What an election!
Left / right, blue / red, liberal conservative... we can all agree that this election is one for the most charged, polorizing, and divisive campaigns in modern history, and brought upa lot of fear for a lot of people.
The reason why fear is used to motivate people during every election is because it is a very effective tactic to influence and control large groups of people.
And the reason why is because fear is encoded in our nerve systems.
As human beings, we are wired more to avoid pain than we are to seek pleasure. This is an evolutionary adaptation, a defense strategy to protect our bodies from injury and harm.
Every time we are hurt, injured, or scared the reptilian brain codes the memory of the incident and files it away under, "we better watch out for that so we don't get hurt again."
Then when we feel, see, hear, smell or taste something reminiscent of the original wound, the primal brain kicks in it's Fight / Flight / Freeze instinct so we can avoid pain or injury.
When in this defensive state, the entire body's physiology shifts it's focus into protection. Muscles tense throughout the body. Heart rate goes up. Breath gets rapid and shallow. Blood pressure increases. Blood sugar goes up.
All of this is to prepare you for a moment of intensity and survival, and this reaction is a big reason why human beings still roam the planet today.
The stress response is an automatic, subconscious reaction to the perception of danger - the key word being perception. The primitive brain reacts to the perception of the environment either being "safe," or "not safe." There doesn't need to be a big, scary sabre-tooth tiger breathing down your neck, just the perception that one might be lurking and ready to pounce at any moment.
Or the perception that the very survival of the country and the culture could be threatened... if you don't vote one way or another.
And in the week since the election, I have seen a lot of people with some hyped-up stress responses. In fact, some of the women I have taken care of were in full-blown PTSD when they got on the table.
You might be thinking, "Come on... PTSD? That's ridiculous. Clearly somebody is over reacting."
Maybe, if you're basing that on someone not getting their choice for prez.
The truth is, anything that "sets you off" is a learned experience. And each time we feel scared or hurt, the nerve system learns, adapts, and then reinforces that pathway until it is a well-conditioned response. And as soon as something pops up on our radar that even reminds us of a past fear or hurt, the survival Fight / Flight / Freeze drive kicks in - even if the threat is only a perception of a threat. And the more of these experiences we have, the quicker and easier we drop into fear-based physiology.
And in this physiology, fear-based emotions kick in, too. Anxiety. Nervousness. Panic. Hopelessness. Anger. Rage. You get the picture.
In this last week since the election I've seen a common theme with people.
Their bodies are in defensive physiology because of a perceived lack of certainty and safety.
Emotionally they are feeling overwhelmed, and whatever emotions have been the most difficult are the ones that are coming up for them.
Their minds are reeling with thoughts of, "What does this mean? What do I do? What sense do I make of this? What is supposed to happen next?"
The best part of it all is that as freaked out as some people have been, their hearts were definitely open. There was space for hope, for acceptance, for compassion, and for love - even in the midst of everything else.
This is an important reminder that even when a lot of things seem like they are going wrong and it looks bleak, there will always be something positive that we can connect with and grow.
As I worked with every person, their energy shifted from defensiveness to peace and safety, which shifted their emotional state from fear to trust, their mental chatter dissipated, and at the end they felt more hopeful, peaceful, and relaxed.
In life, change and uncertainty are inevitable. The external world is going to do it's thing, and we have no control over that.
The only things we do have control over is where we choose to put our focus, and how much energy we want to give something.
What has your focus?
What is your brain telling you to focus on, that keeps you playing small and makes you feel limited? Do you keep focusing on what you don't have, and what's not working for you?
Do you notice that your body feels stiff, tense, or heavy at times? Have you felt "on edge," overly sensitive, or more reactive than usual?
Chances are, your primal, fear-based instincts are driving your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
The beautiful thing about Network Spinal Analysis and Reorganizational Healing is that it can totally shift and retrain your brain's focus so that you don't have to be under fear or stress.
When people experience this life-changing work they notice that the things that really get under their skin don't bother them as much anymore. They spend less time obsessing over what's wrong with themselves and everyone and everything around them. They feel more open, lighter, flexible, and adaptable. There is a deep sense that they are safe, that everything is OK, and that they are more capable of making things better in their life.
So no matter who your candidate was, what your ideology is, or whatever team you identify with, the truth is that we are all human, and we're all in this together.
The more open and connected we are within ourselves, the greater the capacity we will have to connect with others, find common ground, and the solutions we need to move this country forward.
My two cents - get connected. Your body will thank you, you'll feel better, you'll feel more positive, and you'll think more clearly, too. Do it for yourself, do it for America!!! ;)
To transform your relationship with fear and stress into safety and peace, click this link to schedule your first Reorganizational Healing visit with Dr. Kell