Physical Attributes of Chronic Fear & Anxiety

There have been opportunities to explore the long-term physical, mental and emotional effects of long-term fear and anxiety as a Feldenkrais® Practitioner and Life Coach .  Here are some examples of the results that have been presented.  Keep in mind that these results are based upon cases where these conditions have evolved slowly over time without any awareness.  The slow development of physical change results from lack of attention on body awareness, therefore,  the shift in movement behaviors generally they are not noticed.   

Flight

Dominate flight reactions tend to be the loss of strength physically, mentally or emotionally.    Two physical responses to panic; collapsing,  going limp or running away.  Chronic fear and anxiety can be noticeable in  general appearance and in social behaviors.   A common quality is over achievement, overdoing it whether hold strong, being strong or double jointed and limber. There is a disconnection from body awareness. Generally the body is not highly regarded, taken care of or appreciated.    

These following three reactions have shown up in cases of without a balanced approach to developing all aspects of well-being.  

1.  A  dominant focus of attention on a spiritual movement practice.  The physical movement of the body structure has presented with lack of strength and limited inner body awareness.  The core force of inner physical strength has been replaced with a limp disconnected reaction.

2.  A dominant focus of attention on a goal or achievement.  The body is strong with a lack of connection to the finer qualities in mobility.  The body is used to excel  the focus is on strategies to get results versus developing whole and spontaneous movement.

3.  A dominant focus on fear and creating safety.  This has shown up as permanent state without  connection to ones senses in the present moment.  The only connection to a felt body sense is a source of discomfort and pain.  It is regarded as the enemy and when explored the pain is a memory and not necessarily current.  

In relationships dominant flight fear/anxiety reactors will generally lack the qualities of self-empathy and empathy for others.  They are self-focused and intent on creating safety by whatever strategies that have been learned.  The need is for survival and it is primal.  This Read more….

Freeze

1.  Freezing presents itself by the lack of spontaneous moving parts in breathing and posture.  There is a habit of moving the body in a locked posture with the  inability to move different body parts separately.  An example of this locking of the head in a forward posture.  Turning to the left and right and become a full body movement as the pain of locking ones head creates a habit.

2.  Tremors start with long-term freezing.  The muscles are in a state of permanent contraction or extension.  Over time with the loss of the ability to extend, contract and relax in a flow of movement it has resulted in slowing movement and  shaking.

3. Slowing down will eventual result in  rigidity setting in as the posture of freezing locks in and becomes a habit.  It presents as a complete frozen state that includes facial expression.  This may eventually extend to drooping eyes, drooling and lack of mental/cognitive clarity as the physical effort to function becomes too exhausting.

In relationships most dominant freeze fear/anxiety reactors will be considerate of others and not want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Their first reaction may be surprise, shock and horror at what they are witnessing, hearing, or experiencing. In relationships things will generally be taken personally and turned inward without attempts to stand up for themselves immediately.  Time is needed to process and the moment for responding has past leaving unresolved interactions and experienced as passive.  Read more…….

Fight

1.  A dominant focus on control.  Resistant to experiencing support that is not calculated and controlled.  Fear is subtle and deeply rooted therefore, movement is isolated and not a spontaneous flow.  Somatic learning is blocked by the filter of control.  Results in increased physical pain further reducing movement.

2. A dominant focus on seeking answers yet unable to integrate movement experience to form new habits.  The need to know has replaced sensual awareness therefore unable to recognize and value change.  When there is a response of  less tension and increased relaxation it cannot be fully absorbed and appreciated due to distractions of trying to understand it.    Will objectify versus notice their experience.   Therefore will adjust posture according to thinking versus somatic experiencing.

3.  A dominant focus on working hard and using brute strength.  Strength will be a reactive posture that will lead to lack of using fine motor skills resulting in being clumsy, tense and awkward.

In relationships the dominant fight responded will react with right and wrong thinking.  Therefore others are the enemies and the roots of disconnect.  This habitual response will lack the skill to include others perspectives and beliefs as they believe they have the answer.  Read more………

The intent of this article is in the context of how  communication and movement can support the decrease of anxiety, stress & fear. Values & Empathy integration in communication for transforming disconnection into connection and movement for calming one’s nervous system.

Read more on:

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Feldenkrias Movement Benefits 

Read more on right & left side of brain reactions to stress

 

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Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder

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