If you follow trauma specialists like Bessel Van der Kolk or Peter Levine, you’re probably aware of how trauma and stress is stored in the body and how they can manifest in our daily lives.
Although they are generally not dangerous, it can be debilitating and scary.
Stress and trauma can manifest as:
- Chronic Nightmares
- Increased anxiety and a constant need to fight or flight
- Panic Attacks
- Using unhealthy coping mechanisms such as isolation, aggression, self-harm, or alcohol and/or other substance abuse
- Sleeping problems that persist
- Avoidance behaviour that worsens with time
- Inability to communicate with others
- Constantly irritable or agitated
- Difficulties completing tasks at home or at work
There are numerous other symptoms, but these are the most common.
If you ever feel sensations in your body you want to release, yoga, meditation and deep breathing are the proven to be most effective.
But if you want to try other techniques, here are some methods you can try to relieve stress and promote healing.
1. Bilateral Tapping to Integrate Nervous System Safety and Stimulation
- Close your eyes and take a comfortable seat.
- Visualize a positive environment in which you feel safe and secure.
- Tap your right leg with your right hand when you’re relaxed.
- Then, with your left hand, tap your left leg.
- Alter between 6 to 12 taps on each leg.
- Do it for as long as it feels positive.
You can also cross your arms and tap each shoulder alternately.
Check-in with yourself after you’ve finished tapping. What are your thoughts? Is it still pleasant and upbeat?
The goal of this exercise is to combine your sense of positivity and calm with bilateral stimulation in order to fully integrate it into your nervous system.
2. Fight Response from your Hands or Arms
As a fight response, energy or tension can build up on your hands or arms. This sensation can make some people nervous because it is a stress response over which they have no control.
Here are some exercises to help you relax your hands and arms.
- Take out your pillow.
- Make a fist with your right hand and then release it.
- Make a fist with your left hand and then release it.
- Repeat several times.
- Imagine yourself as a drummer and lightly beat your hands onto your pillow.
- Change the beat and speed to your liking.
- Do this for as long as you feel positive and a sense of release.
3. Initiate a Flight Response in your Legs
If your stress response is flight, you will most likely feel restless in your legs and anxious about being in your own space.
You can try this instead if you are safe but unable to go for a brisk walk.
- Put on some upbeat music that you enjoy.
- Take a few deep breaths and assure yourself that you are safe.
- Then, on the spot, lightly jog.
- You can also swing your arms to expend body energy.
- Then run for 30 seconds on the spot.
- Repeat as long as it feels positive and you feel a sense of relief.
We hope the exercises are helpful for you, and you find them easy to use. If they served a purpose, please let us know.We would love to have you onboard in our healing journey.