Have you ever wondered why some people instinctively become angered when provoked while others become frozen in silence or burst into tears? There is a story (author unknown) that I came across that gives some insight into our own response when we get pushed, stressed or squeezed.
“You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and accidentally bumps you and shakes your arm, making you spill coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? Because someone bumped into you, right? Wrong answer. You spilled the coffee because coffee was in the cup. If tea had been in it, you would have spilled tea. Whatever is inside the cup is what will come out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you, whatever is inside of you will come out. So each of us has to ask ourselves… what’s in my cup? When life gets bumpy, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions?”
What “spills out” externally is only reflecting what is present internally.
As we maneuver through life, we will undoubtedly experience stressful or traumatic events. These experiences bring with them physiological responses as well as emotional responses. In order to cope, some of the issues that arise may not be overtly expressed or acknowledged. Ideally, we would be able to let go of our worries and ease the stress response. But most of the time, we hold on to some of that stress and the emotional baggage that comes with it. While emotions are made to be felt, certain emotions are uncomfortable to experience and so we try to suppress them. However, if emotions are not expressed, they have a way of staying with you physically. Your body can hold the physical imprint or tension pattern of that deep seated emotion.
When the mind cannot, or does not want to, deal with certain emotions, unexpressed feelings will manifest as tension in the body. In order to not “feel” the emotion, the connection between the nervous system and the brain gets disrupted. Tension in the nerves cause the joints of the spine to restrict movement and the surrounding muscles become stiff displaying a particular posture or tension pattern associated with it. Simply changing the position of your body may help you to navigate through tough emotions. When you’re worried about something, simply sitting up straight, stretching your shoulders back and opening up your chest to take in a deep breath will do wonders to lessen the feelings of anxiety.
The relationship between our body and mind (emotions) runs both ways. Our emotions directly influence the way our body reacts, but the form (posture) of our body can also trigger and support our emotions. Understanding how and where you hold tension in your body may provide you with a deeper understanding of yourself. At BodyMind Wellness Studio, we focus on optimizing the communication between the brain and the body (NeuroStructural Optimization). Using light touches at specific vertebral segments to ease tension within the spinal cord, the brain becomes aware of the tension within the joints and muscles, and initiates greater movement and deeper breath allowing for a release. Over time the body learns how to develop strategies to self-regulate and remembers how to heal. Releasing tension within the nervous system allows for optimal functioning both mentally and physically.
“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.” – Wayne W. Dyer
Copyright Dr. Julie Doobay 2021