One of the biggest lessons I had to learn to heal was to not PUSH myself and listen to my body, always.
I came to understand that I was not breathing correctly and probably had not been for a very long time.
When we experience stress or trauma we hold our breath and then start to breathe shallowly from our chests, raising our shoulders as we do so. This builds up tension in our ribs, upper back, shoulders and neck. It also activates our sympathetic nervous system (sns) and puts us into fight/flight mode.
As part of my healing I went for a test where I was hooked up to a computer to see how often my parasympathetic nervous system (psns) was activated.
When our psns is activated the body can rest, digest and repair itself.
To undergo this test I lay on a massage table, was covered in a snuggly warm blanket, the lights were turned off, I had an eye mask on and beautiful calming music was played through head phones I wore.
After 25 minutes I believed I was very relaxed and calm. To my surprise I was told that not once had my psns been activated. My body’s own innate ability to heal was not working.
When the body is operating from the sns it takes a lot of energy and if the psns is not activated it never gets a chance to heal.
Put your hands on your lower belly and slowly breathe in and out from your belly as you witness your hands rising and falling with the breath.
This is how the psns is activated.