By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator
After years of dealing with anxiety and panic attacks I have found a place of peace and comfort. What I can say about that journey is that it was unnecessarily long.
Had I known then what I know now about body awareness, trauma, and healing, I could have reached peace in my body-mind much sooner. I call it “body-mind” for a reason.
In my world, my mind resides in my body. Everything I do, say, or even think starts in my body first. The beginning of my anxious thoughts, the beginning of my anxiety shows up as a reptilian reaction to a sensation in my body, a ripple of threat, or a sense of lurking doom below my consciousness.
If I don’t catch it there, it continues to take form through my emotions. I get a sense of fear, as if “something is wrong.” The fear forms a “sense of doom” fueled by fight/flight, and by the time it has become a thought that can reach my consciousness, it’s too late. I’m already down the rabbit hole, and it will take so much more effort to shift course.
My “Stop. Drop. Check.” technique is one tool that helps me catch anxiety forming much earlier and shifts it before it gains momentum. I use the Stop. Drop. Check. technique to find my core and become centered, so I can release the pain and discomfort that creates the anxiety. It works wonders.
Stop = Scan your environment. Ask yourself, “Am I safe?” If the answer is no, remove yourself and find a safe place. If the answer is yes, move on to “Drop.”
Drop = Exhale into your body, into yourself. Surrender, not to the situation, but, rather, to your internal Self. Let go and sink inside. When you notice your next exhale, keep your attention directed deep inside your body and move on to “Check.”
Check = Ask yourself, “What am I feeling in my body?” “What sensations can I feel?” Keep your attention on your sensations and notice how you feel. Allow whatever is there to just surface. It bubbles up and dissolves.
The more we can allow the body whatever is going on, the faster we can release the pain that creates the anxiety in the first place. We do not need to rehash the story; we do not need to go back to the trauma. This is about here and now. How can I feel okay with a sense of ease and comfort? Now!
Bottom line: that’s what has been important in my life. Raising two children while “living on an earthquake” and being, in a sense, locked up in a mental and emotional straight-jacket hurts, especially the children.
At that point, what happened in the past is not as important as how to feel better now! Had I known that back then, my recovery time would have been greatly reduced.
When you seek help to deal with your anxiety, anger, or addictive behaviors, make sure the person you decide to trust has training in body awareness. And I personally recommend seeking help from a seasoned Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, or a Certified Tipi Specialist. Your recovery will be so much faster.
I invite you to go to my website for more information: www.BeamLifeCoaching.com