Most people know right away what I mean if I talked about ways to Relieve stress but most people would not know what I meant if I talked about different ways to Release stress. And, if they thought they knew what I meant, they would probably be equating Releasing one’s stress to Relieving one’s stress. They would interpret the two words as being synonymous.
I see the two words as having a distinct difference. When I talk about methods to Release your stress, we have to briefly revisit the definition of Stress (please see pg. 3 of this ebook). Our Stress is created because of our insecurities in relation to how much we think we can handle. To Release your Stress you have to realize that your insecurities are a result of the adverse life experiences you’ve had in your life (for more information on this subject, please refer to ACEs on pg.5-6 of this ebook or go to https://www.brainspottingspecialist.com/adverse-childhood experiences).
So when I say Releasing your Stress I’m talking about using the Releasing methods I’m going to tell you about to work on an issue that is “stressing you out” until that issue does not exist for you anymore. This will mean that you have processed out and Released the traumatic material from the deeper parts of your brain that has caused you to have these particular insecurities.
Throughout our lives, we experience events which can cause significant physical and/or emotional injury and distress. It can be a single isolated experience or can occur as a series of small events, which over time accumulate in our body. Either way, these events are traumatic and can leave us with feelings of sadness, anxiousness, anger or other types of emotions.
An example of single isolated experience that a person may suffer is a car accident years earlier that continues to affect that person as he/she becomes highly anxious while driving now, in the present. And, a real personal example of a more complex mental/emotional issue that has influenced me throughout my life is my once held belief that I was stupid.
The incredible irony is that I started developing this belief when my parents were told by my 6th grade teacher that I was going into the 7th grade honors program. You would think it was a good thing, but each one of my family members got intimidated by it in their own way and started conditioning me in one way or another to think I was stupid and not as smart as I thought I was (even though I didn’t know I was smart up until this point).
Even though I was the first in my family to go to college, it took me four colleges and more than 20 years to get my bachelor’s degree (at 40 years old). A good ending to this part of the story is that I graduated from the advanced standing program at the Columbia University’s Social Work School at 41 years old.
Typically, we aren’t even aware that these adverse experiences from our past are affecting us negatively and causing dysfunction in our lives on a daily basis. We can spend years talking about the feelings we’re experiencing and trying to figure out logically where they have come from. We might even develop ways to live with, “cope with or “manage” these feelings. What we might not realize is that all these feelings can be traced back to a core event, or series of events.
These traumatic memories, accompanied by the “extra-charge” of negative feelings caused by our adverse life experiences, for whatever reason, get “stuck” in the deeper parts of our brains and are typically out of reach of the conscious mind and its cognitive and language capacity. That is why this kind of deep processing cannot be accomplished by traditional talk therapy.
These traumatic experiences then become a part of that individual’s trauma “reservoir”. The body and the psyche cannot remain unaffected by the physical, energetic and emotional costs extracted by this accumulated trauma load. The medical and psychological literature now acknowledges that approximately 80-90% of requests for medical care are linked to the actions or consequences of this accumulation of stress and/or trauma upon the systems of the human body. For more information on (2 ½) how our adverse life experiences affect us, please go to:
Some information above was written by Mr. Brena, who received advanced-level
Brainspotting training from David Grand, Ph.D.
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