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Physical expression of emotions

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Hedger, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Hedger

    Hedger Well known member

    Up until a week ago my focus on physical expression of feelings was more or less:

    Sadness - Crying, trembling voice, softness in eyes
    Anger - Making fists, screaming/punching pillow, flexing muscles hard

    Doing this in combination with expressive journaling through the SEP has helped me a lot and most symptoms are gone. But I still felt quite tense in my hip, core and pelvis (not so much pain). And I still feel worry and fear a bit too much.

    So I started to investigate worry and fear. And I started to observe that my psoas and related muscles were very tense, especially on my right side. I stumbled across TRE exercises and tried it out.

    I´m more and more convinced that shaking/trembling is a normal physical reaction to fear and worry. And using it together with emotional work, my psoas is slowly releasing its tense position. I´m starting to get better and better hip motions etc. It´s still early but very promising.

    Please let me know if you have experience in this, or other tips in physical release of fear/worry!
    Balsa11 likes this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    What you are doing is your version of the school of meditation known as somatic meditation. Emotions are in fact hormonal flows through the body and they work together with the autonomous nervous system, which regulates involuntary reactions such as crying, muscle contractions, shivering etc.

    I used the same approach when I was trying to wake up my emotions and un-suppress them. It worked, I got better. I was more concerned with anxiety (aka worry) and fear. I did not know about TRE exercises, but they seem to be a very good route to take. I found meditation/mindfulness being a great reliever of anxiety and fear. It helped me tremendously in my recovery.
    Hedger likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I recommend any kind of physical release/physical investigation of emotions. I have not used the TRE per se, but find in the past that shaking, trembling is a natural occurrence for some when doing deep emotional work. I find that standing and shaking and using my voice to express is very powerful to release inner tension. I guess I use a more organic than a planned process, but the end-point may be similar.

    Sometimes in ecstatic dance I have found such profound release by yelling, moving, "becoming" all kinds of unspecified (but important) feelings and emotions. The core of this is often a feeling of pure aliveness. Part of this is almost "shamanic" or trance-like in the sense of organic release, doing movements which just seem to want to happen. There is a breaking free of mind/planning/goals, even identity. Feels really good and needed. Wonderful afterward too. I miss this greatly with the pandemic right now.

    Also, doing slow movements with or without muscle tension is fun. Again, it takes me into a different dimension than the mind if I allow it. As TG957 expresses, it becomes a meditation.
    Hedger likes this.
  4. Hedger

    Hedger Well known member

    Yes! This is exactly what I´m trying to do with this thing. I´m not trying to find some exercise to take away the pain or fix it. Just something helping bring the emotions to surface. It feels like when my psoas muscles etc relax more, I´m becoming very emotional and strange. Like something is locked inside that tension. I have cried once after the TRE, but more I have become extremely worried and also afraid when it releases. Right now its going back an forth being tense and relaxed, and my emotions are a roller coaster. It´s like I´m starting to unlock some new part but can't yet fully handle the emotions yet so tension go back and forth. Using the TRE shaking was mostly the first couples of days, it helped start the release. I´m now using more of very deep stomach breathing to use the diaphragm to help release these muscles and calm the autonomous nervous system , in combination with somatic tracking and emotional handling.

    I´m seeing my body and mind as one now when it comes to emotions and TMS. That emotional work can be done with body and mind together. Like deep breathing can calm and sooth at the same time my inner voice does that.

    Observation: When I was sitting in the sofa and shaking my legs up and down in that typical worried expression (short, fast shaking), my wife said "Stop doing that! I can't relax" (makes her worried). So I mean, even to other persons around, this physicals expression communicates worry. Just like seeing someone crying can make you sad or similar.
    Lizzy likes this.
  5. Hedger

    Hedger Well known member

    Yes! I also heard a friend say that in oriental Qi Gong and similar, there are exercises designed to open the body up to movements that just starts to occur (like shaking). So I´m starting to see this pattern in many teachings. That you can start in either end of it - the mental or the physical realm because they are both parts of the whole when it comes to emotions. I do find that the mental/emotional work is key though. I can't just shake something off, or cry something out. I have to come to terms with it in my mind and feel safe while doing so.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. I think this a good observation. This understanding might also help us understand the deep inner support for knowing/experiencing connections between the emotional and physical. We can go at it from either end!
    Hedger likes this.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Qi Gong and yoga are one of the two healing modalities that are good at releasing tensions in both body and mind. I consider them movement meditations. I also noticed a much greater effect of my practice if it is done to a very rhythmic, monotonous music, which amplifies that "shamanic" effect Andy is describing. I used this technique especially frequently when I was recovering from my last TMS outbreak.
    Hedger likes this.

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