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Dealing Better with Burdensome Emotions

In our relentless quest to heal our soul, we are often searching for the underlying causes behind everything. We tell ourselves a story about why we're afraid or why we're depressed.

In the best case, we uncover our patterns of behavior and how they were formed in our childhood.

We have more understanding for ourselves, more "self-compassion" when we experience feelings that may have been triggered by the current situation but cannot be fully derived from it.

In the worst case, we increasingly connect with painful stories, feeling like victims of an unhappy childhood, powerless against the past that keeps materializing in our memory. We dig ourselves deeper into depression.

But how do we get out of this difficult situation?

Finding early triggers is interesting but only helps us to a certain extent.

"The solution has nothing to do with the problem and lies in the future" (Steve De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg).

This understanding of how therapy works is relatively new, at least new enough that most of us still associate psychotherapy with Sigmund Freud's creed: "What happened in the past that explains the problem?"

In my work, I try to develop new, more helpful "stories" with you that allow us to feel better.

Sometimes, it's even helpful to completely detach from a "story" and focus only on the feeling it evokes, consciously observing to learn how to process it without being overwhelmed and entering a state of exception, to liquefy it, to support it with gentle body movements, and to learn about and act on the body's stress activation scale.

Both fears and depressions can be reactions to overwhelm; they are the opposite points on a continuum of activation of our autonomic nervous system. Fears are related to the flight response and indicate overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, accompanied by tension, high blood pressure, and everything on the bodily level that makes sense for flight. In depression, the sympathetic nervous system is underactivated, and depression represents collapse, helplessness. Oscillating between these two extremes is not uncommon when the autonomic nervous system is thrown out of balance due to excessive stress.

Aligning the nervous system for healthy activation within our tolerance window is an exit from the spiral of fear and depression. In this regard, involving the body is helpful. Gentle movements are part of the therapeutic program with me.



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