When we go through a divorce odds are we will at the least be taken on an emotional rollercoaster and at the most we will have some trauma that needs to be worked through and released. This is where body movement comes in. We know that emotions and trauma are held in the body. There is incredible power of body movement for ultimate healing and emotional well-being. In this episode I'm going to teach you about the the connection between our body, emotions, and trauma, and you will learn how engaging in potent and novel movement can interrupt anxiety and trauma pathways in the brain, allowing you to make rational, logical decisions during the emotionally challenging divorce process.
In this empowering episode, I'll give you lots of examples potent and novel movement for trauma healing. Tune in to this insightful episode to help you understand the power of body movement as you navigate the rollercoaster of emotions and heal from trauma to be able to make the best decisions for you and your family, and ultimately emerge stronger after divorce.
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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.
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Full Episode Transcript:
I'm Karin Nelson and you're listening to Becoming You Again, episode number 117. Welcome to Becoming You Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast. I am so happy that you're here today. I am going to be talking about body movement for ultimate healing after divorce. Scientists, psychologists, doctors they have been studying trauma for years now, right, and so from that study we have learned that trauma is stored in our body, and we also know that our emotions, when we feel them, it's not something that's happening in our brain, although we do get, you know, signals sent from our brain down into our body that tells the body okay, it's time to release these hormones and these chemicals. And because of that, we have sensations and vibrations that happen in our body. And so it would make sense, knowing that trauma is stored in our body, knowing that our emotions happen in our body, we have a physical feeling in our body. It would make sense that if we want to be able to process through and move through and release the emotion, release the trauma, that we would need to move our body in some way. Now, this isn't always the case, but it can be very, very useful. There have been studies that have been done. There continue to be studies done for the scientific exploration of how potent and novel movement can interrupt anxiety and trauma pathways in our brain, which is fascinating. So let me break that down for you. When you're able to interrupt the pathways, those anxiety and trauma pathways that are happening in your brain, it is like you are bringing back online your prefrontal cortex. Your prefrontal cortex, remember, is the part of your brain where you are able to show up, thinking logically, making decisions, reasoning, and when your body is full of anxiety, when your nervous system is activated through trauma. Basically what is happening is you are thinking and reacting from that very habitual, primitive part of your brain, the amygdala. So we're learning that you can use body movement to bring your nervous system back online, which is going to help you activate your prefrontal cortex and return to logical thinking. So why am I telling you this Like, why does this even matter? You might be like this is just a lot of scientific words. Nobody really cares. But I promise you this knowledge is huge, because the reason that I'm telling you this is that when we are going through a divorce like probably 99.9% of you who are listening to this podcast are or have it is very common to be on an emotional roller coaster. Right, our emotions are all over the place And very often our nervous system is either heightened because of the emotional highs and lows we are feeling, or it's heightened because we have been put into that fight, flight or freeze mode, because our nervous system is completely out of whack. And when we are heightened, either emotionally because of the emotional roller coaster or heightened because we are in the fight, flight or freeze mode, we are taken out of being able to make rational, logical decisions and think with that prefrontal cortex part of our brain. The problem is is, when you are in a divorce, there is like an insane amount of decisions that need to be made. We need to decide where to live, what to put in the decree, how to divide things, how to co-parent, how to help the kids, what lawyer should I hire or should I just go with mediation. What about the finances? I mean, literally, that's like the tip of the iceberg, right? The list goes on and on and on. And if we are making decisions from our knee-jerk emotional reactions that come up naturally from our primitive brain, our habitual brain, those decisions are not necessarily always in line with what is best for us now and what is going to be best for us in the future. Sometimes they will be, but not always. And so when we can bring our logical thinking back online, when we can regulate our nervous system and allow space inside of us to move through our emotions, that's when we can make the most useful decisions for ourselves and for our kids and for our future, as we continue to bring in healing and reconnection with ourselves. So I wanted to talk about this idea of movement to be able to create that for you. So let's talk about movement for ultimate healing right now. I mentioned a minute ago that there's this idea of potent novel movement. This is being studied and it's fascinating how this truly does create neural pathways and takes you out of the anxiety and the trauma neural pathways. So what does that mean? What does potent mean? What does novel mean? Right, potent basically means powerful, strong, intense. And novel means different or new or unexpected. So we're talking about this in terms of movement, and so we want the movement to be potent, we want it to be novel, so that it will interrupt those trauma and anxiety pathways in our brain. Now we can talk about this in terms of traditional movement, like maybe yoga or running or cycling or swimming or something like that, something that you do often and you do over and over and over again. That's totally okay, this can fit into that, because that can be potent, right, that can be intense, that can be strong, that can be mighty. But I think it's also important to bring in this idea of novel movement as well, which is new, which is unexpected, which is where we'll kind of step into more of the untraditional types of movement that we can learn about. Try, do That's going to bring an unpredictability to our body. That's going to remind our body. Yes, we can do these kinds of movement to bring our nervous system back online, and it also will remind our body that we are safe in moments. We know that trauma is stored in the body, and so in order to move through that trauma, we need to use our body to do that. So a few years ago I was taking my dog on a walk and the two of us were attacked by another dog that was just kind of out roaming in the neighborhood. This dog attacked my dog and it was a big giant German shepherd. And so while I'm trying to get the dog off of my dog and protect my dog, i also got bit several times in the process. I got bit on my hand in lots of different places, my arm, both legs, and no one was home at the time And my dog was very hurt and I was hurt And I really needed to get my dog to the vet. And so I drove my dog to the vet and I just remember getting inside the vet's office. They took my dog from me And I just remember shaking, like just literally shaking from the trauma and the shock that I had just gone through. And so if you think about this, like if you've