The Beginning of Something New

Liberating Your Body

Deactivating Survival Mode

September 2020

Resilient One,

Tap into your body space. How does it feel? It’s made it this far in your life, so it must be strong! In fact, your body is always protecting you by adapting to your experiences and environments. Sometimes the body works to heal wounds, like scars; other times it can’t be seen. This unseen response is more commonly experienced through traumatic events. There are two types of traumatic situations we may come across: little T and big T. Little T traumas are intense and distressing moments that affect people on a personal level such as emotional abuse, divorce, being bullied, and so on. Big T traumas are illustrated as significant events that leave a person feeling powerless from lacking control of their environment and these take form as natural disasters, sexual assaults, combat, life-threatening accidents and so forth. What these two trauma types have in common are that they affect our daily lives because the traumas we survive leave emotional imprints on our bodies. We have our bodies to thank for surviving the trauma but now it’s time to reassure our bodies that survival mode can be turned off when it is no longer needed.

How do we tell our bodies that it is safe? There are tools and skills we can study and learn to emotionally regulate our bodies. The work we put in as trauma survivors only better prepares ourselves to handle survival-triggering situations and we start by learning and using emotional regulation tools. The benefits of regulating go beyond passing the moment. It prepares the learner to make better decisions, critical think, and improve problem-solving skills through better understanding their emotions, allowing unconditional self-acceptance, and validating all feelings and emotions. Sounding good so far? Now, let’s learn what this work entails.

Types of Emotional Regulation Tools & Skills:

Because we are all unique, there are a variety of tools to try out and skills to build up. I’ve provided common examples below.

  • Therapy - What better way to understand what’s going on than by getting feedback from a therapist. Therapy offers survivors a safe place to share and vent about life’s challenges, where they won’t be judged or criticized. Therapy focuses on mental health and can help you decipher what your feelings mean, why you might be feeling them, and how to cope.
  • Coaching - If you’re goal oriented, seeking a life coach might just be for you. Coaches focus on an individual’s journey that is customized to uncover suppressed memories, thought patterns, messages, and beliefs that are steering their choices every day. Work with a life coach to discover old trauma patterns and create new freedom for your future.
  • Grounding - There are many ways to ground oneself, but the key is to bring your awareness and body back to the present moment. Your body can be the tool you use such as tensing your muscles one by one, holding the muscle taught, and then relaxing them to become aware of muscle tension and energy movement in the body. You may also use your senses: what are some things you can see, smell, touch, or hear around you?
  • Breathwork - This is one of my favorite regulation skills to practice because it’s easy to do and you can do it anywhere! These exercises are often mixed with other elements to improve mental, physical, and spiritual health. The first step is to learn to take a proper breath by inhaling through the nose. That air then moves to expand the stomach as your diaphragm contracts, filling your lungs with air. Then, release the breath by opening your mouth.
  • Somatic Experiencing - This form of therapy directs the attention to interoceptive, kinesthetic, and proprioceptive experiences and focuses on regulating the nervous system. Essentially this means noticing sensations or energy in the body that keep you in a state of trauma and disrupting it to introduce a natural healing response and alignment.
  • Psychosomatic Bodywork - This is another body-focused approach that taps into the way our minds and body communicate. What many don’t understand is that when trauma enters this relationship between your mind and body, it can create stress to store in the body causing normal body functions to malfunction or not work properly. This holistic approach releases emotions through body movement and adjustment. For example, standing tall can positively affect the body’s ability to digest and supply your cells with oxygen and in return can also keep your mind alert.

If you’re curious about any of these techniques or skills, reach out to me and we can explore them together to find the ones that will give you the best results.

Join my two-day workshop, The Liberated Body on September 24-25th f from 4:30pm-6:00pm PST to to explore emotional regulation tools in a safe group setting with others who are looking to liberate their body!

Explore other tools and therapies to manage your anxiety and PTSD by following my pages on Facebook and Instagram!

Supporting you with love and respect,

Supporting you with love and respect,

Zen Jen (formerly known as Jennifer Emperador) is a Trauma-Sensitive Practitioner specializing in a wholeness approach to healing trauma. She’s a survivor, warrior and fellow sister who wants to inspire and empower women dealing with trauma and PTSD.

 

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