When fear and anxiety don’t go away
Fear and anxiety can be immobilizing.I have no doubt that you remember times in your life when you struggled with fear.
In fact, I believe that every human being experiences fear, stress, and anxiety at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, for many, it’s a fairly regular occurrence.
There are many different “fears”. We may feel fear when we are in a dark alley and notice a fleeting shadow. Sometimes we are afraid of what may or may not happen to us or our loved ones in the near or far future. Sometimes we are simply afraid of the unknown; the thought of losing our job, being overwhelmed with a difficult boss, or receiving a scary diagnosis.
Other times we are afraid to step on the stage and speak in front of a crowd because of what others may think of us or believing we are not good enough. And then, there are times when we feel tense and we don’t even know why.
If it’s not yourself, you may likely know someone in your life who is battling recurring fears, stress and anxiety. And by stress I am referring to the tension and constriction we feel in our body - most often neck, shoulders, back, etc. Given our fast paced lives, exposure to technology, overload of information, and intellect-worshiping culture, these challenges are so common today.
Are you familiar with your stress physiology?
It’s essential for our healing, thriving, and success in life that we understand our stress physiology from as young an age as possible. Sadly, I often see this in clients who are 40+ and have not learnt how to understand their body, they struggle to interrupt the signals their bodies are sending. And the consequences are often challenging; low resiliency, strained relationships, and a myriad of health imbalances.
What about unresolved trauma?
During my journey and supporting other people’s transformational journeys, I noticed that fear and anxiety tend to be underestimated. Not only that, they are often approached through rationalization. It is quite possible that challenging emotions and physical tension in our bodies relate to unresolved trauma. And by trauma I mean our body’s response to an occurrence but the response didn't come to a completion. As a result, our body was not able to return to its natural state of flow.
It is widely accepted today that unresolved trauma is a major contributor to the vast majority of illnesses in our society - some examples include migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, PMS, irritable bowel syndrome, and various gastrointestinal imbalances among others.
Unresolved stress response can keep people stuck in their life and lead to many relationship challenges (including getting into or staying in wrong relationships).
Please keep in mind that trauma doesn’t necessarily result only from major acts of violence, abuse or accidents as it is often perceived. It can start as early as at our birth and in our childhood. It may be the result of seemingly benign events such as medical procedures or surgeries; especially when preceded by intense fear, or by watching a caregiver angry or depressed, or being regularly shamed as a child.
When we heal, we allow others to heal and thrive.
The bottom line is that our body can retain the energy generated as a response to a stressful event, and if it stays unresolved/undischarged, our muscles and tissues will keep messaging our brain. Our mind in turn may interpret that we are in danger and hence the likelihood that we will experience fear even if we are in a physically safe place.
According to Dr. Peter Levine, the paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect. I so wish that more people would realize the incredible potential they have within them!
I am inviting you to take baby steps toward connecting to your body and with that to your stress physiology. This can be life changing - for your personal life and for your business! Ultimately, it's the health of our relationships at work and home that help us work toward success in life.