We now know that the only way to change embedded, painful memories is to access the “emotional brain.” While talking continue to play a crucial role in therapy, it keeps us in our rational mind. To create lasting change at the deepest level, we must access the limbic system.
When our daily life is inundated with run-of-the-mill stress, little things can ignite us. A small burn while cooking dinner can become a stick of emotional dynamite. This in turn, can spark flare-ups of chronic pain, autoimmune or digestive disorders. During times of stress, it’s critical we find a balance of work and play.
While it’s hard to fathom pain, despair and trauma as blessings, there are gifts to be gleaned from having experienced them. For instance, some of the early lessons of the pandemic were an appreciation for a slower pace of life and spending more time in nature.
We cannot experience the full flavor of our embodied life without dipping into the depths of anger, sorrow, joy, fear, contentment, and all the other subtle and complex ranges of emotions that lie on the spectrum of life.
Stress is your body’s reaction to a trigger. It’s generally a short-term experience that can be either positive or negative. It can be positive, such as when you pull off a deadline. But when stress results in insomnia, poor concentration, and impaired ability, it’s negatively impacting your quality of life.
It’s common for trauma to get caught in body memories. This occurs unconsciously and is what makes survivors jumpy, dysregulated, or numbed out in ways they can’t explain. Mindfulness-based, embodied therapy involves tracking body memories as they reemerge in treatment.
The more I practice, the more I realize yoga is quite possible the best therapy there is. Why? Because yoga works at both the subtle and the gross level, allowing the body and mind to soften. Additionally, yoga quiets the daily chatter of the mind.
The place where the conscious and unconscious meet has no definable boundaries. Needless to say, we humans do not like uncertainty. So we suppress it and override it. But it doesn’t go away because it’s out of sight. This “energy” shows up as troubling behaviors and self-proscribed “treatment plans.”
Being open to who we are, exactly as we are in this moment, requires a stance of gentleness toward ourselves. This is what it means to befriend the self. We treat ourselves with the same sweetness we would a friend.