This blog post is related to our podcast MeWe, saison 1, episode 6, mental wellbeing and energy
This episode is dedicated to all persons living with high levels of anxiety and facing challenges in their life due to the pandemic or any other reason. At WOMADE we are concerned by the well-being of women and entrepreneurs and are happy to share about mental well-being to demystify mental health issues. No shame and no need to be alone. If you are facing some mental pressures please do connect with us and we can recommend some specialists in Marie-Amélie’s network.
There is no health without mental health
According to the WHO (World Health Organisation) health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” They assert that physical and mental well-being is a human right, enabling a life without limitation or restriction.
Mental health is one of the leading causes of suffering and disability in Europe. A lot of sufferings have happened since the last year and a half at different levels and intensity: the worry of being infected, self-isolation and quarantine measures, restricted economic activity, less connectedness, no access to education etc.
According to WHO, “at the level of the overall population, a clear increase in levels of anxiety and stress has been observed, with several surveys showing that around 1/3 of adults are reporting levels of distress. Among younger people, that figure goes up to as much as 1 in every 2 people.”
Wisdom of Trauma
Doctor Gabor Maté named his documentary “the wisdom of trauma”.
He believes that in every human there is a true genuine authentic self and the trauma is that disconnection from it; the healing is the reconnection with it.
Trauma has an imprint on our behavior, in our relationships and therefore in our projects, self-esteem, trust in life and our capacity. It is an invisible force that influences our life. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and how we make sense of our life. This is the source of our deepest wounds.
These wounds are well-studied by numerous psychologists in the world. One famous author is Lise Bourbeau who wrote about “the 5 wounds that prevent you from being yourself” where she studies from 0 to 5 years old how we can develop wounds such as rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal and injustice. As adults we generally carry 2 of these wounds and up to 4.
Childhood experience and developmental trauma
The educational environment has also a strong influence on the sense of safety, stability, bonding and overall well-being of an adult.
Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). It could be for instance, experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect, witnessing violence in the home or community, having a family member attempt or die by suicide, substance use problems, mental health problems, instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison.
Unfortunately ACE’s are incredibly common - 67% of people had had at least 1 experience and 12.6% so 1 in 8 people had had 4 or more - according to a study conducted on 17500 persons in USA between 1995-1997 (source in bio) There are risks factors but also protective factors at individual, family and community levels and lots of prevention strategies implemented since then.
Overall these traumatic experiences are early trauma that affect children and adults afterwards, in their capacity to self-regulate, to have a good self-image, and a capacity for harmonious relations.
According to Lissa Rankin and other researchers, children have 5 developmental needs and associated core capacities essential to well-being. If any of these needs are not met, a series of behavioral patterns arise. The wounds Gabor Maté talks about. As human beings we create a lot of strategies and wear lots of masks. These are generally unconscious, shame based, or pride based to overcome these wounds.
Capacity to be in touch with our body and emotions. Capacity to be in connection with others
The connection with the mother in the first year is really a symbiosis, there is no limit between oneself and her; this leads to a regulated nervous system that allows the child to stay in their body and know that their needs will be fed and that the connection will relieve distress, if any.
Capacity to attune to our needs and emotions. Capacity to recognize, reach out for and take in physical and emotional nourishment
Babies need to tune in with the educators (parents or other) who will mirror their experiences, anchor them and help them feel emotions, tolerate intense emotions and normalize those experiences so that they know they are not alone when their nervous system gets too overwhelmed.
Capacity for healthy dependence and interdependencies
Children need to trust that the love they receive is unconditional and that they are free to become who they are. often they lose their authenticity to please the parents, to fit into a mold, betraying themselves.
Capacity to set appropriate boundaries. Capacity to say no and set limits. Capacity to speak our mind without fear or guilt
After a symbiosis with the mother, toddlers must separate from this early relationship by testing and setting limits around 2 years, then as teenagers and finally when leaving the family home. Parents may not let their children fly on their own and this results in adults who are infantilized, lacking personal sovereignty, pleasing their parents.
Love and sexuality
Capacity to live with an open heart. Capacity to integrate loving relationships with a vital sexuality
Growing up children need healthy role models to connect with an open heart, loving and open sexuality, and a fulfilling relationship with their bodies. If they are blamed in the discovery of their bodies, if there is no sex education, the adult compartmentalizes the heart and sexuality. This results in individuals who can appear very energetic, attractive but inside the lack of self-esteem makes them very insecure and disconnected from their hearts.
Releasing energy to heal
Behind traumas and developmental wounds, there are memories and emotions that are blocked in our body. This can create illness and burnout as our nervous system is constantly under stress. Releasing these blockages and memories is part of the healing journey to get back to a high level of vitality. Your level of resilience to life is increased and you can cope with life’s situations in a more truthful way.
Albert Szent-Gyôrgyi, Nobel Prize in Medicine (1937) once said “In all cultures and in all medical traditions before our own, healing has been achieved by setting energy in motion”
That’s the baseline of energetic psychology, from which Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is the main healing technique.
Clinical EFT is a psycho-body approach at the crossroads of oriental (acupressure) and western medicine (neurosciences). By tapping on different acupuncture points on the body and talking about the adverse situations and reframing them at the same time, different reactions happens:
there is an update of your vibrational state and heavy emotions disappear
a relief of the traumatic charge linked to a past situation
an understanding and a connection between past wounds and present blocage
a door open to new possibilities with positive anchoring
Clinical EFT uses a scientific protocol tailored according to the situations. Past traumas can be released for a reinitialisation of your system, repairing of your cells. You are more calm, gain clarity and feel more at peace with who you are.
While practicing the therapist can also partner with your unconscious mind and the more we tap, some memories can pop up and thus be treated during the session. Once it’s fully liberated it nevers comes back as the root cause is tackled.
The energy that was put on fighting consciously or unconsciously the wounds can be put on developing your projects and taking care of yourself and your loved ones. In the end, more energy and more vitality.
In the podcast Alba and Marie-Amélie share about how this approach has helped them to overcome obstacles and tensions in their personal awareness and entrepreneurial journey.
What about you?
How do you feel at the moment?
Do you recognize some patterns that might be part of your healing journey?
Have you ever tried Clinical EFT ?
If you need a partner and guide to help you with trauma healing, emotional release, inner dialogue reframing, and a re-setup of your system, you can contact Marie-Amélie for an EFT session.
World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/westernpacific/activities/promoting-mental-health
Documentary, The me you can’t see, Apple tv, with Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey
Documentary, The wisdom of trauma, docteur gabor maté
Book, What happened to you, Oprah Winfrey
Adverse Childhood Experience study https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aces/index.html
Tedx Nadine Burket Harris, about Childhood trauma https://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime
WOMADE is an all-female community & coworking space in Brussels — follow us on Instagram
MeWe is WOMADE's official podcast sharing empowering stories to inspire ambitious women — follow us on Instagram