Come As You Are
Come As You Are
I am reading the amazing book #comeasyouare (by Emily Nagoski), and today I hit the chapter that is all about the emotional context. And stress. For a long time I believe stress only had to do with just being able to manage the tasks I had to do in life. How little did I know of stress that underlies worry, anxiety, fear, terror, all the variants of my flight mode. Or anger, irritation, frustration, annoyance, the variants of my fight mode. Later I also understood that my freeze mode might be the most stressful for my system.
I had to learn that managing my stress is not simply ‘relaxing’ or ‘calming down’, but that it is all about allowing my stress cycle response to be complete (I’m at risk > action > I’m safe). Unfortunately we live in a culture of broken stress response cycles. For a few reasons:
- we are dealing with chronic stressors, and not so much with acute stressors, and therefore we have to take deliberate steps to complete the cycle. All that is not completed will hang on inside of us, making us sick, tired and unable to experience pleasure.
- our emotion-dismissing culture is uncomfortable with Feels, we just do not allow feelings to be felt, and we are not taught how to do this.
- our ultrasocial human brains are really good at self-inhibition, stopping the stress response midcycle because, ‘Now is not an appropriate time for Feels’ (because we do not want to freak anybody out). And therefore we sadly have locked ourselves , culturally, into our own fear, rage and despair.
We must build time, space and strategies for discharging our stress response cycles. Let our body move all the way from “I am at risk” to “I am safe”.
And one strategy is Yin Yoga. It will give you all the space and time to tap in with your Feels!