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HAVE DIFFICULTY RELAXING/RESTING? Read why this might be & what to do about it.

When we are in the state of survival, we often do not realize it. It seems to us that we just like to do a lot and being still seems boring or challenging. There is always something important to do and subconsciously we can take on more and more tasks and obligations due to that state & unconscious patterns.

It becomes compulsive, the action itself gives us satisfaction, and then we chase after the next thing without any regard to our body and resources (coffee doesn’t count). We fall into a trap where we think that if I achieve that next thing, I will be satisfied. Yet if we don’t take pleasure from the process itself we might soon feel like a hamster on a hamster wheel, spinning round & round. Being stuck in this state, depleets our resources & we give no chance to our body to recover. Exhaustion of the body, on the other hand, leads us to chronic fatigue and exhaustion, and at the same time a constant feeling of lack of time and pressure, so we are unable to relax and rest even when we try.

This is what happens when our nervous system "get's stuck" in a state of survival and is unable to get out of it. This creates a vicious circle, because the stimulated sympathetic system also simultaneously sends information to the head about the need to mobilize, and when we try to rest, instead there is a cloud of endless intrusive thoughts that absorbs our attention. The more we fall into this pattern, the harder it gets to exit it. The more we continue on this path, the stronger the patterns becomes & even effects our traits & personality.

The more we identify with thoughts and accept them as revealed truth, the more it begins to intensify the feeling of mobilization at the body level and we can then feel such feelings as anxiety, fear, worry, irritation, etc. And create a story in which we believe that when we will fix all things, we will finally feel good. And so the negative spiral winds up. This state also manifests itself in shallow and restricted breathing and tense body muscles. Additionally, we may begin to experience problems with focus, memory & creativity. The antidote to this state, despite the discomfort, is slowing down, becoming mindful & grounding. There is a part of us that is able to observe out thoughts & feelings without identifying with them and it is this “observer part” that we want to turn to by noticing where I am and what is currently happening in the now. I call it the STOP- rule. This is when you fully bring your awareness to the now & what often helps is to anchor your focus on the breath. Deepening it & extending the exhale. For people who are blocked in a state of survival, even 10 minutes of meditation may not work and even cause a high level of irritation and unbearable discomfort. Therefore, there is no point in torturing yourself with meditation, but instead, using the STOP- rule several times a day as soon as you are reminded of it. These moments of stopping and fully focusing on the present moment or on self-observation, turning your attention to your body and a few deep breaths can change a lot with time. What additionally can help is to tense up all muscles, keeping it for a few seconds & release all muscles with an "aaargghhh" (sigh). Tapping yourself on the chest is another technique that can help to bring us back to the present moment & relax a little bit more. We may also ask ourselves these questions: How am I feeling right now? What do I need / what does my body need?

Maybe there is a physilogical need that is not met or maybe your body will want to stretch out and that will help you come back into the present moment.

If we want to go deeper although – to the root of this pattern, it is worth asking ourselves the questions; What caused my compulsive action? Where does it come from? Where did it all start? There are 2 general answers; negative or positive condition. That is, the need to survive (avoiding punishment or negative consequences) or gaining approval through desired vs. undesired behaviours.

But to heal you need to uncover your personal experiences that have shaped it (childhood experiences) + release the emotional baggage that is connected to it (shaking, punching, screaming, crying). This helps to unblock the energy that was previously blocked due to the stuck emotional pain in bodytissue through cellular memory. As we release emotions it helps us to loosen up and relax more deeply on a mind-body level that leads to greater nervous system regulation as a result. If you have not done it before and feel that you do not know how, it is worth reaching for the support of a person who will guide you and keep a safe space for your emotional release/trauma release.

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