Somatic practices might hold the key to your healing journey, a path less traveled but brimming with potential. Emotions, anxiety, trauma and chronic stress can find their home within our bodies. To navigate these intricate territories, we need a fresh perspective, one rooted in curiosity rather than fear.
"When you approach your body with curiosity instead of fear, everything shifts," as wisely noted by psychiatrist Bessel Vander Kolk.
Shall we check if you relate to any of these scenarios:
1. Overwhelmed and anxious, always on the move - a manifestation of the flight response.
2. Stuck and indecisive, perhaps even spacey - a classic sign of the freeze response.
3. On edge, quick to anger, with tension in your chest and shoulders - indicative of the fight response.
4. Rollercoaster emotions, alternating between stress and lethargy - a swinging pendulum between threat states.
Your nervous system communicates without words, making it essential to understand its language. Many of us have read countless books and attended therapy sessions, yet something feels amiss. The truth is, your nervous system speaks through emotions and the body. It's time we listen.
If you've endured chronic stress, trauma, or a challenging phase in life, your nervous system may have instinctively switched to survival mode. Sometimes, we unknowingly become ensnared in these states. Our bodies instinctively employ the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn responses even in everyday stressors. Emotions and trauma can become trapped within the body, necessitating the rewiring of our nervous systems for safety.
What can you do to regain your sense of safety and calm for each threat response?
A. For the flight response (anxiety or panic), shake your body to discharge adrenaline and cortisol. Follow with child's pose, calming your mind.
B. If it's the fight response (anger), grab a pillow and throw it as hard as you can against the floor few times. Next, find a wall space and push into it with all your might. Then come to a seat and take 10 deep breaths into your belly.
C. To address the freeze response (sadness or lack of motivation), lightly squeeze each arm starting at the wrist and working up to the shoulder. Then try up legs up the wall pose for five minutes or walk slowly around your space touching everything you can find with different textures.
D. For the fawn response (people-pleasing), stand confidently, envision a protective boundary and observe the space around you.
These are just few suggestions, different things work for different people.
Pay attention and intervene when you sense dysregulation.
Understand your body's language by observing somatic sensations and emotions.
Emotions are not good or bad, but valuable messengers guiding your attention.
Instead of judgment or resistance, get curious about their messages.
Somatic symptoms such as inflammation, sleep troubles, aches/pains, neck or shoulder tension, headaches and digestive issues can be signs of a dysregulated nervous system.
We can harness the body's wisdom to heal, process suppressed emotions and forge new ways of engaging with the world.
You deserve a life where you feel safe, present and connected to your body.
It's okay if you've ignored or resisted your emotions and somatic experiences in the past; many of us have. It is time to embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing and transformation.
If you are struggling and are finding it difficult to put any of these suggestions into practice, allow me to help you.Work with me.
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