During a traumatic experience, your brain kicks into action and your body’s stress response is activated. This causes your breathing and heart rate to increase, muscles to contract, and many other physiological responses that prepare you to fight, flee, freeze up, or even just shut down (fold) to avoid danger. Some people, though they have not experienced a particularly horrific or traumatic event, just live in a chronically high state of anxiety, with their stress response being very easily activated.
These amazing stress responses are there to help protect you from harm! Sometimes, however, a bit of a programming error occurs. It’s as if your brain gets “stuck” in that stress response and has a hard time shutting off! You can experience hypervigilance, which is a revved up, on-edge feeling all the time, like you are waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Since you often don’t know how to release all that nervous energy, it can actually begin to manifest as pain and illness in your body. Chronic muscle aches and pains, headaches, intestinal discomfort, autoimmune disorders, and much more can occur as a result. Other times, you can feel disconnected from your body and numb to sensations or emotions.
All of this, of course, also begins to have an impact on your spirit. Since your brain thinks you are in danger and keeps you in high alert, it can be very difficult to ever be still and quiet. Therefore, accessing a state of peace – that blissful place where your true, authentic self lies – can seem impossible.