What Is Your Gut Feeling? 5 Tips to Help With Stress.
What is your gut feeling?
No seriously……… what is your gut actually feeling?
This common phrase we use if we are trying to make a decision
about something, however do we notice what is happening there in our gut at different times during the day?
Have you ever been head over heels in love, light headed or are you tight lipped? Do you have a nose for a bargain? Do you feel light hearted or do you have a heavy heart. Maybe you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders but are you happier when someone has your back? I’m sure you can think of many more.
So what is your gut actually feeling?
We might feel sick to the stomach when we get some bad news.
Our stomach may churn when we are feeling overwhelmed by everything we have to do.
We may have butterflies in our tummy when nervous or even a gripping there if feeling threatened, maybe we’ve been asked to give a speech. I always dreaded that one.
When something traumatic happens, maybe even in childhood the one place that is sure to get very tight is the gut. It is part of the startle reflex pattern. Fight, Flight, Fright or even Freeze.Why can’t humans release trauma like other animals?
When an animal is being chased because it is ‘dinner’ but just escapes it may well tremor, releasing that trauma from the body including the gut. If they were able to just flee this may not even need to happen and the running motion releases the trauma. A mouse being chased and tormented by a cat may well eventually freeze, the cat may loose interest as it has no interest in eating it. Then the mouse just gets up and runs away, again getting rid of the trauma.
As humans we may not have been able to run away when something traumatic happens. For example if a child is being bullied at school he/she may tend more towards immobility i.e.: freeze. Not allowed to leave the confines of the school, maybe knowing that they can’t run fast enough. This trauma is not released. The body remembers even if the mind forgets.5 Ways To Start To Release STRESS / Trauma
Tip 1 – ObserveNotice your gut – are you holding on to your organs in some way? Do you need to hold onto the weight of your organs? I certainly was and was surprised when I let go. Could you just choose to do a little less here.
Tip 2 – Change the image.
Is your stomach churning like a washing machine? Stick with the image but imagine the washing machine coming the end of it’s cycle. This has helped a couple of clients who’ve experienced regular migraines.
If it is butterflies, imagine they are all slowly coming to settle.
If it is something else like a big knot – imagine is is actually a slip knot and so it can unravel.
This has helped myself and many of my pupils so it might be worth giving it a go.
Tip 3 – Allow.
In an Alexander Technique session we do a lying down practice and if you start to tremble maybe you can allow this to happen. From my personal experience and that of my pupils nothing bad happens. Sometimes people may feel emotional and may cry. Sometimes arms and legs may feel they have a mind of themselves. My theory and it is only that, is maybe trauma is leaving the body. I let my body do what it wants why would I want to constrict myself.
Tip 4 – Vibrate
In Peter Levine’s Book “In an Unspoken Voice” how the body releases trauma. It suggests making the sound “VOOOOOO”. It may come out like a fog horn sound but vibrates the area of the gut. If you are really gripping in the gut it is difficult to even make this sound.
Tip 5 – FuelAlso fuel your gut, missing breakfast is a big no, no! Many people who suffer anxiety may skip meals but actually it is making things worse. Give yourself 10 minutes, sit down, take a break from your phone too. You wouldn’t expect a car to go very far on an empty fuel tank.
If you would like to work with the body and understand how some of your emotions and stress manifest there, come along for an introductory session. I have over 12 years experience of working with people experiencing pain mainly as a result of stress and trauma.
Here is a quote from one of my pupils: “Anyone interested in how the body works and how it responds to emotional and physical stress should check this out. Mark is a brilliant Alexander Technique teacher who can make a real difference to how you feel in your own body and how you respond to life’s difficult situations” Hilary Cooke.
Follow me on my Facebook page @TheBodyDeStressed
or learn more here: Alexander Technique Central Brighton – Online booking available.
NB : Main image purchased from Canva – Permission given by client for thumbnail.