Stress and Trauma
Where does this come from?
The following sources of trauma are common reasons:
- Where the behaviour of others wasn't loving / caring / nurturing
- Core needs weren't met or person was neglected in childhood. A seemingly innocuous event such as a sibling being favoured over oneself on a single occasion can create a trauma.
- The person felt or feels unable or was / is not allowed to express his / her true self
- They felt unsafe and powerless in a childhood situation
- Learned fear from those around them - parents or a media news story for instance
- Family 'rule books' and cultural value systems which suppress our true self leads to chronic stress
- A trauma in adulthood involving an accident, violence or challenging life event
What happens when we are fearful?
When a perceived threat to the wellbeing is experienced then the body starts to tense in readiness for a physical response such as fight or flight. The adrenals produce adrenalin and cortisol which will suppress certain physiological activities in order to free up resources for the chosen response. The blood flow to some organs will be reduced and immune system function is temporarily restricted. Blood sugar and fat levels are raised in order to meet the need for sudden action.
The reality is that any stressful experience creates a stress response in the body - being late for an appointment, comparing oneself negatively to others, having an argument with a family member or work colleague and so on. If a physical response of fight or flight isn't enacted then the biochemical changes in the body just sit in the tissues and actually cause harm. The more frequent the experiences the more frequently the body is placed under stress and organ and immune system function are restricted and this threatens essential physiological processes. In the long term this makes for a vulnerability to illness.
The body tissue pH is maintained at pH 7.4 which is slightly alkaline. Stress creates acidity in the body and this has to be dealt with claiming more resources from the body. Acidity is dehydrating taking water from and competing with the water requirement of essential physiological processes also. Calcium is leached from the skeletal system to help excrete the acidity. Calcium excretion leads to kidney stones.
Along with the physical stress there are all the related negative outcomes, self-judgement and continual acting out of negative beliefs. Thought arises from belief. Each experience and response create an energy imprint and the greater number of imprints the greater the resonance in the body perpetuating the learned responses. Again EFT and matrix reimprinting can help release trauma and learned negative responses and restore a positive imprint of everyday situations.
According to Dr Bruce Lipton the cause of all disease is trauma, toxins and thought.
Symptoms of chronic stress are:
- Physical tension - headaches, grinding of teeth, back pain, general muscle pain
- Sleep disturbance and insomnia
- Emotional disturbance - mood swings, depression, chronic anxiety, phobias
- Relationship problems especially where old patterns from childhood are running
- Other behavioural problems in the world - confidence issues, self-sabotage
- Adaptive responses to stress - avoidance of situations or people, increased anxiety develops into panic response
- Self-medication with drugs and alcohol or other addictions
- Increased illness such as colds and flu
- Skin problems
- Disease in the digestive tract - Impaired digestion and absorption, Crohns, irritable bowel syndrome, candida
- Thyroid dysfunction and autoimmune system problems
- Circulatory system problems such as raised blood pressure, heart attack
- Impaired functioning of all body processes
Coping and dealing with stress
Some ways to cope with an anxiety response in the short term
Use one or more of the following for an emergency:
- Focus on breath and deepening and slowing breathing: hand on heart and count to six on inhale and for inhale. Yoga full breath involves breathing consciously into the diaphragm - when stressed we breath shallowly and just into the upper chest.
- If you do yoga, meditation mindfulness or some other daily relaxation then visualise and connect with yourself doing your routine - and the relaxed feelings your body memory has for it.
- Tap the side of the hand and say to yourself, "Even though I feel anxious or your own word I deeply and completely love myself."
- Affirm to yourself, "I am safe. The world is a safe and nurturing place for me."
- Have a bottle of water handy and sip from it
- Distract yourself by focusing on something else such as a magazine
- Keep a small bottle of essential oil such as lavender, geranium or camomile or in your bag / pocket. A sniff of any strong scent should distract your senses though and interrupt the stress response
- Healing Codes Prayer (The Healing Code by Alexander Lloyd and Ben Johnson) or What is a healing code
- Learn centring and grounding (Refer to 'Channelling for Everyone' by Tony Neate.
