Stored Trauma & Your Survival Stress Response – Processing Anxiety, Overwhelm & Pain in Your Nervous System.

January 16, 2019

Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. ~ Brene Brown
 
We long to move forward, be brave and overcome feelings of anxiety, pain, chronic stress or illness and conditioned responses we learned from our families of origin. We look within – we read books, go to workshops or try to ignore our symptoms – and still, our symptoms persist – we don’t know where to go, what to do or what is the best first step.
 
Our health care system is very robust and works very well to help the thousands of people who need it. When we need help for our emotional responses and chronic symptoms, our medical system often does not how to respond to us. With good intentions, the medical community leads us to medication and cognitive therapy – and while these options work over the short-term, this doesn’t help us get to the roots of these symptoms, to heal relational and early developmental trauma somatically from within.
 
That’s where I can help – I help people do the deep work of getting to the roots of healing hidden symptoms and emotional responses that have been troublesome and longstanding – using Somatic Experiencing (SE), other somatic approaches, family trauma imprint sessions and the physiology of your nervous system.
 
What happens to the stored sensations, feelings and experiences held in our nervous system?
 
Stressful and traumatic experiences don’t just magically disappear inside of us –  unless we work deeply at the level of the nervous system, these experiences remain stuck in our system and effect us in a number of troubling and confusing ways.
 
You may experience unexplained emotional and physical responses to seemingly small difficulties in our lives, throwing us into a panic, a spiral of anxiety, chronic pain that doesn’t seem to go away in our body, chronic insomnia or a frustrating feeling of stuckness or numbness or depression.
 
When you work deeply within your survival stress physiology, at the level of the nervous system, and you can begin to recognize and be with the ways that you’ve been coping with difficult feelings in your body, things begin to change for you.
 
We have to be with what is uncomfortable, disconcerting, difficult and meet it with loving attention in our own hearts. With gentleness, in a pace and time that is most helpful for you.
 
When confronted with difficult and unusual feelings of anxiety, emotional pain or fear – the thoughts that go along with it and what you are feeling in your body – ask yourself – how can you begin to practice meeting your difficult feelings with gentle kindness and nourishing care?
 
There are many things happening within us when we are in a stressed, anxious or panicked state – our nervous system is stuck on high in a survival state and our thoughts are racing towards a fearful and painful outcome.
 
What to do?
 
Stop everything and ask for space – and time for yourself. Put aside your responsibilities by asking for support – close your eyes and begin to notice what sensations you feel on the inside of you. Slowly, thoughts will drop away as you keep focusing on sensations.
 
What feelings are you drawn to, what feels tight and painful?
And what feels soft and good inside of you?
 
Stay with what feels good – for a little while. Don’t turn away. Be with something that you can focus on that brings you a good feeling – a pet, a plant or a stuffed animal. You aren’t in a hurry, you have no where to go for now –  notice if you are feeling safe in the space you are in, if not, you may have to move. You and your energy is connected to everything and everyone and you are truly not alone.
 
What happens when you stay in this space for a while – what do you notice? Emotion that has been held in may rise to the surface, so allow it. You are not in a hurry, this is time just for you.
 
When we feel stuck in traumatic memories and overwhelming feelings, it can be helpful to work in your nervous system with a process that can be very helpful in transforming our stress and trauma response slowly, over time.
 
Depending on your experience(s), here are some of the things that we will do together:
 
1) Learn about your nervous system physiology and understand how old stress and trauma experiences remain stuck in your body and show up as chronic pain, numbness, insomnia, chronic illness, anxiety, pain, fear or depression.

2) Begin a practice of being with what is difficult, uncomfortable, painful or scary – slowly and with feelings of safety and support – practicing the power of pause and rest.

3) Begin to notice feelings and sensations during our work together, that can help you recognize sensations that you may not have been aware of that have been effecting you some negative ways that you had no idea existed.

4) Touch in to feelings of ease, calm, support and safety that will begin to sustain you in your day-to-day life and begin to inform your decisions in your relationships, family, work and health.
 
