How to Calm Yourself Down and Find Serenity in the Midst of Disarray with the Help of Calming Cards
The Impact of Stress and Overwhelm on the Brain and Nervous System
Every once in a while, life might feel overwhelming and out of control for many of us. Whenever something like this begins to occur to me, I might "freak out" a little.
My Sun and rising are in Virgo , thus my safe space is, well, safe. When many different forces act to disrupt my sense of security, or when it seems like "one thing after another," I may experience feelings of being overwhelmed very quickly.
When we're feeling anxious or overloaded, our nervous system responds. The brain and spinal cord make up what is called the central nervous system. The physiological responses of the body, such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, shallow breathing, and a mild nausea, are all triggered by the activation of the central nervous system.
My nervous system's activation can lead to a wide variety of bodily experiences and symptoms. In these situations, I've found that Calming Cards have been really useful in pinpointing the root cause of my stress and setting me on the path to nervous system regulation and healing.
(To be clear, the purpose of Calming Cards is not to provide medical diagnosis or advise.)
You are not alone if you can identify with these sentiments. Perhaps your feelings of wrath, irritation, fear, and disappointment are manifesting themselves physically.
By recognizing and processing negative emotions as they come, you can eventually let them float away like leaves on the wind. However, problems arise when one fails to let go of negative emotions. The more time these emotions have to accumulate, the more quickly a storm can form.
Before we get there, though, let's rewind to the start and see if Tarot can help us out.
Soothing cards are what?
In times of chaos, we can re-regulate our nerve systems with the help of Soothing Cards by processing challenging emotions in a more healthy and manageable way. Stress can be reduced emotionally with the help of calming cards by helping us focus our attention inside, gain a deeper understanding of so-called "bad" feelings, and make room for healthy expression and resolution.
Note that this holds true for both the feelings you experience directly and the feelings you pick up from other individuals. Highly sensitive people often gravitate into Tarot, therefore it's crucial that we all develop strategies for dealing with a wide range of emotions.
Use of Soothing Cards: A Guide
Pick up your Tarot deck, give them a good shuffle, and pick a card if you're feeling overwhelmed or activated. The objective is to draw a card in the midst of emotional turbulence, so don't bother about attempting to concentrate your energy or tune in just yet.
Your true feelings are represented by the first card you pick. It might stand in for a range of things, from your current emotional state to a personal goal you'd like to accomplish to the tenor of a difficult situation or problem you're now grappling with. The energy you're feeling is chaotic, and whatever it is is a reflection of that. It may express the vitality of a single emotion or circumstance, or it may stand for a confluence of multiple events.
To put it another way, this card provides you a "broad read" on your underlying energy and the reason your nervous system is active right now.
After drawing your first card, it's best to sit quietly somewhere alone and close your eyes for a few moments. Count to three before you speak. Allow your diaphragm to rise and fall as you breathe in through your nose and into your lungs. Focus on the sensation of air passing through your airway, lips, and out of your mouth as you exhale. Focus your awareness inward as you breathe deeply and slowly many times.
Take a few deep breaths and start to focus on your body. Start at the tips of your toes and work your way up through your feet, ankles, shins, calves, knees, thighs, and finally your head. Feel your muscles, joints, and limbs to see if there is any tightness, discomfort, pain, or vibration.
Try asking yourself what feeling you associate with that. What emotions do I experience when I allow myself to focus on this feeling? What one word best captures how I feel right now?
Just open your eyes when you feel like it. Get out your Tarot deck once more and think about the feelings you've been having. Shuffle the deck, and take another card from the deck.
To overcome the feeling you're having, calm your nerves, and get rid of the associated bodily symptoms, follow the guidance on this card.
An Explanation of the Use and Benefits of Relaxation Playing Cards
I already stated that these cards are not meant to provide psychiatric or medical diagnosis. Instead, using Calming Cards can help you reconnect with the here and now, focus on your physical body, and decode the messages your nervous system is sending you.
To use Tarot cards in this fashion is not a panacea; rather, it is a form of meditation. It's a method to separate yourself mentally and physically from the situation, allowing you to take a deep breath and start processing your emotions one at a time. I encourage you to explore other meditative practices if they feel more natural to you; many serve the same aim.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts if you decide to give the Calming Cards method for nervous system regulation a try.