In the longer term and in no particular order:
- Start a journal. Tell your journal how you feel and what's happening.
- Give yourself permission to list and meet your own needs. They may not have been met in earlier times but you are an adult now and can do so for yourself now.
- Stop saying yes to everyone. Set boundaries and put yourself first. Others will cope.
- Relax and be. Stop "doing."
- Do a daily centring, grounding and sieving of your aura. (Refer to 'Channelling for Everyone' by Tony Neate).
- Do a regular mindfulness, body calm, meditation and/or yoga class with a daily 10-20 minutes of the same at home.
- Get support from family, friends and work colleagues. If they know your reduced limitations they will usually help and work with you to alleviate the problems.
- Get support: from a professional to address the reasons for your stress and create a healing strategy in the long term with set goals.
- Reduce stress by looking at options for change in your life and lifestyle. Get rid of the stress you can control - e.g. change your job or be signed off sick by your GP if you can.
- Get support: ask a friend to help you with a stressful situation, journey or task. If you reduce the ongoing stress then you won't be adding to your stress burden so much.
- Research and prepare for your stress or challenge - could you take the train instead of driving? Pull together the information you need - maps, resources, plan for the glitches.
If we feel powerless in a situation we go into a freeze response and hold the impending perceived trauma response in the body until we can deal with it. This can lead to dissociative disorder. A trauma may be retained as a conscious memory in the mind. However to the unconscious mind and heart they are current events that hold a part of the person frozen in time - perpetually experiencing the trauma at the point just before feeling overwhelmed. As long as the trauma is unresolved similar events can trigger similar responses. Emotional freedom technique and matrix reimprinting can release the trauma and rewrite the feelings around the event.
Mind, the mental health charity says, "Dissociation is a normal defence mechanism that helps us cope during trauma. But it can become a dissociative disorder if your environment is no longer traumatic but you still act as if it is."
Dissociation is an automatic protective mechanism that holds the feelings around the trauma at bay until you have the opportunity to process the traumatic experience. It is a healthy response of the healthy psyche. Another term is post-traumatic stress disorder. Dissociative disorder can be at the heart of many personality disorders.
Problems such as personality disorders in adulthood tend to stem from neglectful, disordered or actively abusive parenting in a person's childhood. Personality disorders can arise from a number of causes including:
- The core needs of the individual were not met in childhood
- Abuse in childhood
- Traumatic events in childhood and adulthood
"Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life. Your experience of personality disorder is unique to you. However, you may often experience difficulties in how you think about yourself and others. You may find it difficult to change these unwanted patterns."
We at Innerlife have a number of tools that can address the causes of trauma and the disorders that result. A trauma may be retained as a conscious memory in the mind. However to the unconscious mind and heart they are current events that hold a part of the person frozen in time - perpetually experiencing the trauma at the point just before feeling overwhelmed. As long as the trauma is unresolved similar events can trigger similar responses and consequent avoidance behaviours.
What Dr. Nadine Burke Harris - Pediatrician has to say about childhood trauma isn't something you just get over as you grow up. She explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who've experienced high levels of trauma in childhood are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. They carry this trauma into adulthood and it continues to effect and undermine them for the rest of their lives if they don't face and clear it. Come on one of our retreats and start clearing yourself and healing the past.
We can help you release trauma and learned negative responses and restore a positive outlook on everyday situations. We can enable healing of past trauma so that it ceases to interfere with the experience of life in the present. The individual no longer feels the need to engage in troublesome behaviours to avoid situations and/or addictions to avoid feelings.
A child can form many negative beliefs about themselves from a challenging childhood. Part of the healing comes about by the realisation for the adult that the abusive behaviour of others was never the fault of the child involved. Those that neglect or abuse a child are very often a person who has experienced abuse as a child themselves. The ability to forgive the person and let go of the memories is a part of the healing process.
You may also find contacting an appropriate mental health helpline to be helpful. Please see the following page on Cassiobury Court website for a list of UK based free Mental Health Helplines