Posture and emotion: it’s a dance!

Let me tell you a short story about an experience with a client:

Recently I walked next to a client outside in nature.
When you walk and talk thoughts and emotions tend to flow easier than sitting still, so we walked along.

twentepad

As we tackled a subject that was highly emotional to her and triggered very loaded negative memories her posture changed into this:

she pulled your chin forward, her shoulders went up, her neck shortened, her breath became shallow and high, her forehead was all crinkled in worry lines, her eyes widened and her voice was high pressed and shrill ….

She was on the run –

her whole body and voice were one fight-and-flight reaction, reliving the experience from years ago.

… whereas in the present moment we were just walking on a path in bright sunshine.
I stopped and pointed out to her, what was happening to her body and her voice.

 

She paused and took a deeper breath.

I asked her to drop her shoulders,
…encouraged her to lengthen the back of her neck
…guided her into breath support by exhaling deeply into her belly
…asked her to relax the space between her eyes
…and feel the support of the earth under her feet.

Her Posture changed and with it, the high emotion changed, too.

Subtle changes in posture have big influences:
in how you feel, and also in how you are being perceived.

The effect goes both ways:
– inside in your body awareness
– outside in how people perceive you.

This example shows how becoming aware of your posture and emotion can change from a state of panic into being calm and in charge again. Any moment.

My Client is a very competent woman, she speaks for a living holding a position as a teacher at a high school, and has a powerful and strong voice when she is singing.

Traumatic events when not being fully processed or treated will come back in your body’s memory.
When you feel that a particular memory is regularly coming back and limiting you in your daily life, take action and consult a body-orientated (Trauma-)Therapist / Counsellor.