I was reading an article in the Sunday Times at the weekend ‘How we all got so anxious’ by Tom Culver. A quarter of the population have high levels of anxiety. Prescriptions for anxiety medications are at record levels. Anxiety is a major cause of lost working days. And all this has increased recently and especially among the young.
Anxiety is fear. People who are anxious are afraid. The young are afraid of being humiliated on social media. People were/are afraid of covid. Now people are afraid they can’t pay their bills. There is plenty to be afraid of. Fear makes us tense; it raises some hormone levels to dangerous levels. The fight/flight/freeze aspect of the nervous system is working overtime. This is more than unpleasant. It is bad for our health both physical and mental.
Trauma Release Exercise was developed to help those suffering from post-traumatic stress. The averagely anxious are not in post-traumatic stress, which is very extreme fear. But everyone has stress, anxiety, worry. TRE can help the averagely anxious person as well. We often don’t know what has caused stress which we may not even be aware of. Stuff from early childhood; stuff we have forgotten or blocked from memory.
With TRE we don’t have to go back to childhood or dredge up bad memories. We don’t have to try to get a grip, or stop worrying. The shaking helps release tension and balance the nervous system, allowing us to access the parasympathetic, the rest, relax and restore side of the autonomic nervous system.
When I was training as an Alexander Teacher, one of the trainers was often reminding us to ‘not incite the fear reflex’. Fear makes us tense, the opposite of what we want in an Alexander lesson. Fear makes it difficult to learn, to experiment. This is what we do want in an Alexander lesson.
Shake it out. One of the easier ways to deal with anxiety, stress and tension.