Be kind to yourself

Hooray!!! It’s the first day of Spring! So to help you lift out of the Lockdown fog, we bring you our first Step into Spring tip.

This week is all about being kind to yourself.

According to Paul Gilbert, PhD, we have three types of emotion regulation systems – we’ve got the Threat System, the Drive System, and the Soothing System and we switch between these systems depending on our situation, environment and thoughts.

The Threat System

Its function is to manage threats, survive, protect and to seek safety. This activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee. The body stays on high alert, great if you are in danger but long-term can lead to chronic stress and serious health issues.

The Drive System

Here, we are seeking reward and driving to achieve goals, find excitement and achieve tasks. Again very useful in certain circumstances, though can be exhausting if we stay here too long!

The Soothing System

This is when we rest, nourish our bodies, feel safe, slow down and spend time caring for ourself and others. Here our bodies can recover and rejuvenate, giving you back energy and a zest for life.

When we spend most of our time in Threat or Drive, we become tired, stressed and unable to function well. Spending more time in the soothing system will restore your body and help put that spring into your step!

This week focus on understanding how long you spend in Drive and Threat and re-balance this by doing something you enjoy each day, that ensures you spend more time in Soothing. What will you try? Maybe a relaxing bath, listening to your favourite music or time with loved ones? Whatever it is, just make it a habit to be kind to yourself.

Credit to: Paul Gilbert, PhD

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