Anxiety - Thanks but no thanks body!

We are organized for safety, anxiety is trying to help keep you safe but it doesn't always get it right. 


Increased heart rate and breathing are enabling you to move faster, the strange distant feeling is bracing for physical pain, your pupils even dilate. This is because your nervous system signaled adrenaline to flood your system, to keep you safe. It's called fight or flight. 


So why is it happening when you are taking a stroll, or heading into work for the hundredth time? Why is your heart racing for seemingly no reason at all?


It's misfiring, your body is actually trying to be helpful but WHEN and WHY are malfunctioning. 


In order to be free of anxiety, you have to start with the system - the body, more specifically the nervous system. In Somatic Therapy touch is blended with talk and the body is the starting point. First and foremost, safety needs to be established. What is safety to you? How often do you actually feel safe? Getting in touch with a sense of safety is the first step in re-regulating and modulating anxiety. You can practice this at home. 


Find a comfortable quiet place. Stand or sit and close your eyes if you can. Notice how your feet feel, how they move, how connected or not connected you are to your feet, how connected or ir disconnected your feet are from the ground. Move them on the floor, feel the balls of your foot, your toes and notice how they carry you. Scan your body with the intention of "When I feel safe in my body I feel__________". The bloank can be filled in with a word, an emotion, a visual, a metaphor, any feedback is a start.  Explore that feedback and what safety means to you.

Personally safety for me means having an exit strategy, my feet need to know that we can get up and go! We can move in control. I am driving the car, or I can simply get out of the car (metaphorically).

This physical response is connected to your nervous system which is bi-directional, that means it travels both ways. So introduce some safety and even some fun and silly into your nervous system. Dance, get in touch with your inner child, surround yourself with comforts. I wonder what 7 year old you would say to this "Anxiety". Kids are honest and I think of the body as a toddler learning to speak and trying to make sense of the world around themselves. I wonder if you described anxiety to a 7 year they would be pretty confused by it. 

Repeat what safety feels like to you. Have that silent conversation with your misguided body "I know you are trying to help, but I am okay buddy"!!!!! 

The next time you feel anxiety creeping in, remember what safety feels like to you, and remind your body "thanks, but no thanks" 

Andria AyoubComment