Have you heard, there is a new name for ADHD and its VAST ("variable attention stimulus trait"). Exploring how this makes all the difference in the world and how opening the topic up is as expansive, boundless and exploratory as the acronym implies.
Beaking down "what happens" when you flare-up and coming to understand why your body migth tend to resort to these responses to certain triggers, usually in an effort to help you (an understanding that can occur to you when you slow down enough to listen, instead of letting fear lead the research party) can make for a big breakthrough in managing these dips...
Are sensory-sensitivities in autism the same as being a Highly Sensitive Person and what can you do, in either case, when your sensory experiences seem to play on loop, especially if they trigger physical symptoms? Sharing some insights as someone with both traits and ways I am starting to rewire my own highly sensitive responses.
For the past few months I have been engaged in an experiment - me, the middle-aged autistic woman with a whole bundle of chronic pain syndromes, dancing twice a day almost every day. The result is, I can't possibly summarise the incredible benefits I have reaped, specifically within the context of autism but also relating to reduction of chronic pain...there are just too many to abbreviate and some of them may very well surprise you, so you will just have to read this post...
As an autistic person, I find there is a definite link here between my particular wiring for high sensory processing, which can make me feel more overwhelmed than some other people might be in the same situation, along with a tendency to live in my thoughts way too much, plus also the need to actively process those senses though my body in such a way that the body fully registers them, but without overwhelm, on the way through…because, otherwise, I can tend to bypass the body altogether. Not least because of issues with chronic pain, learning to bypass the body can become a really big issue. Also gentle grounding activities, such as letting energy passively drain through me into Mother Earth, doesn’t feel quite enough.
Rather, I tend to need to actively participate in the processing part in order to remember what my body is there for…and that it is important and useful for me to have one (something I tend to forget…), which is where the power of dance comes in for me. Dancing, quite literally, puts me back in touch with my body and helps me to remain more grounded for a long time afterwards. Yet whilst this especially applies to someone like me, as in highly sensitive person with autistic wiring, I suspect it applies to anyone that lives in their head and has become detached from their body to a very high degree…which is more common that you might think; a typical modern phenomenon.
I plan to share much more about the proven benefit of dancing, for autistic people, soon in another post that I’m working on for Living Whole.
To start off this topic, here is a post I shared yesterday, in my other blog Spinning the Light, on the importance of GROUNDING joy into the physical body (an absolute essential for health and for navigating these times), whatever that happens to take in your particular case.
Cultivating joie de vivre
…has never been more important, or elusive-seeming, so how do we conjure up, specifically, grounded joy, rooted in the body, during such challenging times?
(As doing the research that led to my retrospective post the other day reminded me) a relentless sense of my own joy of life has always been one of my defining traits, as it were, rescuing me from some very hard times, even way back when as a child feeling quite helpless in situations that traumatised me. As an adult now dealing with chronic health challenges, I have come to regard it as an utterly essential ingredient of life, so much so that I cringe when I watch so many people loose their grip on it (not that I blame them in the circumstances) because of perceiving themselves as victims of those circumstance, knowing as I do that unless we take our own personal steps to…
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Scientists now acknowledge that sun cycles, space weather and geomagnetic variables affect our biology; so where does that place us as a new active cycle bursts into life this week? Speaking as one who feels it, some positive thoughts...
When you are an empath, you may tend to walk into a room and find yourself tracking the energy fields of everyone in there...do you relate? And in your relationships, dialling into people's energy over their personality? This comes with inevitable pitfalls...I speak from experience here, as well as playing with some reasons why we might do this in the first place and how we can bring the trait into more balance for far better health.
Recently, for the first time in a long while, my nighttime dives into sleep are like walking into a good therapist's office to settle onto the most comfortable couch, only this is no therapist I was ever likely to meet in this lifetime...
Highly Sensitive People spend whole lifetimes feeling like we live on the fringe of all fringes, dancing someone else’s dance (carefully), feeling odd when we compare ourselves with what are supposedly “normal” reactions to everyday situations, when we feel unable to join in because things get too much for us such as when life is too noisy, busy or triggering to be borne by our finely tuned wiring and when we just can’t manage the loneliness of being, apparently, the only one who notices things that, to us, are obvious…So, from now on, let all that be for a higher reason; embrace its potential, not its weirdness or other people's misfits ideas about it. This trait has been proven to be an evolutionary potential in every one of the many species where it has been found to exist (in just 20% of the population in every case) and it is also shown not to be a pathology, so let's stop acting like it is. Now is the time to dare to be, unapologetically, ourselves...or walk off to where we feel better and are listened to and truly valued for our gifts, even be alone for a while to recover and grow ourselves, rather than this endless rub and rejection.
Shaking the body is how wild animals get rid of stress from their bodies...straight after the trigger event...which is why they don't suffer PTSD but what about humans? Here's a simple daily practice that not only shakes off what you don't want but re-energises every cell in the body (something we could all use right now), it takes just a few moments, can be done anywhere and is free!