Have you recently gone through a shock or painful, upsetting experience of some kind? Have you or your community recently undergone a natural or human-caused disaster? Have you been hurt by statements, policies or actions of someone in a group or church you belong to?
If so, then you are likely in a state of shock and possibly some degree of present-life trauma.
How can you tell if you are in a state or shock, or have experienced a traumatic event?
Here are some common signs:
Anxiety, fear, irritation or anger
Overly emotionally reactive, emotionally vigilant
Cravings, addictions, addictive behaviors
Fatigue, tiredness, numbness or withdrawal
Restlessness, sleep that is not restful, nightmares
Untypical behaviors, such as recklessness or aggressiveness
Uncomfortable body sensations or changes
Changes in breathing, heart rate, or sexual desire
Pains, aches or illnesses
These self-care resources can help you take care of yourself, regain your feeling of safety, move past the shock, and re-balance emotionally. Over a million people around the world have discovered how Energy Psychology self-care practices can help them reduce stress and emotional overwhelm and return to a calmer state, 1 including dealing with the immediate effects of large and small disasters, shock from bad news, and painful experiences of all kinds. I originally started using Energy Psychology methods with clients for releasing the shock and upset of painful experiences with their spouses and other family members. These methods are gentle, soothing and centering in the time of vulnerability immediately after painful, traumatic experiences.
These kinds of traumas, though possibly perceived to be smaller in nature, nonetheless can cause great distress and need to be relieved for our well-being to be regained. This is important for everyone; especially so for those in situations where traumas are repeated or on-going.
What Happens When We Experience Traumatic Events (Directly or Indirectly)
“The fight-flight-freeze response is a natural, physiological response to situations of perceived danger, whether we are directly affected or a witness. We cal tell this response has been triggered because we experience some or all of the following:
Pulse, breathing rate and blood pressure increase
Blood flow shifts from cerebral cortex (the thinking and reasoning brain) to limbic brain (emotional brain.)
Blood flow shifts from internal organs to arms and legs
Muscles tense and prepare for action
Digestive, immune and reproductive systems slow down
While this can save our lives by mobilizing us to respond to threats; problems may be created if we don't "come down" from this response.” 2
Repeated or ongoing exposure to threatening images or situations can cause the symptoms listed above to become chronic and further problems develop..
The following immediate steps will help you begin to step out of the fight/flight/freeze stress response and protect yourself from more harm.
Get out of danger and find safety.
Do not watch replays of the event online or TV. Don’t allow your children to watch them.
Seek out connection with safe loved ones and friends. Spend time in nature, which rejuvenates you body and soul, and naturally helps you discharge stress hormones and stimulates your immune system.
Discharge the experience verbally through some processing with others: The crucial element here is some. It does not help to go over and over the events without processing and discharging the emotions. Journaling is a good way to help your brain process and release it mentally.
Allow your body to sleep as long as you need afterward. Sleep is deeply restoring and rejuvenating for spirit, mind and body, and will help your body re-balance.
Eat food that is nourishing, and helps your body detoxify. Drink a lot of pure water. This helps your body discharge the stress hormones that are released when you go through a fight/flight/freeze response.
Three self-care resources to help you more quickly get over the stress response
Purpose: To calm anxiety and agitation.
Sit comfortably with arms crossed, one hand wrapped around the upper arm just above the elbow.
Put the other hand underneath the arm holding the side of the body about 4-6 inches below the start of the armpit. Hold for at least one minute.
Switch the holding position with the other hand wrapped around the arm, middle finger in the notch above the elbow, and the other hand under the arm and hold at least one minute.
Switch positions back and forth several times, until you feel a shift and a sense of deep relaxation. 3
Purpose: To help relieve shock. Th will help reset your nervous system and energize you both mentally and physically.
Tap each spot 20 times:
Using your ring fingers, tap gently on the cheekbones directly under your eye.
Tap the dips under each side of your collarbone.
