Free Sleep Quiz


The Benefits of Daily Relaxation Techniques: Why Consistency is Key


Let me know if this sounds like you. Something stressful happens and, in an attempt to not freak out and eat the entire world's supply of chocolate (or chips, or fries (insert your poison here)) you run to a self-help practice (meditating, breathwork, somatic exercises, etc) only to find that, despite your best efforts, you still feel completely crazy and triggered. What are you doing wrong?


Hi, my name is Sherry and I help people reduce stress and improve their sleep.

 Everyone Gets Emotionally Triggered

Now, if this is a familiar scenario for you, you are not alone. Life happens to the best of us sometimes and (unless you are a fully enlightened being or (more likely) in deep denial) you WILL get triggered from time to time. It’s not a question so much of if or when, it’s what to do about it.


In general, when choosing a response, it’s important to remember the power of intention. I’m not referring to manifesting here, rather when you choose to do something like breathwork, why are you doing it and what do you hope will be the result?

Why Intention Is Important 


Activities like breathwork, meditation and somatic exercises are designed to be done daily, regardless of our emotional state, to rebalance the nervous system, increase awareness and build resilience. When done in this way they can be very helpful to many people and, it’s still important to remember that, while they can have a grounding, calming effect over time, they are not the same as a frontal lobotomy (i.e. you will still have emotions and a personality)


There seems to be this myth that spiritual people don’t get angry or upset yet it’s completely natural to feel angry if someone does something like cut you off in traffic or hurt a child and sad when someone close to you dies. These emotions may not always be comfortable, but they are completely normal and a pretty go indicator that you are still human vs AI.

Emotions Serve a Purpose 


Our emotions tie into our nervous system and, in hunter gatherer times (all times really), they have functions. Anger is correlated with the fight response and helped us defend from predators, fear equals flight and helped us to escape when we couldn’t win. Sadness or grief are more complicated responses and (depending on how they occur for you) could tie in with the freeze response, which can also be a time to lay low, lick our wounds and ask for help.


Emotions also teach us powerful lessons. Pain, fear, and shock teach us not to touch a hot stove. Sadness can be many things including a lesson that the action we took (maybe ignoring someone we love) didn’t work out so we (hopefully) choose a different response in the future which can lead to a happier outcome.


If you are attempting to use these healthful awareness practices in the moment to not feel, know that they are not working to numb the pain because they are not supposed to. The problem isn’t the tools, it is the incorrect expectations and incomplete understanding that has been built up around them that are the issue.

Why Acceptance Is Key 


Acceptance and Commitment therapy teaches that it’s often not the situation itself which causes us the most pain, it is our unwillingness to accept it that creates the problem.


When you try to suppress your natural emotions by refusing to acknowledge them or making them somehow bad or wrong, you also block the body’s natural response to these emotions. This leads to an incomplete response in the body and causes the feelings we are trying to suppress to grow.


Think of a time when you wanted to cry but couldn’t because you were at work and how that affected your mood vs when you were on your own (or a child) and you could just wail and bawl and get it all out.


Refusing or trying to escape our natural emotions through any practice (including healthy ones) only causes them to stay bottled up and grow stronger with time.

It Is Important To Feel Our Emotions 


So, what to do? The most important thing is to be willing to FEEL our emotions (regardless of how painful) and acknowledge them. “I feel mad because” or sad because. Notice how that emotion feels in your body. How do you know if you are mad or sad? And then pay attention to what the body is asking to do. Maybe it wants to run or cry or hit or scream. Whatever it is, try to go with it. If you are in public, you can do it mentally. Imagine yourself going full Bruce Lee on someone or saying exactly what you wish you could say.


After all this, if you still want to indulge in your go to recentering practice (whether it is meditating, eating or tv watching) go ahead. The important thing is to make sure you are taking time to accept and fully feel your emotions and then, after you have rebalanced, go back into your daily health routine.


Afterall, to error (or in this case feel) is human. So please don’t over complicate having a human moment by feeling guilty or blaming yourself. Your daily practices are working, we just have to make sure we are using them correctly, with proper intention, instead of hiding behind them in an attempt avoid pain.


I know this is a bit of a departure from my normal posts. It’s my hope to help, not just with sleep, but the myriad of other things, including stress, which impact our sleep and can pull us temporarily off course.


Interested in Learning More?

If you would like to learn more or book an individual session, please visit the Work With Me page or enroll in the 30 Day Beyond Sleep Course

In the meantime, I would like to leave you with this important message. You are not broken! You are whole, perfect, and healthy exactly as you are, and you CAN sleep!






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