I mentioned in an earlier post that symptoms of trauma can sometimes present as depression. For example, flatness, nunbness, lethargy, low energy, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of isolation and despair. This is because the person is stuck in “freeze” response.
One of the first steps is to bring sensation back to your body. Here are a few exercises you could try. It is important when you are doing the exercises that you focus on what you are doing…otherwise you will remain disconnected from your body.
1. Tap all over your body with your fingers with your dominant hand. Notice as you tap the varying sensations. Some parts of your body may be very sensitive and other areas may feel numb. Don’t forget to include your face and head and also your feet. Notice your feet – do your feet feel cold? Now try it again with your other hand.
2. Squeeze your muscles gently with your dominant hand and work all over your body. Once again, concentrate. Notice the areas that feel sensitive or numb. Notice the areas that feel warm or cold.
Notice how you feel after doing these two exercises. What sensations are currently happening in your body. Is there a change? Is there a change in your mood?
3. This is a grounding and centering exercise and I will be talking a lot about this exercise. Start by standing with your feet should width apart. Point your toes in very slightly
(pidgeon toed) Bend your knees and then hang over and touch the ground, bending you knees as much as you need to, to touch the ground. Relax your neck. Take some deep breaths. Hold the position until your legs shake or vibrate- a few minutes. Practise holding this posture until you can hold it for 5 minutes. Here is Jessica, a teacher at our Institute demonstrating the posture.
Do these exercises each day. It will help to bring back feeligns of aliveness. As you get more sensation in your body you will have more access to your feelings. I’ll write about that in a few days …. Andrea :)