If you’ve been through a traumatic event or experienced ongoing traumatic stress, such as being in an abusive relationship or wartime, you know firsthand how completely overwhelming and frightening this can be. When struggling with acute stress, your sense of calm and safety disappears and you often vacillate between being on high alert and easily triggered to feeling exhausted and shut down. Having access to a regulation resource that is simple to use and very effective can make navigating acute stress possible.
What is acute stress?
Acute stress symptoms occur within the first few days to four weeks after a traumatic event. These symptoms are similar to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but the criteria for duration has not yet been met for PTSD.
Symptoms of acute stress include: (1)
- Distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Difficulty sleeping due to thoughts or dreams of the trauma
- Getting triggered
- Having flashbacks of the trauma
- Feeling disconnected from your emotions
- Trying to avoid thoughts and feelings about the trauma
- Trying to avoid people or places that remind you of the trauma
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling on guard, watchful
- Easily overwhelmed
Start by Stabilizing and Regulating Your Nervous System
Stabilization and regulation are the most important things to focus on during times of acute stress, whether for yourself or helping others. When you are in a heightened state, the interventions needs to be simple and the effects immediate. Giving someone a list of coping skills to do during these times will not help. Melanie, a Bi-Tapp user who experienced the sudden and tragic loss of her husband after he died by suicide, stated: “In the beginning I was hysterical and at other times, I was shut down. I couldn’t remember anything. I couldn’t have taken in any new information on how to help me or my young children feel calmer…”
Use Bi-Tapp Tappers to Make Nervous System Regulation Automatic
Bi-Tapp is patented technology that consists of two tappers that stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, restoring a sense of safety and calm. Pair the tappers to the Bi-Tapp app on your mobile device. This allows you to customize the rate of speed and the intensity of the tapping that is calming to you. The tappers need to be placed on each side of your body, such as holding them in your hands, or placing them in your pockets or socks. Bilateral tapping helps slow down the release of hormones and helps restore a sense of calm. (2) Because the tappers do the tapping automatically for you, this hands-free, discreet tool is invaluable, especially for those in extreme distress or assisting others in need.
Why Distressed People Need Bi-Tapp?
During times of moderate to high levels of distress or ongoing stress, the thinking part of our brain shuts down, making it challenging if not impossible to implement even the most basic coping strategies to feel calmer, such as taking a deep breath. Providing a resource that does the work for you makes Bi-Tapp the top resource to utilize in times of tragedy and crisis because you don’t have to do anything other than push a button to get the calming benefit. It is simple to operate and very effective. Melanie continues, “I felt triggered and overwhelmed all the time, I took the tappers with me wherever I went. It took away that panicked feeling I was experiencing. The tappers helped both myself and my children.”
When you nervous system is calm, both hemispheres of your brain work together to help you function your best. When your amygdala (part of your limbic system) senses danger, this inter-hemispheric communication stops and everything is focused on the present moment and your anxiety automatically begins to rise. (3) When your stress and anxiety levels becomes too high, the thinking part of your brain becomes disabled. (4) To restore a sense of safety again, we introduce bilateral tapping because it activates each hemisphere of the brain, automatically inhibiting the amygdala. (2)
Voices of Impact
After experiencing a horrific tragedy, a Bi-Tapp user named Garrett states: “I would use the tappers during the day if I was triggered, frustrated or nervous. The tappers would help me calm down and focus. At night, I would use the tappers to help me fall asleep. I placed them in my socks. If I woke up, I would turn them back on to help me settle down so I could fall asleep again.”
After witnessing a tragedy, MaryAnn stated, “Following the event, I felt like I had the tappers with me, 24/7. I needed the tappers during the day to help me focus and concentrate at work. It was difficult because I couldn’t remember things. I couldn’t think clearly. Also, I used them at night to help calm myself down so I could go to sleep and stay asleep.”
An elementary student who had experienced a tragedy used the tappers while at school. Her teacher states, “She missed numerous days of school since the tragedy, due to extreme anxiety. When our class received tappers, she asked to wear them the first day and has worn them nearly every school day, since. She is now able to calmly come to class, learn, and participate without the overwhelming anxiety she previously endured. She makes less trips to the ‘Paws room’ and is able to focus in class. The tappers have made a huge impact on her ability to calmly attend and learn at school this year. It is wonderful for me as her teacher to see her smile, feel at peace within herself, and thrive in our classroom.”
In a time where stress and global crises have become the norm, it’s critically important to have access to a resource that can help restore a sense of calm and safety. To learn more about how Bi-Tapp can help you, go to bi-tapp.com today.
- Mendi, Fanai, Moien AB Khan. Acute Stress Disorder. National Library of Medicine. Last updated: July 10, 2023
- De Voogd, L. et al. (2018) Eye-Movement Intervention Enhances Extinction via Amygdala Deactivation. The Journal of Neuroscience, October 3, 2018
- Taylor, J. Bolte (2021) Whole Brain Living. Hayhouse, Inc. United States.
- Goleman, D. (1995) Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY. Bantom Books.