Nicole LePera, a.k.a. “The Holistic Psychologist”, spent years disconnected and disassociated from her truth. (“I was away on a spaceship,” she told me on today’s Dear Gabby.)
Afraid to speak out freely for fear of what others would say or think, “I fell into a pattern of watering down my truth,” she said.
But when Nicole got real—really real, as her 5.3 million Instagram followers have seen—something miraculous happened.
Her shame melted away. She regulated her nervous system. And she learned how to embrace new habits to embody the changes she craved.
On today’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast, Nicole and I will empower you to do the same.
I am so psyched to share this Big Talk with you!
listen to this episode to learn:
- The most effective way to form healthy new habits … and make them stick (Nicole calls this the “two stages of change,” and she breaks down each stage with actionable takeaways)
- The *real* reason we feel shame (it’s NOT because you did anything wrong)
- The first step to letting your shame melt away (this is a gentle exercise, and I’ll guide you through it step-by-step)
- How trauma from previous generations can get imprinted onto your DNA and affect your behavior (as a descendant of Holocaust survivors, I have felt this deeply)
- 3 proven ways to settle your nervous system when you’re feeling triggered
how to self-soothe when you’re feeling triggered
There are a ton of triggers in the world right now. Women’s reproductive rights have been taken away. There’s a war in Ukraine. The effects of the pandemic are lingering… the list of triggers goes on and on.
When all of us are living in such a triggered state, how can we “do the work” on ourselves? How can we self-soothe?
Nicole offers three simple techniques for regulating the nervous system in a moment of heightened emotion or upset. I love these gentle exercises, and I want to share them with you here.
become curious about your feelings and sensations
Many of us have habitual responses to triggers that we might not even be aware of. The next time you find yourself yelling, or disassociating, or doing whatever it is that you do when you’re upset, just take a beat.
Be the gentle witness of your own emotions.
Your trigger contains valuable information, so open yourself to receiving whatever it is that your emotions are trying to tell you.
Ask yourself, What am I feeling? And, What feels unsafe about this situation?
Don’t judge your answers. Just witness them.
embody a new choice
After gently witnessing your triggers, you can choose to do something different in the moment. Instead of reverting to your habitual response to a trigger, consider some of these self-soothing techniques.
- Take 5 very deep belly breaths. You can also try the alternate nostril breathing that I use to release anxiety.
- Tune in to your environment and explore it through your five senses. What can you smell, what can you touch, what can you taste, hear and see?
- You can also soothe your nervous system by playing with your pet. “Pets can be incredibly regulating,” Nicole said. (Shout-out to my cats Jimi Blue and Lilly!)
Be gentle with yourself as you work to embody new choices when you’re feeling triggered.
This takes practice because our brain is often hardwired to dive back into that old fear response.
This is why step 3 is crucial:
practice, practice, practice
Even in the moments when you’re not feeling triggered, practice some of the self-soothing techniques I mentioned above. Practice them consistently, so they become habits.
“Little by little, we can learn how to regulate ourselves before the cap blows off,” Nicole said.
a gift of hope
Deep in my trauma recovery, I didn’t know yet that there was a way out of pain, trauma and patterns that hold us back.
I’ll admit it: I went through periods where I thought, I don’t know if I can ever get through this.
But there is a way out. I can promise you that.
And I want to offer today’s Big Talk as a gift of hope for you. I hope this episode serves you greatly.
get more gabby
- On today’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast we are joined by Nicole LePera, who’s known as “The Holistic Psychologist” on Instagram. In her SelfHealers Circle, Nicole facilitates self-led healing journeys, opening space for people to escape old patterns and create real change. Make sure to check out her new book, How to Do the Work.
- In this episode I also mention my new book, Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace. In this book, I share my story of trauma recovery, along with several exercises for self-soothing. It is my mission to get this book into as many hands as possible. If you’ve read it, I hope you’ll share your copy with a friend or get them the audiobook. And if you’ve yet to take the guided path toward inner peace, this is your heartfelt invitation to take the journey with me. I’ll meet you on page one.
- For more on soothing your children (and yourself), listen to this Dear Gabby Big Talk with Dr. Becky.
- You can also find tips for parenting your child and your inner child on this Dear Gabby Big Talk with Dan Siegel.
- In today’s episode I also talk about attachment styles. To hear more about what attachment styles are, when they form, and how your attachment style affects your behavior, check out this episode of Dear Gabby.
- If you feel you need additional support, please consult this list of safety, recovery and mental health resources. I’m proud of you for your commitment to self-care.
I can be your coach—anytime, anywhere!
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I’ll be your coach to help you manifest your desires and live with an unshakeable sense of inner peace.
This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.