When one’s body has been locked in fight or flight due to traumas that occurred earlier in one’s life, it can be nearly impossible to slow down, relax and enjoy life. Adrenaline, fear, cortisol flow through the body keeping it revved up, primed to react in a split second and to not cool down, rest or BE. It is like a race car with engine roaring, just waiting for the driver to put it in gear and let it loose.
In this hyped up state, even when you are doing nothing, you are still burning up nervous, restless energy, the body is not resting, its reserves are slowly being depleted. In time exhaustion comes, depletion of your energy reserves and then loss of joy, sadness and depression, as a result of feeling so flat, so unable to motivate yourself into action. The gas tank is empty, nowhere to go. This is part of the issue behind chronic fatigue. The body eventually is so depleted it is hard to do anything.
It is therefore important to take action before this stage to nurture and nourish your body, to help it come out of fight or flight and replenish itself. You can do this through a wide range of methods. Massage and touch, gentle touch, can help the body relax. Various body work modalities, reiki, bowen, acupuncture, etc, can help release the tension and teach the muscles it is okay to relax. You can do emotional release work to shift the tension locked in the muscles and to feel the traumas into completion. It is safe to do so.
You can retrain your mind so it no longer feels in danger all the time or needing to be on high alert. Meditation can help calm your mind, enable you to witness your thoughts, and practice not reacting to them, just letting them pass by. Psych-K, NLP, Lifeline Technique and others can reprogram the subconscious mind so that the beliefs operating in your body are supportive, life affirming ones about safety, love, peace and happiness. This needs to be done, otherwise you are telling yourself with your conscious mind “Relax, it’s okay, it’s safe, there’s plenty of time, those tasks can wait” when there is an alarm going off inside saying “No, I must do it now, I have to keep going, my life depends on it”.
The subconscious programming is much more powerful than the conscious minds. The subconscious beliefs will win all the time. Your whole life experience has programmed it, so it is strong in its beliefs and it is more powerful in its capacity than the conscious mind. The subconscious mind makes sure all our bodily functions are working – we are breathing, digesting, eliminating waste, etc. It does all of this without our awareness. It also filters what we see, there is so much data when we look at a scene, that the brain filters it based on our conditioning to only see that which is most important to us for our survival.
If our programming is about danger then that is the filter used to assess what we see. If our filter was love then we would see a whole different scene, we would notice the beauty, peace and harmony occurring in nature and between people. If our filter is danger, abuse, threat then we see any potential sources of danger, we notice the person lurking in the shadows, the look of agitation on a passer by, we see the man reading the newspaper in the park and decide to walk two steps further away just in case he is a threat. Our world is hostile, because of the thinking behind our actions is that way.
Now I know if you have suffered abuse, trauma, cruelty in life then it makes sense that you would be cautious and concerned about avoiding it in future, that is healthy. What is not healthy is when you have no choice, no ability to relax, because your body is so tense, so wired up, so angry or fearful that it has no ability to be calm, peaceful or happy. When the subconscious programming is this strong it is a threat to your health and your enjoyment of life and action needs to be taken to get relief, to be able to rest and enjoy life, to know you are safe and the world is a loving place.
This freedom from the past and its triggers is possible. You just have to do the work to reprogram the subconscious mind and clear the body of the trauma, stress and residue of past experiences.
Just as the subconscious mind operates below our awareness affecting our behaviour, so does our nervous system. When our bodies are locked full of fear, trauma and stress from earlier events, we can become locked in a hypervigilant state. We expect more abuse, pain, danager because we feel unsafe in our body. We feel as if there is a threat around the corner.
If you do the work to relax your nervous system your body calms, it comes out of fight, flight, freeze and starts to relax, to calm, to breathe deeper and to see more goodness around you.
The body is sending signals to the brain advising whether it is safe or not. When you use processes like Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) it helps the body to relax, the nervous system to calm, and then your defence mechanisms melt as you feel safer and no longer need to be defensive, ready to fight, flee or freeze to protect yourself. You no longer need to dissociate to avoid the pain, so you can be more present and grounded in your body.
TRE is one of the most effective methods I have found to empower individuals with their own healing journeys. It is a simple process that activates the body’s own tremoring mechanism that uses up the stress chemicals – cortisol, adrenaline – and enables the tension and stress to be released. Once you learn how to do it TRE can be done at home whenever you want to as a part of your self-care processes to soothe your body, calm your mind and relax your nerves. It’s a powerful process and can be learned during an individual appointment online or in person appointment.
A relaxed, peaceful state is actually our normal state, it is just in this modern, busy world, most of us are rushing around all day, doing, doing, doing. We take very little time to be still, to rest, to rejuvenate. If we do stop for a short time we will be thinking about what else needs to be done or how something already done could have been done better. Our focus is on the past or the future, rarely on the present moment.
If we focus on the present moment we relax, we notice the details around us, the feel of the cool breeze and sunshine on our skin, the movement of grass and clouds, the rustling sounds of leaves moving in the trees, the gentle flight of the butterflies fluttering past. When we slow down and become still it is natural for the body to relax, for the blood flow to move away from the extremities and to go to the organs and elimination systems and purify us more fully, to ensure all our vital systems are working as they should.
When we are rushing all the time or stressed, our body is focused on the doing more than the internal processing – some of the attention is missing and therefore our bodily processes don’t function as well and dis-ease can result. Our bodies weren’t designed to be over stimulated constantly or always doing.
There was meant to be moments of stress and action, then returning to the natural, resting state for the majority of the day. We don’t have that. Most of us are functioning as if we are in danger all the time and the stress that results has a negative impact on the body. There is a lot we can do to reduce this and reverse the damage – good diet, exercise, plenty of sleep, water, vitamins – it all helps, as does the work to clear out trauma and stress from the body, reduce mental chatter through meditation and thought stopping, reprogramming the subconscious beliefs so you accept it is safe and okay to rest and that the world is a safe and loving place for you. There is much we can do if we choose to prioritise our health and we want to relax, have inner peace and joy in our life. What will you choose? It is entirely up to you. Blessed BE, Amen.