Constantly increased levels of tension and alertness are a sign that we perceive the world through our stress brain: through the lenses of fight, flight, or freeze. Without consciously realizing it, we live in a chronic state of fear, uncertainty, and being under threat. As you can imagine, this is extremely exhausting for your body and nervous system and can lead to many health problems such as insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, back pain, respiratory disorders, stiff, acidified, painful muscles, and joints, feeling chronically tired, having no energy to finish or undertake anything, difficulty relaxing, being easily overwhelmed, to name but a few.
For years I walked around feeling chronically tired, depressed, and empty inside. I also had little emotional resilience and no longer knew who I was or what I really wanted. Until I dived deeper into these feelings during my training as an energy therapist. I discovered that underneath them lay a pattern from my childhood. A pattern of always being hyper-vigilant and on my guard. Subconsciously I was still looking for signs that I might be rejected and hurt again. This is called “Rejection Sensitivity”. It can happen, for example, if you were bullied a lot in your childhood or did not get the emotional attention and protection you needed when you were little.
I was a sensitive girl and easily picked up on other people’s emotions. Emotions also often felt intense. I was just not yet able to feel what was mine or someone else’s. My environment came in deeply and I had no way of knowing. My surroundings came in deeply and I often needed time to digest all those stimuli.
And so contact with other people could confuse me and make me extremely overstimulated. On top of that, I was bullied for years because of my sensitivity and ‘blushing’. I thought there was something ‘wrong’ with me and avoided myself as much as possible. This distorted my self-image and colored my view of the world with fear.
What if I am in the wrong place?
When you have had a painful experience, there can be an almost addictive focus on ‘What’s wrong. And that focus of attention can become a habit for life. It doesn’t even have to be conscious. But it has a profound effect on[ everything you feel, think, and do. It colors how you interpret your body sensations, how you feel and react to a situation, and how you live in your body. It guides your thoughts, beliefs, self-image, and worldview. When we live in the What’s Wrong state, our emotional climate is one of grey weather with a constant threat of thunder, storms, and downpours. And as unattractive as this sounds, this state can and often is addictive.
What helped me to get out of that hyper vigilant state of ‘what’s wrong’ was to learn to see beauty again. Because I am sensitive to that too. The beauty of the things around me. And how they are a mirror for the beauty that is also within. Thus my emotional climate became sunnier, warmer and above all calmer again. I got more energy, a taste for life and I no longer felt so lonely. I have designed a simple step-by-step plan for this that fits into everyone’s time
It is about creating a MAMA moment for yourself:
Mapping yourself sensorially in the here and now
Anchoring yourself in your body
Moving your body with awareness
Paying attention to pleasant sensations
It may seem simple and it is. This is because it is attuned to the natural impulse of your nervous system to orientate itself in the here-and-now through the senses and movement. And by consistently playing with MAMA for a couple of minutes a day, your nervous system can begin to create new patterns that calm and heal the hyper-vigilant stress brain.
If you want to read more about this, you can download my e-book with MAMA exercises here.
Last year I gave a presentation about MAMA at the Online Movement Festival. You can watch it here