimes we look at other people or what society says and shame ourselves. It's okay to tune into yourself and say, “Hey, I need an hour with people but I don't need to spend a full day right now.”
Whatever your needs are okay and valid.
If you’re feeling really alone just tune into that. Remember, sometimes we get numb to these feelings. We encourage you to tap along at least once and see if it resonates for you.
Feel your feet on the floor... and take a nice slow deep breath.
When you think about being lonely or isolated, tune into your body and notice where you feel it. I often feel kind of a tension around my heart or my shoulders and neck get kind of stiff.
I can also feel it up in my throat as I'm remembering times when I felt more isolated and alone. Sometimes that can be even when you're surrounded by family.
Whether you're feeling it actively strongly right now, or it's something from your past that feels big, tune to it, just touch on it, that feeling and notice where it is in your body, and give it a number zero to ten. Zero being no intensity and ten being very intense.
That gets your analytical brain involved and it also just gives you a sense of the scale of it. It’s useful to know that it's a six... or a ten.
It's useful to know, too, as you do the tapping work, is it dropping off? Sometimes these get a little more intense when you first look closely… Just like if you've worn tight shoes all day, your feet get kind of numb after a while…. When you take the shoes off the blood flow returns and it initially hurts more, but you don't want to put the shoes back on. You want to keep moving through it. Monitoring the way it is flowing gives you some feedback.
Wherever you're feeling it... just tune in and notice it. One thing I like to do is send love to that part of me that feels lonely. A lot of us feel deeply ashamed and feel like we shouldn't feel this way, there's something wrong with us, we tell ourselves stories about that.
Write this down. I'm feeling this tension in my heart or this feeling in my throat, it's a six today. What is the mind chatter about it? “Oh, if I was really lovable I would have people around me,” or “I must be a horrible person to be alone.” Whatever it is write that down, too.
Just be with it for a minute.
Imagine sending love to that part of you, the part of you that believes that. There's part of our primitive brain that believes something because at the time it's the most logical explanation.
Sometimes we made these decisions when we were very small. Our parent or someone else said something to us, or we just came up with this explanation to understand what might have been just simply overwhelmed parents or things that aren't actually true about us, just the situation we were in. We generalize because we're little kids and we didn't know any better.
Just noticing that part of you is holding that message from a long time ago… I like to just close my eyes and imagine sending love to that part of me.
Just take a moment to do that.
Just say something like, “Hey sweetheart, I hear you, I understand you feel that way and I'm right here with you right now.”
Then take a nice slow deep breath. And let's do some EFT Tapping for that.
Karate Chop: Even though I'm feeling stressed…Because I feel alone…I feel it in this part of my body…I think that I'm not lovable...I choose to be here with me now… I choose to send love to that part of me.
Top of the Head: I do feel stressed.
Eyebrow: I'm not getting my social needs met.
Side of the Eye: I don't feel supported.
Under the Eye: And I can support myself right now.
Under the Nose: And calm myself.
Chin: So I can make good decisions about what I want to do next.
Collarbone: It's okay to soothe myself.
Under the Arm: It’s okay to love myself.
Top of the Head: I choose to be here loving me right now.
Now take a nice slow deep breath.
If you have trouble saying you love yourself right now, it's okay! I had to start out with “I kind of am willing to try”…. Or “Kind of willing to try to possibly someday love myself.”
Whatever you can say... coax yourself in a positive direction, even “I might be willing to understand where this came from,” or “I might be willing to be kind to myself no matter why I'm feeling this way.”
Some positive direction will help you start moving in the direction you want to go. It took me I think six months before I could say I was willing to love myself. It's been a really powerful shift, so be gentle with yourself if that's where you are.
Tune back in and notice where the stress level is for you on this, how intense is that feeling either in your heart or wherever part of your body.
Know that it doesn't have to go to a zero. Our inner well-being responds to a trend. A baby step in the direction of self-love and self-appreciation activates energies that are able to connect with others, too, and are able to feel connected even when we're in solitude.
Releasing stress and these distressing beliefs are key to having a better relationship with yourself and with others.
If you want to have Stress Relief On Tap... you can in our coaching program.. And we’d love to help you clear a path through stress and transform your beliefs and energy around stressful situations. Visit here to find out more.
Originally published January 12, 2017