I wrote this back in 2013 and will update on this soon
Over the years I have learnt a lot about my own bodymind. By bodymind I mean the interrelationship between the emotions and thoughts and the physical body. New discoveries in science such as psycho-neuroimmunology show that our emotions have a direct effect upon our physiology. There are chemical reactions taking place in our bodies as a result of emotional responses and these can be felt in any area of our bodies. An example of this is an upset stomach occurring when we are upset or stressed or an overactive bladder when we are anxious about an event that is very imminent.
My own experience has led to me become increasingly aware of these chemical responses. An emotional response to an anxious thought or a difficult conversation can almost immediately result in an unpleasant sensation in my abdomen or chest. Becoming more aware of these triggers has not necessarily helped me to stop this process from occurring altogether but it has enabled me to understand myself better and to slow down so that I am able to do some further investigation. There is also some relief in knowing that is is possible to change the experience in the future.
Due to the experience of being unwell for long periods of time which has resulted in a restriction of socialising and activities out of the house I have become highly sensitive to being out and about in the world. I tend to feel anxious before seeing people that I am less close to and therefore feel a bit less comfortable with. There is general sense of unease about ambiguous situations where I don’t have much idea about what will happen/ who will be there etc.
It has just occurred to me as I write this that this has always been the case for me, as long as I can remember so perhaps it is not only the result of the illness but may have exaggerated tendencies in my make up. Maybe I am wired to be more sensitive and have been since my earlier development. A lot of it is a general sensitivity to the environment and also empathy around other people. Having always been very sensitive to the moods of others around me and picking up something most of the time without trying to can be quite tiring and anxiety inducing when the general mood does not seem relaxed.
Will I therefore always be this way? I have been out of the house much more in the last 4 years or so as my health has improved and at first it was so overwhelming it would take me days to recover. I would not be able to sleep and a lot of the time I was out I would be sitting on my hands as I would be shaking. I think is due to adrenalin and stressed adrenals. I rarely experience shaking to that degree any more and feel more confident being out and about but I do still experience overwhelm fairly often and have been unable to go away from home overnight and be able to sleep well at night. The effect of a restless night is a lot of muscle pain the next day and also frustration that I am not feeling as good as I want to be, especially as this occurs when I got to places I really want to go and are with people I want to spend time with.
This is obviously something that I wish to overcome. But how? I am keen to make full use of the tools I have been learning with the Optimum Health Clinic such as the STOP process and EFT to help me with this.
I notice that in the week leading up to an event like a weekend away or a big social gathering I am often thinking over and over listing what I need to organise for the event- what I need to pack, what I will wear, what snacks to take etc. I guess this is my mind attempt to have some control over the anxiety of the unknown and also perhaps known things that could happen. In reality though it is not helpful as once I have spent a few minutes thinking this through once and maybe making a list I am prepared for most eventualities and the repetition of this many times after only leaves me hyped up and exhausted before I have even got to the event.
Why can’t I just relax knowing that everything will most likely turn out ok? After all it is the anxious thinking that usually makes me feel unwell and therefore less able to enjoy the event itself. Is it really only repeated STOPs that I need to do to end this? I think I have not been consistent enough in doing them for the process to work fully.
This weekend I have such an event that I am already a bit anxious about. It is a weekend away staying with family and I am excited about seeing them. However, I am a bit anxious about whether I will be able to sleep while I’m there and how I will cope with symptom that could arise so I will be making good use of the STOP technique and also EFT (tapping).