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Finding Hope in Stressful Times: The Pendulation Technique for Emotional Resilience


In our daily lives, we often tell ourselves, “I must be strong” or “I have to handle this,” as we strive to draw strength from within. This approach, however, can lead to the unintentional repression of emotions, leaving us feeling overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, and a myriad of other feelings.

Understanding the Survival Instinct

As human beings, our brains are wired more for survival than for happiness. Our natural inclination is to fight, overcome obstacles, and avoid pain at all costs. This survival instinct explains why managing difficult emotions can be so challenging. Often, these emotions, when not understood or regulated properly, manifest as physical discomfort and various health issues.

The Impact of Emotional Repression

When we somatize our distress, it’s a clear sign of unresolved trauma. This suffering manifests in various ways, including panic attacks, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, and musculoskeletal pain. The psychological effects are equally significant, and unraveling these deeply entangled unhealed wounds is far from easy.

Introducing the Pendulation Technique

In this context, the pendulation technique, conceptualized by Dr. Peter A. Levine, emerges as a valuable tool. Levine, known for his extensive work in the field of somatic experiences, emphasizes the importance of body awareness in addressing trauma. His approach recognizes that trauma resides not just in the mind but is deeply embedded in the body, manifesting in various physical and emotional symptoms.

Applying Pendulation in Daily Life

The pendulation technique is about oscillating between emotional pain and states of relaxation, enabling a gradual release of trapped emotional energy. This method is not merely about achieving relaxation; it's about healing from psychological stressors by acknowledging the intricate link between body and mind.

Here are some everyday examples of how pendulation can be applied:

Coping with Work-Related Stress: Imagine you're overwhelmed with deadlines and meetings. Pendulation involves acknowledging the stress in your body (like a tight chest) and then consciously shifting to relaxation, perhaps through deep breathing or a brief walk.

Navigating Feelings of Shame: If you’re grappling with shame, perhaps from a perceived failure, pendulation can help. Recognize the feelings of shame, observe where they manifest in your body, and then gently guide yourself towards feelings of acceptance or self-compassion.

Dealing with Daily Anxiety: On days when anxiety seems all-consuming, pendulation encourages you to tune into this anxiety, feel it, and then slowly transition to focusing on something that brings you a sense of calm or safety.

Are you curious about how your body's symptoms might be linked to your mind and emotional stressors? Let's explore this together. Chronic symptoms such as anxiety, stress, and even autoimmune disorders, particularly prevalent among women, often stem from emotional roots like people-pleasing behaviors and repressed feelings. Understanding the connection between your mental state and physical symptoms is crucial. By delving into the mind-body relationship, we can start to unravel these patterns. I offer virtual sessions to guide you through this journey, providing insights and techniques to help you feel better and achieve a healthier, more balanced life. Let's get curious and embark on a path to holistic well-being.

“The trauma resides in our nervous system, not in the event that originated it.”

-Peter A. Levine-

healing by going slowly between the stressors and resources
Somatic technique

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