29 episodes

This audio series shares ideas and practical activities you, your family, and community can do during troubled times like Wildfires and other Natural Disasters.



These recordings were originally created by Anthony "Twig" Wheeler for local radio in the Methow Valley, WA during the summer fire seasons of 2014 and 2015. These suggestions and support are informed by trauma resolution therapies like Somatic Experiencing®, Organic Intelligence® and the emerging science that is helping us understand the nature of stress and trauma in the nervous system and what we can do about it. Twig Wheeler is an internationally recognized trauma treatment consultant and "Cultural Animator" who specializes in making complex scientific information about stress and trauma available to everyday people going through hard times. More information about this project can be found at: www.stressless-guide.com.

Twig's StressLess Guide for Wildfires and Other Natural Disasters Anthony Twig Wheeler

    • Self-Improvement
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

This audio series shares ideas and practical activities you, your family, and community can do during troubled times like Wildfires and other Natural Disasters.



These recordings were originally created by Anthony "Twig" Wheeler for local radio in the Methow Valley, WA during the summer fire seasons of 2014 and 2015. These suggestions and support are informed by trauma resolution therapies like Somatic Experiencing®, Organic Intelligence® and the emerging science that is helping us understand the nature of stress and trauma in the nervous system and what we can do about it. Twig Wheeler is an internationally recognized trauma treatment consultant and "Cultural Animator" who specializes in making complex scientific information about stress and trauma available to everyday people going through hard times. More information about this project can be found at: www.stressless-guide.com.

    01 – Introduction to Twig’s StressLess Series for Getting through Wildfires and other Natural Disasters

    01 – Introduction to Twig’s StressLess Series for Getting through Wildfires and other Natural Disasters

    Sometimes things happen that are essentially beyond our control and impossible to know when they will end or what the consequences will be once they are over.

    Wildfires and other natural disasters are good examples of these kinds of experiences.



    Generally speaking, these are considered "traumatic events" and while different people experience these things with more or less discomfort, the signal of danger turns on the stress response for everyone – given a long enough time in stress, even the calmest and brave ones amongst us start to get short tempered, make poor decisions and feel the impacts on our health.



    These challenging times have an impact on us. A real, sincere, important to recognize impact - the effects of which can be minimized if we have some important information and practical things to do.



    This StressLess audio series was created for my community in the Methow Valley during the Carlton Complex fires in Northern Washington in 2014. That was a very stressful time for my neighbors and myself. With the help of our local radio station Kroot 97.5, I produced these recordings to help share some simple ideas about how our bodies and nervous systems respond to stressful events, and what that information can tell us about how we can care for ourselves and our families while going through bad stuff.



    Many of my neighbors assured me that these recordings were helpful to them in calming and attending to their own stress response and I hope they will be helpful to you or someone you know (please pass it on).



    When going through a dangerous event that will last long enough for you to take stock of what's going on...it's a good idea for you to work on behalf of minimizing your body's sense of stress and excessive effort and activation. I hope you will find enough moments of safety along the way that will allow you to do that. These recordings will share many different ideas on how you might do so.



    Wishing you the very best. - Twig, November - 2017











    Full Episode Transcript: 



    01 01 – Introduction to Twig's StressLess Series for Getting through Wildfires and other Natural Disasters



    [00:00:00] This is an episode from Twig's stress series for getting through wildfires and other natural disasters. You can find all the episodes at stressless-guide.com.



    [00:00:10] Greetings to you. My name's Anthony Wheeler. I go by twig. You can think of me that way. Think of me as that guy named Twig. You probably don't know me except perhaps a person of late or maybe the internet has suggested that you might take a listen to some of the audio programs that I've created over the years to help people that are going through acutely stressful experiences helped to minimize or decrease their stress response so as to minimize the chance of being traumatized after a dangerous thing has happened. In this way, this series that you've come upon today or have here to listen to is about what we might do for ourselves and our families, our communities, when threatened by a wildfire or other natural disaster or event that is going to be long lasting, without a certain end, with unknown consequences and generally quote out of our control. In short what can we do when things are really really hard and it feels like they're going to keep going that way?