5) Dive in to your family history and learn about the patterns and behaviours that may be contributing to your chronic emotional, relationship and health concerns.
 

This somatic process of being with uncomfortable or difficult feelings and sensations, in small amounts, at your own pace, is the beginning of the process of change -and noticing how our bodies respond to such important things as: emotional and physical intimacy, conflict or openness with our loved ones, our patterns of pushing ourselves or striving to the point of numbness or pain, patterns of anxiety in our relationships and the ease with which we carry ourselves in our own bodies and in our lives.

In order for change to happen, we must go slowly to increase capacity in your nervous system and allow yourself to be supported. It is possible to create a new way of being in your life with a focus on nervous system health and processing feelings, emotions and pain as they arise in the moment in your own life – transforming pain and difficult emotional responses in new ways.

If you want to turn towards yourself with kindness and curiosity – and do the rewarding work of being with what you feel and your difficult emotions – bringing stability in to your stress response and rewiring your nervous system for ease, fluidity and calm – this is how to begin. The outcome(s) are a new ability to feel a sense of nourishing care for yourself, a new feeling of trusting yourself and a feeling of belonging within yourself and your nervous system.

Everything is waiting for you.

with love from my heart, Kim, xoxo
www.kimcochrane.ca / hello@kimcochrane.ca

Offerings – Family Systems Imprint – 90-minute Session – an in-person or virtual online Zoom session – an opportunity to get to the roots of intergenerational trauma patterns & begin a path towards relational & relationship healing.  Uncover your family dynamics and trauma history – this is an opportunity to strengthen your internal relationship with your parents and extended family – get in touch to schedule an online or in-person session – hello@kimcochrane.ca / www.kimcochrane.ca
 
Sessions for Individuals & Couples – an invitation to feel present in your body, to unwind patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, hopelessness, chronic stress & pain, trauma, regulate your nervous system, to cultivate trust in your moment-to-moment experience, your naturally wise heart, and your capacity to connect to yourself, those you love and the love that surrounds us.

Somatic Body Learning & Practice and Somatic Experiencing Trauma & The Body sessions are available for you now. Waking you up to the innate wisdom of your body, healing inherited trauma patterns, feeling yourself below the level of thought, and accessing your full beingness in flowing, fluid motion. 

When we can feel ourselves, we are able to detect and understand the sensations and emotions our bodies signal to us – and we can connect with ourselves and others from a place of felt honesty and sensitivity, set better boundaries, and make clearer decisions about our interactions.

I’d love to get to know you – to focus on the interconnection of your body, mind and emotions. Get in touch to learn more about Family Systems Imprint Sessions & Individual Body-Focused Sessions in The Somatic Sanctuary – The Anxiety, Stress & Trauma Restorative Clinic – in-person, online or a mix of the two – and to set up a time to work together:   hello@kimcochrane.ca
 
Join me for Braving the Wilderness – The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – by Brene Brown – a book discussion for women –
Monday, April 1st – 7pm to 9pm – $25 per person
– register here – hello@kimcochrane.ca

The Anxiety, Stress & Trauma Restorative Clinic:

Creating Well-Being Through Nervous System Regulation.
Heal Relational Trauma – Break the Cycle of Inherited Family Trauma.
Nurturing Connection, Restoration & Building Resilience.

Easing the Body ~ Calming the Mind ~ Opening the Heart.
Somatic Experiencing ~ Somatic Practices ~ Touch ~ Movement.

Virtual, online sessions are available for those who travel regularly, have a busy schedule, live far away from the office, or prefer to work from your own home – hello@kimcochrane.ca

Surrender takes us deeper – to our centre. In exhausted stillness knowing is reborn, direction revealed. In turbulent times, try living in the thinnest slice of now that you can define. And remember to practice being extravagantly gentle with your very precious self. ~ Robyn Posin, Ph.D.
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When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.
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When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.

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I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm so glad I did - I trust myself more now, I feel more calm and open - working together has changed the course of my life.