ever seen an animal after a fight or after an attack, they often will do the same thing. They'll kind of shake their fur, they will shake their whole entire body to allow their body to kind of work through that trauma. And that is a primal response to handling trauma, to help get our nervous system back online. My body in the situation was doing something that it knew instinctively to do. I didn't have to think about it. It literally I couldn't even control it if I wanted to right. My body was doing what it knew it needed to do to help me begin the process of processing through that trauma of what had happened. So that is one way that you can do this potent, novel movement. You can shake your body, you can shake your arms, you can move them up and down, kind of pump them up and down like raise the roof, anything like that, right. But there are many, many more ways to move our body, to work through the trauma and kick ourselves into that healing and bring the prefrontal cortex back online. Dance is a really great one, even if you don't know how to dance right. My daughter took dance from the time she was three years old until she was like 19, 20 even, i think. She is an amazing dancer, and my son even the break dancing and hip hop was kind of his thing for, like I don't know, six or seven years, and so they're really great dancers. I don't necessarily always want to dance in front of them, but I do, but I am not a great dancer, but I do like to dance. I like that movement. I like feeling my body move to the beat of a song. That, to me, is fun And so, even though I'm not a great dancer, i still enjoy it. So dance is a really great one. Just speaking of dance, i was on my walk and I had this really great playlist going on. It was one that it was a new one that I was listening to and it was really great And I really just felt the urge to move my body more than just what I would move it during a walk. So I danced, i moved my arms and my shoulders and I kind of flicked my head and I lifted my arms up and down and was kind of moving my torso and my body back and forth. And I probably looked like a massive, serious weirdo to the people who were outside driving by or watching me or whatever. But I was having so much fun and I was really present in my body and present with the music And by the time I got home I felt very energized, i was very connected to myself and it was amazing. I loved it. So dance is very potent and can be, depending on how you pay attention to your movements up, down levels, you know, high, low, how do you move your arms, how do you move your legs That kind of thing It can also be very novel. Another really great one is drumming Rhythmic drumming, either tapping your hands on your body or on a tambourine or on actual drums. You can do the butterfly tap, where your arms are crossed across your body and you use your hands to tap on one side of your upper chest and then the other side, in kind of a rhythmic pattern or a rhythm, and you can play with intensity here. You can play with how potent. It is right, you can tap harder, you can tap lighter, faster, slower. All of these things bring in that potency and newness of the movement. Other really great ones might be shadow boxing or punching or taking a kickboxing class, or marching in place or hiking in places that you maybe don't hike every day. And then if we kind of even step out a little bit further from the comfort zone or even the idea of movement in general, and if movement is difficult for you, because for some people it is harder to move their body, you can kind of get even more creative and use your body in other ways. One really great way to create steady movement is you can lay on the ground next to a wall and put your legs up on the wall with your heels facing the ceiling, and then you just lay there and you breathe, and you practice breathing and you focus on your breathing, or you focus on your legs, or whatever it is that you want to focus on. This is going to allow your nervous system to recognize that you're safe. It's a safe, steady movement, but it still reminds your nervous system that you're safe, and then it allows your prefrontal cortex to come back online, which is so fascinating, so amazing. There are even other ways to do this. It doesn't all have to be about movement of joints, and you know your head, your neck, your shoulders, your feet, your arms, whatever. Humming. Humming is a really amazing way to activate your vagus nerve, which is inside of your body, but it also that hum creates movement inside of you, and that is also a way to help override your trauma response that fight, flight or freeze, and so humming, and again, you can play around with the intensity of this loud, soft, fast, slow, hmm, hmm, hmm. Right, all of these different things, one really great one that I love and we've actually done this in my trauma-informed certification that I'm going through is Voo. You make the Voo sound Voo, and again, you can add that potency to it, whether it's going high, low, fast, slow, really intense, really quiet, voo, voo, voo, voo. Like you get to play around with it, which is so amazing. Again, it's a really great way to activate your vagus nerve. So play around with this, listen to your body and let your body kind of guide you on what it needs in the moment. Just the other day I was coaching one of my clients and she had done an hour of yoga and then an hour of writing and then she came to me and we had our session and she felt so good. She felt so in tune and connected to her body and I just commented that I loved that she really listened to what she needed in those moments and one of those things was that movement, that yoga. Listen to your body. Your body knows You truly do have authority over your body and you know what it needs. You just may have been very disconnected from that part of you for a long time, and that's okay. The more you practice and the more you play around with these things. Try new things. Step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Try something and see what feels right. You will start to be more in tune with your body and really be able to listen and understand what your body needs in moments, and then you can provide that for your body to help realign your nervous system, to help those emotions move through you and process through them and really allow you to bring your prefrontal cortex back online. So my challenge for you is to try this out for two weeks. Set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to move for healing, and I want you to do this for at least three minutes a day within these two weeks, but longer if you would like. That's totally up to you. You could decide how long after the three minutes, but I really want to challenge you to at least do three minutes of some kind of potent, novel movement. Okay, and again, listen to your body, decide what feels right to you, but try some new things. Remember, we want this to be potent, we want this to be novel. Do something unexpected, do something that your body is not used to. Try it out and see what happens. See what you notice after the two weeks. All right, my friends, i am excited to hear what happens. You can come to Instagram at Karen Nelson coaching and let me know how this challenge is going. I'm excited to hear. But get moving, get potent, get novel in the way you move your body to move through healing. All right, my friends, have a beautiful week. I will talk to you soon. Bye. I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life with weekly coaching, real life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to KarinNelsonCoaching.com. That's www.KARINNELSONCoaching.com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating wherever you listen to podcasts And for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.