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Somatic Experiencing: My 2-Minute Technique for Calm

Greetings, everyone. My name is Monique Wilson, and I'm also known by my traditional name, Karhiio. Today, I'm excited to share a technique with you that may raise some eyebrows. It's a two-minute method designed to bring calm to your nervous system. Now, let's be clear: achieving true calmness typically requires more than just two minutes. However, this technique can provide a glimpse of tranquility within that short time frame. I'm practicing it even as we speak. By pausing between my words and taking deep, full breaths, I'm inviting calmness into my being. As I gaze outside, the sight of trees both behind and in front of me serves as a soothing backdrop.

If your surroundings lack windows or trees, fear not. You can create a similar sense of calm by focusing on a serene landscape, be it through pictures, drawings, tapestries, or paintings. The essence of this technique lies in surrounding yourself with elements that evoke a sense of safety and serenity. Our nervous system naturally relaxes when we feel safe, a sensation that's relative to each individual's experiences with trauma. Whether your sense of safety is expansive or more limited, it's perfect for you. Remember, there's no need for comparison; any feeling of safety contributes to calming the nervous system.

The technique I'm sharing today involves not only mindful breathing but also the deliberate use of vision. Our vagus nerve, which intricately winds around our organs and extends up to our face, is closely linked to our eyes. Thus, gazing at the cedars outside or admiring cherished pictures of my grandchildren brings me a sense of calm. Similarly, observing eagle feathers or treasured gifts that capture light in my home provides me with a sense of tranquility.

Part of this technique is about orienting yourself to a safe space, which involves being aware of your surroundings and ensuring there are no perceived threats. This could be as simple as looking over your shoulder to confirm there's nothing lurking behind you. Utilizing resources like nature, loved ones' photos, or even the comforting texture of a soft sweatshirt can all contribute to this sense of safety.

Creating a space that fosters calmness might take some time, but it's an enjoyable and rewarding process. It's about filling your environment with items that not only comfort you but also help you feel connected and grounded. A calm nervous system is key to our body's efficient functioning, whether we're in a state of fight or flight or somewhere in between. It's not about avoiding activation but rather learning how to return to calmness once the situation that triggered the response has passed.

Regularly taking moments throughout your day to orient yourself to your surroundings can make a significant difference in your overall well-being. It's not about striving for constant calmness but rather about cultivating the ability to return to a state of peace and balance when needed.

I hope you find this technique as helpful as I have. If you're interested in learning more about my work or getting in touch, please visit my website at or email me at Here's to embracing calmness in our lives, one breath at a time.



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