The more we use self-care techniques that calm us, the more we build our resilience to handle our infidelity trauma, stress, triggers, and difficult situations. In this series about infidelity healing, we've covered many simple techniques to support our well-being. By turning stress into calm, we recover our balance. Keep reading
Infidelity Healing Series
Here, the Betrayed Wife shares her gift of an Infidelity Healing Series. The eight posts in this Series are full of practical and easy-to-use solutions that reduce the anxiety of being cheated on. Take your time reading and applying each technique to begin the difficult recovery after intimate betrayal.
The Infidelity Healing Series is a labor of love from The Betrayed Wife to every betrayed wife. Why? Because she knows first-hand how hard it is to get over infidelity, and is here to support your recovery every step of the way.
After discovering our husband's infidelity, life as a betrayed wife can become unbearable. The anxious thoughts and betrayal trauma take a toll on our emotional and physical well-being. Every day is a repeating nightmare where we experience the most painful losses of our relationship: trust and faith in ourselves. The simple self-healing techniques in this Infidelity Healing Series will help stop our stress response and restore our inner and physical well-being.
Begin your infidelity healing now:
So this week, it feels natural for me to look at a calming technique I love using called self-havening.
What is havening?
Havening uses gentle touch to calm down stress and anxiety. It literally switches off the body's stress response, acting like the off switch on our alarm. Neuroscience tells us the technique trains our brain to feel safe again. And we do want to feel safe because infidelity really rocked our boats.
It is a tool that helps us toward freedom from our pain, so we can live the life we want. As such, it is a complementary practice we use to support ourselves, but not considered a replacement for therapy. We find our own safe haven in difficult moments of day to day life.
How to Self-haven
The technique is so simple to do. We stroke our face with our fingertips from our forehead down to our chin. And we can gently rub our hands together like handwashing only slowly and more deliberately. And we can give ourselves a beautiful self-hug, caressing our hands or fingertips from our shoulders to our elbows. All the strokes are downward, gentle, soothing strokes.
The entire stroking pattern gets repeated several times in a soft rhythm without any special sequence to remember. We get to choose how long we stroke and alternate between our face, upper arms, and hands at will. In fact, it works just as well by doing in one of these places too. Maybe we are out and can't wash our hands, so stroking our face wouldn't be wise, or we are wearing a long sleeve top and unable to access the bare skin on our upper arms. So gently rubbing our hands together may be our only option.
Self-havening YouTube video
Check out You Tube on how to do self-havening. Why not give it a go and see how you feel afterward. I enjoy using self-havening when I am stressed, especially when I wake up at night and can't return to sleep.
How Self-havening Works
The procedure produces a calming delta brainwave state within us that usually only happens when we feel extremely relaxed or in a deep sleep. And we can combine self-havening while doing our affirmations, prayers, and mantras if we want.
One idea behind why this technique works is that our brains can't process two thoughts at once. So the message sent by our nerves from our soft stroking overrides our activated amygdala, the emotional part of our brain. Our amygdala has two modes of action, safe or unsafe. And living in unsafe is scary and exhausting. We feel isolated, fearful, and trapped in that activated state of hyperarousal.
Spending a few minutes daily self-havening can have an incredibly calming effect on both our mind and body. And we can use it any time we feel triggered to calm ourselves by creating an internal feeling of safety.
Havening for Betrayal Recovery
As we know, the real key to overcoming our betrayal trauma is to feel safe. And we can send safety signals to our brains through this particular form of soothing touch. In our skin, we have specialized nerves created with the sole purpose of detecting soothing touch. So when our face, upper arms, and hands get stroked, these nerves send signals directly to the emotional center of our brain. And those signals stimulate a feeling of safety and connection in our brains.
Activating the parasympathetic nervous system
I know it sounds too easy to be true, right. Yet, we do have our own inbuilt self-healing system that is there to down-regulate us. We have the power to halt that constant nagging alarm that being cheated on triggered in us. And this is good news for us. Self-havening releases a whole bunch of neurotransmitters and hormones within us. And these have a tremendous healing effect on our entire nervous system.
Benefits of Self-Havening
When we feel safe, we can think clearly and make better decisions for ourselves. The thinking part of our brain is four times slower than the emotional part of our brain. So it takes time for us to move out of emotional flooding into thinking clearly. Havening calms us, balances our nervous system, and supports our immune system. Adding this to our self-care toolbox greatly supports us on our healing journey. And our bodies will thank us for the welcome relief from living on high alert.
Take care this week, and be kind to yourself, and maybe try turning off your brain’s alarm button with self-havening. It has been a well-used tool in my own self-care arsenal.
If you want to talk more about ways to calm your infidelity pain, please take advantage of my free call.
P.S. If you are already using self-havening or have experienced the havening technique in therapy, I would love you to leave a comment below and share your experience with us.
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