Human beings are astoundingly resilient. We have the ability to bounce back. However, when we experience trauma the journey to resilience may be longer and twisted.
We define trauma as those events that overwhelm us and leave us unable to cope with what is happening. Our conscious minds can disconnect from what happened. If we unable to live with the emotions, memories and thoughts about what happened, they can remain disconnected from our present experience. When we are able to re-engage those emotions and memories and live with them, we integrate them back into our conscious experience.
If we are unable to re-engage and live with traumatic memories our bodies may stay stuck in an ongoing cycle of releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The same is true when we are under chronic stress. The long term effects of this are detrimental to our health.
The goal is to find ways to bring these disconnected memories and emotions back into our conscious lives so we can live with them. This is the pathway to resilience. I have found the following methods to be helpful.
TRE® is an acronym for Trauma & Tension Releasing Exercises. TRE is a somatic method to stimulate the body to release locked in stress. TRE begins with a set of 7 simple exercises that engage our bodies natural Tension Release system and induce neuromuscular shaking or tremoring. You may remember shaking after a traumatic event. Or you may have seen an animal shake after escaping a predator. The shaking or tremoring is a completely natural and instinctual way to release traumatic and chronic stress.
Neurosculpting® is a 5 step meditation practice that leverages the latest conclusions of neuroscience. Neurosculpting is an effective way to re-engage negative memories and emotions from a place of safety. Neurosculpting helps us find more positive narratives through which to re-engage traumatic memories and emotions.