Trauma and the Nervous System
When you have experienced a trauma, your nervous system changes.
A healthy nervous system regulates our experience. Our body can gear up for activity and gear down for rest and relaxation. And we can easily switch from being geared up to gearing down. In a healthy, balanced nervous system, we experience a sense of inner calm, clarity, compassion and confidence.
When we experience a trauma, our nervous system gears up to protect us. It prepares us to either fight the threat or to run to safety. Until the body can express and release these energies the nervous system stays in fight or flight mode. You become locked in to a hyper state of awareness. If your sympathetic nervous system is engaged, you will feel anxious, angry or both. Panic attacks are a result of the sympathetic nervous system being activated.
If the threat is ongoing or so strong that you become overwhelmed, the body puts you into a state of freeze. You are immobilized. You shut down. You are locked into a hypo arousal state. You become locked up and fearful of everything with an inability to respond or react. If your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged you will feel lethargic, exhausted, no energy, overwhelmed, dead, sleepy, disengaged, spacy, ungrounded.
Many who survive a trauma may move back and forth between the hyper arousal state and the hypo arousal state. And may or may not have the ability to access or stay in the “normal” state which can move between gearing up and gearing down as the situation required.
The trauma could be an accident or traumatic experience as an adult. Or abuse, neglect, loss or co-dependency as a child. It can be a seemingly harmless negative life experience at any age. What determines whether it is a trauma is how it impacts us. Given what we as a planet have gone through in the past three year, many many people have been traumatized. And that builds upon what trauma existed prior to that. Not a pretty picture.
From what I am learning is that fibromyalgia, is one of the illnesses that studies connect with trauma. This validates my experience in working with fibromyalgia. Trauma is almost always involved.
How to release trauma?
This is the million dollar question.
The trauma is created when the body is unable to release the physical energies that were engaged when the trauma happened. If your body geared up to run or fight and it doesn’t get to release those energies, then the energies stay trapped in the body. Or if your body was in a freeze state, those energies stay trapped until they can move out of the body.
In future emails, I’ll be sharing simple tips to help release these energies from the body.
I’ll also be including what I am learning in my upcoming programs in a more in depth way. Being in a community of people with the same focus can be very helpful in healing trauma.
- Connect to Your Calm Inner Presence
- An Introduction to the Integrative Wholeness Experience
I have a few pieces to put in to place before I can launch. But stay tuned. Coming soon.
Tip number one
We want to start by calming the nervous system. Begin by watching your breath. Then make the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation. So, you might inhale for 2 counts and exhale for 4 counts. That is it. This is said to help the nervous system move towards balance.
Give this a try this week and let me know how it works. You can reply to this email or message me in Facebook.
May you heal, 💗Bindu