All of us respond to these extreme stress emotions of being 'assaulted' or 'attacked' in different ways: one person will freeze in place; another will react with rage; still another will literally run way or mentally switch-off (which is essentially the same thing.)
Again, these are knee-jerk reactions that are governed by our primitive brain, and they catch nearly all of us completely by surprise. We react emotionally before our conscious brain (that's trying to have emuna and be a good person) is even aware of what's going on.
So what can we do, to try to 'decharge' our extreme negative reactions to stressful situations? Before I answer that, let me tell you a story about something that happened to me a little while ago:
I had to take my daughter for some tutoring. It was a new tutor, living in a newly-built section of town that didn't appear on my map, and she gave me terrible directions and the wrong street name.
The first time, I got completely lost, and arrived there pretty late. I hate being late, and I was relieved that she was relatively understanding. The second time, I set out in plenty of time to make our appointment - and got stuck in a massive traffic jam right outside my house. I got to my appointment 15 minutes' late - and this time, she let me have it with both barrels before I could even explain what had happened.
I was ruining everything… she couldn't do anything like this… I may as well not bother if this is how it was going to be… On and on. The woman was being paid for her time, regardless of how late we showed up. The problem was ours, not hers, if the lesson wasn't achieving much.
My daughter went in for the rest of her lesson, and as soon as the door closed, I burst into tears. I felt so humiliated and inadequate. I also felt emotionally mugged - which is a classic sign that you're dealing with someone who's got some real, fundamental issues, regardless of how 'religious' or 'nice' they initially appear.
Even though I knew what I was dealing with; even though I'm a grown-up; even though I knew to put 'the problem' back firmly where it belonged, ie, in her court, the whole experience was still pretty traumatic and unpleasant, and it really bought home to me, once again, the devastating impact verbal assaults can have on us, even when we're fully-grown.
As I got the lift down to my car, my legs were literally shaking, and I was bawling my eyes out, feeling like I'd just been turned to jelly, and then stamped on. I'd just learnt about the technique I'm about to share with you, so I sat in my car holding my forehead, and let myself sink into the absolutely horrible feelings of shame that were overwhelming me.
After five minutes (usually, it only takes a couple of minutes…) the 'charge' had subsided enough for me to stop crying, and to be able to think more calmly and rationally. The problem reduced down to 'cope-able', and I was able to face the woman a couple more times without feeling terrible about myself, whereas in the past, I'd have felt I had no choice except to break contact with her ASAP.
So without any further ado, let me introduce you to a very simple technique called holding the neurovasculars.
The main neurovascular points on your head are the bits of your forehead that jut out, a cm or two above both your eyebrows. To defuse any overwhelming feelings of stress, shame, guilt, anxiety or fear, simply gently hold these points for between 2 and 5 minutes, and continue to think about the 'stressful thought', person, situation or experience.
You'll see that within five minutes, the negative emotional reaction to the stressful thought will either be completely neutralised, or so far reduced that you can function again.
How does this work?
Again, very simply, when you hold those points, you bring the blood back into your forehead, which is the place where a person can think rationally, using their higher mental and spiritual faculties. When we get stressed, up to 80% of the blood leaves this area, pulled away by the hypothalamus (and Triple Warmer) to fuel the 'fight or flight' syndrome.
That energy is either going to your legs, so you can run away, or it's getting you ready to punch someone's face in. When you gently hold your neurovascular points, however, you encourage the blood to flow back into your thinking faculties, and away from your emotional knee-jerk reactions.
I know it sounds too good to be true, but try it for yourself, and see what happens. G-d has put so many simple, but simply profound methods in to the world to help us heal and to find true inner peace. We just need to put Him in the picture, and be willing to experiment a little.