What we consider trauma to be is largely based on how we subconsciously hold it. We experience two different types of trauma in our lives, emotional and physical. Trauma is defined as “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience or physical injury.” Without proper resolution, trauma can affect every aspect of our lives. The physical reactions of trauma can be as follows:
- aches and pains, such as backaches, headaches, and stomach upsets
- interrupted sleep patterns or insomnia
- anger at God, a loss of faith, or changed beliefs
- constipation (literally, holding sh*t in!)
- physically isolating ourselves from friends and loved ones, depression
- sudden heart palpitations or “flutters” which can lead to heart problems
- decreased immune system efficiency and greater susceptibility to illness and disease, creating more sick time and less productivity
- increased use of substances such as alcohol, drugs, or food, as we try to cope
- a decrease, increase, or other change in appetite
- easily startled by noises or unexpected touch
To name a few.
The emotional reactions of trauma can be quite bothersome and can make life even more difficult. These reactions can include:
- emotional numbing
- feelings of detachment and/or suicidal thoughts
- the need to control everyday experiences
- mood swings
- unpleasant memories that resurface repeatedly
- fight, flight, freeze response, with or without a conscious reason
- feeling that life is unfair, victim-hood
- diminished interest in activities you enjoy
- irritability, outbursts of anger and rage
- feeling like the trauma is happening again, fear
- shock and disbelief
- blaming oneself and others
- desire for revenge or feeling betrayed
- grief, denial, disorientation
These are just some of the ways our emotions are effected by trauma and some of these can happen without being consciously aware of them.
We may begin to react, rather than respond, to situations and circumstances. We may feel we have lost control. In short, we aren’t response-able. We try to cope in many ways to avoid the pain of feeling it. We run, we try to escape. This creates a new set of problems, sometimes worse than the feelings we are trying to avoid. There is no fault in this. It’s not good or bad, it just IS. We try to go anywhere except in there, where the pain lies. We try to fight it, screw it, drink it, smoke it, eat it, meditate on it, talk about it… You get the point.
Some coping strategies can be helpful but the problem with most of these mechanisms is that they never really resolve the trauma. We are left “holding the bag” as it were, until the next time we are allowed to rehearse it and we’re left with the feeling of want and the need to cope, the only way(s) we know how. Rarely can we say that we truly let go. We are incredibly resourceful at doing this. Unfortunately, we are reinforcing the very thing we say we don’t want. I’m convinced that the only way to resolve our problems is to go inside and change the structure of how we are creating them.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS)
The Reticular Activating System acts like a filter between your conscious and subconscious mind. Many experts believe this small, marble-sized structure is the connection between the mind and body. It can be called the ‘portal’ or ‘filter’ through which all information enters the mind. Its resources have been reinforced since birth, some even say before birth. It is the reason you can look at something and say whether or not it is pleasing to you. This filter creates your reality, storing information of every past experience and even works when you are not consciously aware of the information it is processing through your perception. It is extraordinary!
I believe that with FasterEFT, when we truly resolve trauma, we are creating a shift within this filter. We are unlocking our natural ability to heal. As we release the negative emotions of trauma, we change how we hold it within.