When an electronic is malfunctioning (buffering, freezing, or just friggin’ stuck) all it often needs is a reset. Just unplug the electronic, wait a bit, and when you plug it back in, it usually goes back to functioning properly.
The same simple logic applies to humans.
When a human body is malfunctioning (exhausted, stressed, or just friggin’ stuck) all it often needs is a reset. Just unplug the body, wait a bit, and when you plug it back in, it usually goes back to functioning properly.
The body keeps the score.
The guy who said that brilliant thing, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, researched how traumatic experiences can have a profound impact on the body, not just the mind. Trauma can include chronic stress, people.
The physical manifestation of stress is very real. The body’s response to all that pressure, such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, and the release of stress hormones, can become stored in the nervous system. These physical reactions can persist even once the stressor is gone. Just because you remove the stressor, doesn’t mean you’ve removed the stress response. Which might explain why you’re still exhausted from that demanding job you quit weeks ago, or that intense pandemic, or that traumatic breakup last year.
The mind and body are interconnected systems, they are constantly influencing and communicating with each other. When stress disrupts this connection, your body can actually experience a lot of physical pain. Things like fatigue, digestive issues, headaches – and of course this can all result in other conditions like anxiety and depression.
Unplugging is the answer. We have this amazing power to promote healing by reconnecting the mind with the body, but we have to make time for it. Of course, it’s the stuff that I basically loathe – meditation, breathing, stretching. But restoring the connection between your bod and your noggin’ is what you often need to regain a sense of calm and safety post-stressor.
So the next time you feel pressure coming on, and the indication that your body is malfunctioning, ask yourself, “Have you tried rebooting?”