So often we miss a very important picture in the narrative of traumatic events. That picture is contained within the bodies of those who are traumatized. What the mind forgets for safety, the body remembers always. So what happens to the body when it experiences trauma and how do we begin our healing of it? Let's dig into it and find out.
I used to listen to a Deepak Chopra album with David G. and one of the things that stuck with me, even before I began my journey of healing was him saying, "The body never lies." I can hear it now as I write this post and it is more true in my life than it ever has been. Our body collects information from the environment. Sensory inputs from our environment give us cues as to what is going on in our world. For example, when we smell a fresh baked loaf of bread we know that someone is cooking up something tasty. Our stomach may growl in anticipation of our former experiences of eating our grandmother's homemade bread. Our body is signaling that we are hungry even though it may not be our lunchtime. Another example would be if we see someone on the street that is similar in build and hair color to someone we know very well. We could walk up behind the person and try to scare them only to realize when they turn around that this is not our best friend but a complete stranger! How embarrassing right? We got several clues that this was in fact our friend but the truth is that it is not. Did our body deceive us or were we going off sensory input that was familiar to our brain? Did you notice the split second gut feeling that maybe that's not my friend? If you would've listened to your body then perhaps you wouldn't have embarrassed yourself.
The most glaring way that we can see trauma effecting our bodies is in chronic pain caused by inflammation. When we are in constant fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode we are being bathed in cortisol and other stress hormones. They don't just dissipate and this takes a heavy toll on our bodies. We can develop autoimmune disorders and symptoms that a lot of medical professionals will not be able to find a cause for. I submit that they can't find a cause because they are not taking trauma into account. Our emotions live in our bodies and our feelings live in our heads. Don't believe me? Have you ever had a gut feeling about someone or something and it turned out to be true? Has your body ever felt creeped out by something? Have you had your heart race when in love as well as when in danger? Your feelings may then rush in to tell you what you think about being in love with someone you just met two weeks ago. Feelings and emotions are heavily connected and I encourage you to explore each of these in depth to better understand yourself.
I will tell you a story of how whenever a person experiences anxiety they have an upset stomach and when they feel unsupported emotionally they have back pain in a very particular area. It never fails that when they look at and process the emotions of where they feel unsupported in their life, the pain stops and they sleep better at night. So what am I saying? Look to your body to provide answers when your mind is confused. If you feel uncomfortable around someone but everyone around you is telling you that you are being ridiculous, always listen to what your emotions are telling you. Are you tense and anxious? Do you feel something coming off of them that you can't explain? Do NOT ignore it, adjust yourself accordingly. This does not mean that you have to go around calling people out. You only have control over your reactions to things so take time to evaluate how you want to react to a person. Simply setting a boundary of I'm not going to interact with them may be enough. The whole point is to check in with yourself.
So then here's a list of how you can begin checking in with yourself and your body to find the truth of how you truly feel.
Start by getting into a calm and grounded state. You choose what works best for you but if you don't know how to do that, deep breathing in a quiet, safe space is a good place to start.
Do a simple body scan starting at your feet and moving up.
Notice where you feel tense, anxious, overwhelmed, rigid, or have pain. I tell you to do this because we typically notice what's not so good first.
Choose an area to focus on and take a few slow, deep breaths.
Ask the area what it has to tell you. I know this can sound airy fairy but trust me when I tell you that your body has messages for you. It may come in the form of a thought, belief, feeling, or something else but it will tell you. Don't get so caught up if you hear/have insight the first time you do this. It is a practice, just like everything I teach you.
Look into, research what that part of your body represents emotionally. A wonderful book on this is Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life book which is in my bookstore.
Ask yourself, how can I incorporate what I'm learning into how I live my life so that I can release this pain?
Give yourself gratitude for trying this out and being consistent.
That's all for this post folks. If you would like a more personal experience with a guide who can help you through this process please book your free Clarity Call today! Thanks for reading!