Close your hand to make a gentle first, tap in the center of your chest.
Tap with 2 – 3 fingers on each side of your body about 6 – 7 inches below your armpits. 4
RAPID EYE SELF CARE PROCESS
Purpose: To release present-time over-whelm, painful emotions, and repetitive thoughts from a recent stressful or traumatic event.
While sitting down, look up to the point where the wall and the ceiling meet.
Pick 2 spots at the edge of your peripheral vision – one on the right side and one on the left side.
Slowly begin moving your eyes back and forth, in a zig zag pattern, from one spot at the edge of your peripheral vision to the other.
Continue moving your eyes back and forth from one spot to the other, and begin zig zagging down the wall, until you meet the juncture of the wall and the floor.
Continue moving your eyes in a zig zag pattern, this time moving up the wall to the juncture of the ceiling and the wall, while repeating “I trade in my (feeling that you don’t want) for (what you would rather have instead.)” For example: “I trade in my fear for peace.” “I trade in my anger for calm.” Keep repeating the zig zagging eye movement from one spot to the other spot, up to the ceiling and down to the floor and back again, while repeating the “I trade in” statement until you don’t have any more “I trade in” statements to say. This may take a few minutes.
Stop the zig zagging movement with your eyes. Looking straight ahead, squeeze your eyes tight closed, and then pop them open. Repeat 3 times.
Take an easy breath in through your nose, breathing up from your tummy. While opening your mouth comfortably wide imagine your airway to be almost as big as a vacuum cleaner tube. Breathe up from your tummy, out your airway and out your mouth, imagine breathing to the light. Repeat 2 – 3 times.
Rest for a few minutes to let this release and re-balancing settle. 5
If you are in a situation where the same kind of stress or traumatic experiences are repeated or ongoing, your emotional, physical and spiritual safety and well-being may be in danger. Use these self-care resources as often as you need to and be proactive! Take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from further harm.
These Energy Psychology self-care resources will help you reclaim your personal power after having experienced a stressful or traumatic event in your life, by removing the emotional charge and returning your body and mind to a state of balance, in the immediate time after such events.
For further help to heal from painful or traumatic experiences, find out how I can help you through your healing journey. Real, genuine healing from stress and traumatic experiences is possible. I have guided countless people through this journey. You can do it, too
* The blog post is educational in nature and is provided as general information for stress reduction. It is not intended to create and does not constitute a professional relationship between Debra Brown Gordy, MS MRET, The Sophia Women’s Institute, or quoted resources and the viewer. It should not be relied upon as medical, psychological, coaching, or other professional advice of any kind. Please consult a qualified professional for your personal needs.
1. The Association for Energy Psychology brochure: Looking to Relieve Stress and Trauma? You are Not Alone.
2. Adapted from The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Resources for Resilience.
3. Adapted from Donna Eden, Eden Energy Medicine.
4. Adapted from Donna Eden, Eden Energy Medicine.
5. Adapted from Rapid Eye Technology Practitioners’ Resources. The Rapid Eye Institute.
(c) April 2019. Debra Brown Gordy, MS MRET & The Sophia Women’s Institute. All Rights Reserved. You may copy and share this post freely, as long as you do so in it’s entirety, including the bio and making sure all links remain working.
Debra Brown Gordy, MS MRET is a Women’s Energy Psychology therapist & Spiritual Life Coach, & founder of The Sophia Women’s Institute. She specializes in inner child healing, relationship coaching & intimacy counseling, & divorce coaching for accomplished, spiritually-awakening women and couples. She has advanced expertise in Energy Psychology including Rapid Eye Technology & Soul Detective Healing.
Through unique Energy Therapy & Spiritual Life Coaching programs & Women’s Sacred Practices, Debra guides clients through the inner healing & transformation they need to achieve the outer results they Desire, & the soul-satisfying life they love.
Debra serves clients worldwide. To learn more, visit The Sophia Women’s Institute.