Casey Berard

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How to Thrive in Challenge

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2021

When things get tough and scary it's normal to feel disoriented, overwhelmed, unsure, fearful, and less then logical. I mean you weren’t expecting that challenge to come out of nowhere.

When we get caught off guard it’s important to give our nervous system some coaching. I don’t know about you but my body in times of perceived emergency overreacts. It thinks I am in immense danger and that I must shut everything down and react. I rarely react well in these moments, especially if they are not true emergencies.


There is rarely urgency in life.

If only we could remember this in the moments when our stress response is beating us down with fear and panic--our blood pressure and breathing rates change and our ability to think and reason go down. To top it off our guilt and shame is piling up because of the dialogue we are having with ourselves.

Rarely are there true true true emergencies.

I googled it. 9-1-1 is really tired of people calling in with non emergencies.

A true emergency is when immediate action is required: someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.

They even go on to clarify that it has to be really bad.

An event that involves an immediate threat to a person or property: screams, attacks, gunshots, fire, car accident with injuries or any other medical emergency
A substantive, in-progress crime. This includes fights, break and enters (if there is a suspect on scene) or a report of an impaired driver
A serious crime that has just occurred (e.g., sexual assault or robbery)
A suspicious circumstance that may indicate an imminent criminal act (e.g., prowler, vandal)

I would guess that most of your emergencies are not these, mine certainly aren’t. I can often be heard asking my children if there is a fire, blood or someone has stopped breathing. And I remind them that everything else has the space to pause and take a deep breath.

Fortunately, in a true emergency we just response. And we respond quickly.


When we get caught in an event that is not an emergency but still requires action it is important to calm our out of control body down.

Ideas include:

A change of scenery
Taking deep breaths
Go for a walk
Make a cup of tea
Have sex
Write your thoughts down
Watch a comedy
Listen to music
Anything that gives you some space to think.

Then you can see if you are at a point where we just need to surrender to what is actually happening and allow ourselves to adjust and accommodate to the out-of-control non-emergency we are witnessing or do we need to respond?

We tend to make emergencies out of things that aren't really emergencies and that causes a lot of pain and misery.

The above gentle and kind strategies really help bring our nervous system back into alignment and activate our brains ability to think and react in a more productive and compassionate way.

Let me know how it goes for you.



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