You know that feeling
Dizzy…spaced out…not quite yourself
Feeling just not with it, not really connected or grounded
Your sense of balance is just a bit off and the traction that is needed to connect in and move through life just seems to be missing.
The dizziness comes and goes, making you wonder if you were dizzy at all, even forgetting that you were dizzy. Until it comes back, again! And you start to realise that you have been feeling like this for weeks.
I had a conversation this morning with a young woman who is normally a very upbeat, bright and on the top of her game. This morning she was clearly rattled and looked on the verge of tears. Her job is incredibly busy and demanding and during the several years that I have known and observed her she has always impressed me with her warm heart, quickness of intellect and ability to stay calm amidst the chaos. But today she was wobbly, physically and emotionally.
She told me that she had been feeling strangely dizzy lately and that she noticed that her natural resilience to bounce back was low. She explained that normally she would be able to manage and balance the multiple complexities that came her way in any given day but today she just didn’t feel that she had it in her.
I too have had my fair share of those days.
My regular plan of attack has been to research, devise a plan and act. Not an easy task when feeling already bogged down by life with minimal resources at my disposal. But push on I did. I would research all kinds of vitamins and minerals that I might be deficient and take them for a few weeks only to find that the improvement was enough to feel some difference but I didn’t feel the bounce back that I hoped for. So then it would be off to the doctor for a battery of tests that relieved me of the fact that I wasn’t suffering from any random illness. But that still left me back at square one and flat as a tack.
I was told by my doctor one time that dizziness can be a symptom of stress or anxiety but I didn’t feel any of my normal indicators of stress like worrying thought patterns or tightness in my chest. But I didn’t know then what I know now about the physiology of stress and tension.
You see stress and tension is not a top down process, it activates from the bottom up.
The oldest part of our brain, the reptilian brain, is responsible for our survival. It is literally the part of our brain that keeps us alive without having to think about it. When we are relaxed it is responsible for the rest and digest aspect of our physiology. When under any perceived threat and during times of overwhelm it goes into protection mode otherwise known as fight, flight or freeze.
This biological emergency system switches on in times of stress or perceived threat, it bypasses the need for cognitive functioning to ensure the survival of the body.
The cognitive aspect of our brain still plays a part in this survival response. It kicks in moments later to take stock of situation and make an attempt at problem solving but it is running on reduced capacity.
During times of stress it is the reptilian brain running the show. In preparation to deal with the threat our body releases adrenaline which can makes us feel dizzy. Our breath becomes shallow and the reduction of oxygen in our system can make us feel even more light headed.
Once the stressor has passed we ideally should return to a base level of calm and restoration. But what I generally find when I am working with people is that we have lost both the skills and the opportunities to effectively let go of our stress and tension.
In this day and age our cognitive minds have cultivated an incredible ability to disconnect from the sensations of stress. We block it out, we push it down, we shut it off. We keep going, managing, juggling, delivering until one day our physical and/or emotional state is so flooded with chronic overwhelm that we can’t ignore it any longer.
Every day in my practice I see people who are confounded by a sudden onset of chronic symptoms including back pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, depression, headaches and more. These people are naturally confounded by their symptoms.
The thing that strikes me most of all is that these people are intelligent, capable and strong people who have been working at a peak level of performance for many, many years. And now they cannot. It is not because mentally they are incapable, in fact it is because they have coped too well for too long that things have fallen apart.
Because it is not a top down problem talk therapy has limited success. When the body is trapped in a constant cycle of survival it perpetuates a state of pain, anxiety and distress. It is only by integrating mind body practices that their nervous system begins to settle, self soothe and self regulate.
Recently the WHO announced that depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. They estimate that over 300 million people are experiencing the debilitating effects of depression. With this figure continuing to increase despite the widespread use of antidepressants it is clearly time to start utilising mind body practices to begin to access the health, happiness and well being that we all deserve to enjoy.
So if you are feeling dizzy by all means go and get it checked out with your local health care provider. But if dizziness is your regular companion it may be your body’s inner barometer indicating that it is time decompress some of that pent up intensity.
Whether you are wanting to find greater ease in life, let go of the past or find your way through a difficult time I am here to support you. Call me for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss the ways in which I can help. Moving beyond challenges is often simpler than we think, if you are ready to let go of what has been holding you back and are ready to embrace a better way of being give me a call on 0419 101 665 or send me at email firstname.lastname@example.org