Unresolved Trauma – Mental and Physical Well-being. How your Biography becomes your Biology.

Unresolved Trauma – Mental and Physical Well-being. How your Biography becomes your Biology.

Society has come to associate trauma with violence. We often think that trauma only happens in situations where weapons are involved, when there is physical abuse or during times of war. The truth is that we also experience trauma during moments that we regard as deeply distressing or disturbing. We also experience trauma at times of serious physical injuries or when we have life-threatening illnesses.

Any situation where we experience an event that results in a fight, flight or freeze response needed for our survival, is a traumatic experience.

Often, we do not associate the diagnosis of cancer, a serious heart condition or injury as something that could lead to long lasting traumatic effects. In a world where we are daily bombarded with information about these severe conditions, we have become desensitized to the emotional effects that accompany these illnesses. We regard it as part of the human experience and something we deal with by taking prescribed medication.

When we experience trauma, we immediately start to experience fear and stress.

So, what are examples of traumatic experiences?

  • When a child that is, or perceives him/herself as “lost” in a shop, at a fair, after school and mom is not there to collect them.
  • The traumatic loss of a loved one – murder, loss at sea, horrific car accidents.
  • Divorce – specifically the partner who did not see it coming.
  • Retrenchment, losing your business. Any situation where your income is no longer secure, and you have no idea of how to proceed.

These are only a few examples of where we may experience trauma.

In very simplistic, layman terms, during times like these our sympathetic nervous system kicks in and sets our Fight-Flight-Freeze response into motion.
Instances where a child experiences violence in the home, lost a parent at a young age, or even a beloved pet all lead to intense feelings of helplessness. The same goes for a mother with small children in an abusive relationship who has no means of escaping the circumstances.
People who have been diagnosed with grave medical conditions, also experience helplessness. This activates the “Freeze”  survival response. they may say to themselves: “Let me sit quietly, not make a sound or take decisions, because I have no power in this situation and I do not know what to do.” This is in comparison to the responses where we fight for our life, or we run away to a place where we feel safe and secure.

How often have we heard?: “You did the right thing not to fight or run” That does not mean we have escaped the trauma. In fact, we now recognize the huge impact this response has on our psyche – some believe more so than Fight or Flight.

This powerlessness plays out in many aspects of our future. Many of us have come across people, perhaps we recognize it even in ourselves, with characteristics such as:

  • Being anxious in an aggressive environment – people who do not like heated discussions.
  • Overthinking and controlling of situations – people who always must have all the information before they make any decisions.
  • Helplessness – people who always wait for permission before they do anything.
  • Fragile – people who we protect from situations or information because we know they will not be able to handle it. We break it to them softly and slowly.
  • Impulsive non-related impulses – people who act out of character in certain situations that the average person will perceive as normal…bursting into tears, becoming aggressive, anxious, etc.
  • Criticism and self-shame – people who are overly critical of others and self.
  • People who show the potential to grow and reach top business positions, but lack emotional intelligence.
  • Apathy and depression are often diagnosed and treated in later stages of life.

Helplessness causes emotional pain and suffering. It leads to severely diminished self-esteem. Helplessness has a major impact on a person’s ability to make decisions. In turn, this adds to feelings of stress and anxiety which in turn leads to depression, causing a vicious cycle.

During times like these, we feel or experience powerlessness as fear, anger, and distrust. These emotions embed themselves in our bodies. Unless we understand the effects of emotions on our physical well-being, and we take active steps to release the trauma on a cellular level, we will remain stuck and the repressed trauma will negatively affect our lives.

What science (epigenetics) shows today, is that we create an environment within ourselves that is either conducive to a healthy body – mind, body, and soul – or that results in illnesses – chronic or “sudden” serious illnesses.

If we fail to address our issues, we perpetuate the influence of unresolved trauma and therefore increase the effect it has on the body. Our constant thoughts about a traumatic situation add to the physical responses of our sympathetic nervous system. Our continuous thoughts become habits which set in as beliefs. We live our lives by the beliefs we hold. It is at this point that our “biography becomes our biology”.

The unresolved trauma has set us in a direction of limiting beliefs, which resulted in our biology becoming “accustomed” to our emotions. These emotions are the consequence of past experiences and eventually lead to our emotional condition, or addiction, and will result in a physical condition.

How do we go about resolving our unresolved trauma?

Most people are not even aware that they carry unresolved trauma within. They have accepted their “characteristics” as “normal”…who they are. Often people will carry on for years, sometimes decades, before they realise that something is “not right”. Memories might be triggered; they might become aware that certain situations are huge triggers, and they start asking why. And then, some are completely aware of the “shame” or hurt that they are carrying, and they do not want to relive it. It does not matter the “category” that you find yourself in, the techniques used to release trauma used these days are very different from those used in the past.  Modern non-invasive techniques can help you to release emotional blockages and help you to open new neuropathways (neuroplasticity) to build new and empowering beliefs, resulting in new thought processes that will serve you.

  1. Own it. You do not need to know what it is that you own, you must however be open and available to the idea that there is something that is preventing you from being the best version of who you are. If you cannot admit and take responsibility, you will not change.
  2. Release the fear. We become so accustomed to our negative emotions, it is really like an addiction, because it is what we have become accustomed to. We fear the unknown. We question having to take responsibility because we fear who we will then be? We fear not fitting in any longer and we fear our own power. If I had the power to let this go and I did not, how “evil” am I then to myself?
  3. Find a therapist. The right coach, facilitator, or practitioner will guide you and teach you different techniques and concepts, that will empower you to make this shift in your life. Many of the techniques I work with are very quiet. Personally, I am not interested in the “story” that brought you to this point, I am looking for the emotion running and the beliefs that limit your life and how we can release and delete that so that you hold the power. The focus is fast moving from the story, that needs a plaster (medication), to the cause of your current situation. And that is NOT the story – it is the emotional baggage and thought patterns that are the cause of your current situation. The story is only a “prop” in the story of your life. This is your biography, and it will affect your biology.
  4. Be ready for the magic to happen. It may sound crazy but everyone wants magic. If you are not ready to let go of the past and allow for a different way to enter, the magic cannot happen. You cannot change your future through the same habits and thought patterns that brought you to your limiting beliefs and thoughts. Magic is ready and waiting. Are you ready?

The question to ask is: “How attached am I to the current situation that is preventing me from living the kind of life I desire? Am I ready to change it and become the true me?” If you are ready, there will be a coach or practitioner who can help you. Reach out, what do you have to lose?

Sue Leppan

Transformation Life Coach

Energy Codes Facilitator

NLP Practitioner

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