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Toughness Hurts

April 10, 2018


So, you know how to be tough, but do you know how to be resilient? Most people don’t really consider that there’s a difference.

Consider a boxer, whose toughness allows them to sustain a massive number of punches to the face and to the body. The toughness allows them to take those blows without falling, or failing, but if the boxer only takes punches and doesn’t have the capacity to punch back then what good is the toughness? Most of us believe that if we can “tough it out”, whatever “it” is, then the tougher we are and the more successful we can become.

Let’s reconsider resiliency as a boxer’s ability to respond with an equal or greater blow to an opponent every time they’re struck. It’s a loose metaphor but let’s apply this to real life toughness versus real resiliency.

Stress effects us daily: it weighs us down, it slows us down and it brings us down. Toughness allows us to continue working, parenting, partnering etc. but are you able to thrive or grow because you are tough?

The all-too-common situation of feeling stuck, knowing something needs to change but you can’t seem to take the necessary steps to make real change, doesn’t have to continue. Sure, you can be tough and just keep taking the punches, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way you could break the patterns? What if you could learn to recover faster and easier from stressful situations, bouncing forward instead of bouncing back? That’s true resilience.

Resiliency is our ability to return to a healthy baseline state in our nervous system faster and more effectively and more often, after a stressful situation. Unfortunately, if our systems are used to staying in an aroused state after stress, in fight, flight or freeze, we will actually have to relearn our responses to stress. Fortunately, I know a way that you can start to relearn your response to stress, tone your nervous system so that it is more familiar with the resting state and eventually build resiliency that will both prepare you for dealing with future stress, and allow you to recover faster when stress saps your capacity.

Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (TRE®) release physical stress from the body, calming the nervous system.

Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (TRE®) are a simple and accessible, yet powerfully effective way to release stress, whether that stress is manifested physically, emotionally or mentally. TRE® is a series of 7 simple exercises that evoke Neurogenic tremors (vibration, shaking) which are a safe and healthy way to discharge stress and calm the nervous system. The exercises can be modified for any body type or disability.


Benefits of TRE:

Tension and Trauma Releasing exercises were originally developed to address the impacts of traumatic experiences on the body; however, we have come to learn that TRE benefits all people. Hurtful experiences, stress, and tension are part of everyone’s life and we often do not realize how these experiences are etched deep in the mind and subsequently in the body.


TRE, unlik