Relaxation Induced Anxiety

The last week, I’ve been working on some new material for my membership pathway that centres around our ability to rest in good feeling and expand our capacity for the good stuff. It seems kind of ironic that we need to pay attention to this side of things as much as we do increasing our capability to hold space for experiences that we would typically view as more challenging- anxiety and fear for example- but it’s equally as important. Think about something as basic as receiving a compliment and you will have an idea about what your thresholds are for letting the good stuff flow your way.

One of the things we discuss is relaxation induced anxiety. Relaxation induced anxiety is the experience of a reflexive or rebound reaction of anxiety in response to any kind of settling or let down in the body. In short, that feeling of release feels unsafe, and the body responds by moving into the mode that feels most familiar; hypervigilance.

Why does this happen? The seed of it lies in nervous system dysregulation. Tension and tightness have created the illusion of control, and consequently releasing and settling feels unsafe. If we think about the nature of tension and the idea of holding onto something as essentially protective, we need to feel that the opposite- opening and relaxing- is a better option. For those of us who’ve been marinating in adrenalin and cortisol for a while, we primed ourselves to be more focused on threat than opportunity, and any movement away from that feels like we’re in free fall.

The practice?

Gently restoring balance in the nervous system.
Restoring a feeling of safety in the body.
Uncoupling the sensation of opening and releasing with anxiety and fear.

Onwards.

❤️ Jane

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