    [00:01:19] Since you don't know me maybe I'll mention a few things here that will be helpful to you. One is that since 2004 I've been heavily involved with and dedicated to the Somatic Experiencing® therapy community and the "New Traumatology." These are different either therapeutic modalities or the science that is coming out into the world these days about how the autonomic nervous system works, how stress works inside of the human body, how it impacts our nervous system and thus our behavior and what we can do for ...

    • 5 min
    02 – Simple Technical Conversation about Living Under Stress for a Long Time

    02 – Simple Technical Conversation about Living Under Stress for a Long Time

    Episode Transcript:



    [00:00:00] This is an episode from Twig's Stressless Series for getting through wildfires and other natural disasters, you can find all the episodes at stressless-guide.com.



    [00:00:13] Welcome to the Stressless option.



    [00:00:15] I'm Anthony Wheeler. I go by "Twig". I'm a Carlton resident and trauma specialist. I actually travel around the world talking to communities and therapists about how the stress response works and how to feel better faster after really bad stuff happens. I'm here to share some of those ideas with you and see if we can all stress a little less.



    [00:00:33] I'm going to start here with a little bit of a technical conversation. This is not to be dry but to be basic for a moment. There are rules, you know, to the universe and some of them are simple and well-known. If you throw a water out of a sprinkler it's going to go up in the air and then fall down to the ground. There are also rules to our biology, to our bodies, to our organisms, and how we function in and out of what we call the Autonomic Stress Response or "the stress response." The awareness of those rules can help you and I to know how to help each other feel better faster.



    [00:01:13] Let's name a few observations that could be made about these rules. One of them is that when we feel safe enough we have control over our behavior. If you and I are walking in the park and we're looking at the flowers and talking about the world around us it's all good, you know what I mean. Like we can choose which path to take. We can ramble on about this or that subject. It's all ourselves. On the other hand if we're out on this walk and there's a loud sound at the other end of the park, we're going to stop our conversation instantaneously and we're going to turn and look in the direction of that sound. Now there's a very basic reason that we do this and that is that if that sound happens to be dangerous to us we need to respond to it.



    [00:02:01] We need to know that it's dangerous otherwise we might get eaten. And so there is a process through which the nervous system is constantly assessing what's in the environment, what's going on inside of us, and putting those things together to tell us "do we feel safe enough." And if so, the nervous system gives us freedom of our behavior and also a pretty decent feeling inside of our bodies.







    [00:02:25] However, if that assessment says you're in danger, like "you're falling." Say, you just hit the corner of the sidewalk and now you're tripping or you just dropped a heavy boulder on out of your hands and you're jumping out of the way now or this sound is happening at the end of the park and you're involuntarily turning your head in order to look at it and to make sure that that is not dangerous to you – all of these things are elements of the stress response coming up and taking over our behavior. Now it's good that it does that right? If you drop that Boulder you want to be jumping out of the way before you have the thought "I dropped a boulder. I'm going to crush my foot." You want your nervous system to be involuntarily tracking whether or not you're safe or not. And when it notices or gets the perception that we're in danger it's going to then start to inform and influence what else we do. That's a good thing.



    [00:03:29] The more danger we're in. The more the nervous system is going to control our behavior or the more involuntary our behavior will become.



    [00:03:39] Now when the stress response gets elicited when we perceive that we're in danger it kind of runs through a stereotypical process. It's not unlike gravity. It has a pattern of going up and then anticipates coming back down again. The idea of coming back down again is that we're not in danger anymore so that we don't need to maintain the stress response,

    • 20 min
    03 – StressLess Basic Options

    03 – StressLess Basic Options

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    • 20 min
    04 – Preparing and Restoring Orientation to Decrease the Stress Response

    04 – Preparing and Restoring Orientation to Decrease the Stress Response

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    • 7 min
    05 – Parenting and these Stressful Times

    05 – Parenting and these Stressful Times

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    • 7 min
    06 – Safe Places to Find Some Rest

    06 – Safe Places to Find Some Rest

    *Supporting Text Coming As Soon As Possible*

    • 6 min

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