When sirens stop, I worry. I hear a lot of sirens where I live. You get used to the noise and learn to tune it out. But when sirens are blaring, getting louder, and then suddenly stop, that’s the time for concern. A sudden stop means the emergency is nearby.
A similar thing happens with kids. If they make noise in the average range while playing, everything’s probably okay. If the pitch and volume suddenly rise, or things go silent, it may signal an emergency.
Life experiences create background noise within us. We’re used to it. We don’t hear it. As long as we’re engaged enough to feel startled when the background changes, we can usually avoid disaster. But what about those things that creep up on us and slowly blend into the background? Can we fine tune our senses to notice those changes?
Some will find a way to do this naturally, but for those of us who struggle, here are a few things that can help:
STOP. Be still. Listen. If you can remove a few activities or tasks for a week or two, you may notice things that get lost in the normal hustle and bustle.
REMEMBER. Think back to a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. What has changed? What feels the same? What is that thing in the back of your head that keeps nagging at you? Move it into conscious thought as you move and breathe.
MOVE. Stretch. Tense. Relax. Feel the difference. Moving your body in different ways than you normally do can give you a lot of information.
BREATHE. Inhale. Exhale. Try fast. Try slow. Add movement to coincide with each breath. Notice any changes. Does pain become tightness or dissipate? Does leaning forward remove tension from your shoulders? Does finding balance in a posture replace feeling anxious?
CONNECT. With your body. With support. Connecting with your body can help you feel more grounded. In turn, as the lower brain calms, you may gain insight. Connecting with safe, supportive people through healthy attachment may help your body optimize for maximum health. And feeling supported will help cushion you so that you can acknowledge symptoms you may be trying to overlook.
None of us want to be forced to face scary things. We all hope this pain or that rash are minor and fleeting. And many things will go away if we just wait. Other times, they will persist because they are symptoms of something serious. Stop, remember, move, breathe, and connect knowing it’s easier to recognize when to seek help if you don’t wait until the point where the sirens are stopping at your house.