What is trauma to you? It’s a word that conjures up strong images for most of us. One definition of trauma is that it is a response to anything that overwhelms us. This can cause a variety of anxiety based responses – soft trauma.
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychiatric disorders. The lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders among adults is 28.8% That’s more than 1 in 4 people who are seriously affected by anxiety!
Serious incidents like a car crash, job loss or death in the family understandably overwhelm and we accept that they are traumatic, and often it is relatively easy to find sympathy and support. However, an accumulation of small things, ‘small t’ of ‘soft’ traumas can also be incredibly overwhelming…..and often ignored. We live in a stressful, fast-paced world with huge responsibilities and expectations constantly demanding our attention. At times, most of us feel overwhelmed and very anxious about work, family and general life expectations.
Even buying tea can be overwhelming – should you have herbal tea, English Breakfast, Indian, Chai, loose-leaf, tea bags, caffeine, no caffeine, fruit tea, mint tea… it’s overwhelming, and that’s just tea!
If stress is repeated over time it takes its toll on our body and mind in the same way as serious incidents – soft trauma. However, we tend to dismiss or cover up these responses so that we don’t appear weak or unable to cope. Combine this ‘ soft trauma’ with serious life events, we become overloaded and anxiety can become impossible to bear.
Our bodies will release the same stress hormones to help us deal with an aggressive encounter or meet a deadline, that is discharged to escape a tiger. Our bodies are designed to help us take action.
For example; driving every day in the rush hour, being bullied by a co-worker, presenting a sales pitch, meeting constant deadlines, worry about paying the bills, a row with your spouse or moving house all impact us and our body will respond to help us take action and ‘survive’ these stressors.
But what happens to us when we don’t (or can’t) discharge this tension?
Combine these stressful events together over time and our systems become flooded with stress hormones, exhaust the body and often leave us with feelings of dread and despair or that we just can’t cope with.
If we don’t slow down and release this cocktail created within us and bring ourselves back into harmony, our bodies can create patterns of ‘unexplained’ illness such as IBS, chronic pain and unbearable tension.
This is often accompanied by feeling triggered at the smallest thing, being ‘wired’ or ‘jumpy’, or perhaps you lose your personality. For example, being quick to anger or aggression which you know isn’t the ‘real you’…..but you just can’t help it.
The really good news is that our bodies also have an ‘in-built’ natural system designed to help us find harmony again. Just as we are designed to take action, we are also designed to release “the cocktail of tension” that builds up within us. When we use TRE Trauma Release Exercises to find our innate, organic, tremor mechanism (or neurogenic tremors) we release the stored up cocktail and turn the dial down on anxiety.
Once learned we can add TRE to our stress management toolbox and release anxiety from the body level upwards, without getting stuck in a story or reliving difficult events. If ‘soft trauma’ is affecting your life, why not try TRE and see if you can turn down the dial? For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30-minute consultation.