Lowering our trauma

The way we decide to feel is learned and we can change it. It is the experience that we have that causes transformation, what we “feel”, and was felt, that which is visceral. Through engagement, through memory, through experience and through incidence. Our feelings are then learned, from what has already happened.


We can know through information, yes – and of course, this is interesting, and wonderful too in fact – but in spite of our “knowing,” until we change the experience we have around something or somewhere or someone, nothing really changes. This is because our autonomic nervous system adapts to our life experiences and, if the experience remains created in overwhelm or we have a trauma experience where we felt alone, unsupported and unsafe, we then have to recreate the experience to have the changed visceral response. 

You can know in theory but until the 'doing' and experience is involved, it remains a known theory.

Things that help are completion. Let me explain...

So we hear the news. The war, the suffering, the illness of our King here in the UK. We absorb, we take in, and the feelings of uncertainty supersede safety – the feeling of safety that comes from continuity, from being sure and life being sootheable and reassured by the balm of a nice cup of tea. Oh, for the balm of that simplicity. The British stalwart. So much in the comfort of the pause putting the kettle on creates.

Now, there is so much going on and we have so many roles. We are in touch through screens. Younger people now mostly don’t actually even talk with each other; they voice note and message, sometimes even when they live in the same house. Mostly, people are out with their phones rather than each other. 

Amidst everything that is going on, we have never lacked community more than we do now, or connection that is real, not virtual, and here in the sway and constant change of life and the being “informed” overload that we are assailed with on a daily basis, here we are not flourishing. No wonder.

We hear through our news of trauma that we can do nothing about it. But it creates a response that is stored in our body.

In the past, our problems were more direct. There our personal galvanisation was possible and physical – we could do something about things. Now, the way we hear about things is through screens, TV, and our phones, we mostly cannot take action and so our stress responses stay internalised. We feel immobilised by what we are constantly hearing or receiving. It is something we can do nothing about. 

Here l would recommend limiting what social media you allow in your daily feed. As entertaining as morning TV is to have on in the background (apart from hearing about death and disease and sad and tragic events, and all manner of adversity, which is only peppered with the good, in between the “feed”), the adverts are usually about wills, funerals, and getting the latest vaccines! This is more than enough to dampen anyone’s feel-good potential starting the day.

I personally now can no longer listen to the news as l once did. The reason being that it puts me in a state of passivity and helplessness and robs me of choice. So l make a choice not to listen anymore to things l can neither change nor complete.

We are suppressing to carry on. This is not freedom.

Heads down nursing our lives and everything is internalised. We have no idea when our bodies are speaking to us through what is going on with us physically.

Be aware of, 'l can choose'. Awareness changes everything and know (and be comforted too if you are reading this) that choosing is the beginning of change, of alteration and of healing – healing through self-empowerment and lowering the feeling of helplessness, of being at the mercy of others.

Let me give an example here. If you feel lonely, if you say this out loud or silently internally to yourself, what does it make you feel? Low, sad, resigned, empty? Well, it is a sad emotion so it is unlikely to raise the bar on lifting your frame of mind. But also be aware of how you feel in your body and where you are feeling it. Re-phrasing by stating how you would like or love to feel has a hugely beneficial effect on our state of mind and, therefore, our body.

The body has a trauma response so if it is stored, we are no longer looking at a past event but your current and effecting biology – that doesn't determine your current state of thought alone, but lives on stuck and stored in your body.

Medical training sadly, as valued and valuable as it is, is not focused on even the including of biological trauma. Thus, facilitating healing is only dealt with and co-morbidly associated with your mind. It leaves out other possibilities.

Here, the vagal nerve controls automatically so many of our organs and our autonomic homeostasis.

A trauma response is immobilisation and when required to keep us safe it is a marvellous thing. But it is not when we become stuck in it. When we are stuck in trauma response beyond when it appropriately serves us, then our choice is limited. Our body and our digestive system and decision making is put on hold. Our environment is felt as unsafe.

When we learn that we have choice and we become intentional, we feel that we can become the architect of both our own internal and external world and our future and environment. We have our sovereignty. We then have energy to be creative, to learn, to embrace new things because we are not having to live in a sense of daily survival.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach - both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible.

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