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  • Alyssa Abrahamson

​Name It to Tame It, Feel It to Heal It

There’s a concept in psychology called “Name It to Tame It.”

Coined by Dr. Dan Siegal Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, “name it to tame it” is a science-backed mindfulness technique involving noticing and labeling emotions as they are happening.

You can use it to calm spiraling thoughts and intense emotions.

Identifying an intense emotion by “naming” it has the effect of reducing, or “taming” the stress and anxiety in the brain and body that the emotion is causing.

By putting feelings into words and naming what you are feeling, the intensity of the feeling is reduced. As a result, you feel less overwhelmed and there is less stress on the body.

How do you name it to tame it?

The Australian Centre of Clinical Interventions offers this self-help resource:

1. Recognize & Allow Your Emotion

Pause and say, I’m feeling… (angry/sad/scared).

Tell yourself, It is OK, I can allow myself to have this feeling…I can make space for it…I don’t have to be afraid of it or try to get rid of it.

2. Watch Your Emotion

Gently instruct yourself to watch the feeling and see what it does, without getting caught up in it.

Breathe and ask yourself, Where do I notice the emotion in my body?

Remind yourself, I am not my emotions, I am the watcher of my emotions.

3. Be Present

I will turn my attention towards my breath…the breath being my anchor to the present moment…noticing each in breath and each out breath.

4. Deal with Emotional Comebacks

Reassure yourself, I feel the emotion returning…that’s OK, that’s what emotions do. I will just go back to watching it again…and breathe…

As you practice using this technique it will become easier for you to recognize what’s happening in your body, resulting in a signal to your brain that it’s okay to calm down and relax.

Learning to regulate overwhelming emotions takes time, especially if your nervous system has become dysregulated through chronic stress, anxiety, or trauma.

Being able to feel your feelings helps make you stronger and more resilient and then it is easier to let go.

Love, Your Wellness Coach,


P.S. I know how intimidating it can be to take a real look at your diet and lifestyle and to address your health issues. I also know how overwhelming and confusing it can be. You’re not alone. ​Book a call with me​ and let me show you the way.

P.P.S. For more, listen to this week’s podcast episode 141, “Name It to Tame It, Feel It to Heal It.”

September 6, 2023


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