Monday, September 6, 2010

Nervous System and Trauma

Nervous systems are becoming so overloaded and overworked that few people are actually engaged in life and reality. When we overload and overwork our nervous systems without release, we cannot expect to function at 100 percent as humans. We become less than human. We give up who we actually are as a person.

When you are under repetitive stress, the body takes all of this in. It is like the shock absorbers on a car that are designed to take in the stress of the road. If you continue to pound the nervous system of the human body, the shock absorber, than at some point you will over whelm it. When it becomes overwhelmed, the flip will be switched.

Trauma is the same way as repetitive stress. When we encounter a traumatic moment, our body winds up and revs up the major body systems. Our brains begin to record the events, and the amygdala records the emotions that go with these events. All of these events become a neural pathway that is then used to process future information.

While we need the limbic system to function and make sense of experiences in life, if we fill it up and never release anything from it, our capabilities are diminished. Peace in our lives becomes hard to locate. It is as if we are in the jungle and the lion is chasing us. Even though we lost the lion or outsmarted it, in our mind, the lion may still be chasing us. It keeps us running as if it is still on our heels. The traumatic moments become fused with reality. It becomes difficult to tell the two apart.

We continue to carry the trauma or repetitive stress with us throughout our days. We allow the tiger to continue chasing us because through our altered consciousness there is no end to the tiger chasing us. There is no separation from the tiger in our mind and reality. Every day and moment from that point forward is affected without us giving much conscious thought that it is. Our future decisions are now wrapped within this altered process. Our fears are now framed through these experiences. Who we are has now changed into who we have become.

While we often cannot stop in the moment of trauma and release everything we are absorbing, we need to give ourselves the opportunity to do this. If the lion is chasing you, then you need to run. When the lion no longer chases you, it is time to go in and clear the nervous system out. It is time to release these things. An over stressed and over worked nervous system will not get you very far in life. It has a very big impact on how life looks to you and how it affects your physical body.

If you have spent a life time absorbing so much into your nervous system, it may take some intense work but there are ways to release it. While positive thoughts can greatly help the process, what is needed to release resides in the body. Until the body has released these things, they will continue to have an impact upon your life. Of course, fear and control try to give the illusion in our lives that things are different than they actually are. All too often, we succumb to these illusions. They become our reality and yet they are still an illusion.

Trauma and stress change us. It alters our perceptions and balance of everything around us. If we continue to allow the fears and energy of these moments to reside within our cells, we will be allowing a silent thief to rob us of who we truly are. Our potential will be diminished. Our reality will be altered. We will experience physical pains in the body that are overwhelming.

Working to connect our mind, our experiences and our awareness together with our body gives us hope, possibility and freedom. While it may not be easy to reclaim these parts of our life, we owe it to ourselves to become all that we are. For not only the sake of who we are but for the universe, it is imperative that we discover our potential. Anything less than this, and we've reduced the human experience for ourselves and for all those around us that we meet.

Picture taken along Volusia County Fair, Florida (c) 11/05/09

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