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I am having trouble feeling safe. There isn't actually any danger, but I'm having a worsening feelin

20 Mar
"I am having trouble feeling safe. There isn't actually any danger, but I'm having a worsening feeling of vulnerability.. what can help me feel more in control, so I can start to sort this out?"
Dear Belleruth,
I''ve had great success with using your tapes for specific ailments, but now I''m wondering if any of the programs would work for a pressing but more general issue. I am having trouble feeling safe. There isn''t actually any pending physical danger beyond what is there for everyone in everyday life, but I''m having a worsening feeling of vulnerability and lack of safety within.

Twice it became overwhelming and I ended up hysterical. Once it led to a panic attack. I know I need help with calming down, but also I was wondering if any of your recordings would help me feel safer and more in control and steadier, so I can feel well enough to sort out what''s causing all this.

Thanks so much for suggestions,
J



Dear J,

The key for "extinguishing" this response, as the behavioral people like to call it, is to listen regularly and frequently (perhaps once or twice a day for 2-3 weeks) to imagery that''s designed to generate feelings of safety and protection, first while you are feeling comfortable and unthreatened - say, in your favorite room in your own house, at the end of the day.

Each time you listen, I suggest you fold your hands over your belly or put one hand over your breastbone - some gesture that''s common enough, that you can use it when you''re out and about without looking or feeling odd. If you do this hand-positioning every time you relax to the audio program at home, you''ll find that you''re teaching your body a quick conditioning trick. After a fairly short amount of practice, you will start to automatically go into a relaxed state when you arrange your hands in this way.

I would suggest my Relaxation and Wellness as a good one to use for this little regimen. Or Lynne Newman''s Song of the Soul is another guided meditation that creates a strong sense of safety and support.

And if you want some extra insurance that you''re driving these unpleasant sensations out of your life, by all means, try the guided EFT/TFT exercises on Mary Sise''s DVD, a technique that banishes all sorts of fears and phobias with a sequence of pressure point tapping, affirmations, and other behavioral techniques, that might seem extremely odd, but which are very effective. In fact, if you check out our Inspiring Story this week, you’ll find that an 8-year-old boy suffering from acute anxiety attacks used them with great and immediate success.

I hope this helps. Let us all know.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award