Back to list of blog entries

Trauma Responses come in many different guises: Difficulty Putting Down Roots...

16 May 2022


Themes: Grounding; Roots; Trauma; Flight mode; nervous system; moving home; relocating; fleeing.

Being afraid to plant roots is one example of undischarged trauma in the body.

Being able to ground; keep still; settle; plant your feet on the earth; tend to your home and garden; stay in one place for too long, and feeling the urge to constantly move home are all physical symptoms of the flight response where our nervous system remains in a heightened, ready-to-flee state.

For me this shows up during periods when I find myself yet again thinking about moving somewhere else instead of working on my present home to make it a more nourishing place where I want to stay; feeling unwilling to literally plant flowers in my garden, and feeling generally reluctant to engage with my local community and land. Then I know that I’m in flight mode, albeit in a continuous, low-level background form, which is harder to detect and realise what’s going on.

I can testify that constantly moving house rarely creates the rootedness that I crave. In fact, moving home and relocating are tremendously UPROOTING and so increase levels of stress, tension and a feeling of temporariness which is another indication that trauma is driving the urge to move again. There is also a kind of high that comes from landing in a new home and place but then of course, the cycle has to start all over again to try and put down roots. It can become a habitual lifestyle all stemming from the flight urge.

One of the most grounding things for me is to be around horses on a daily basis. Having my feet on the earth each day for prolonged periods and my hands in muck, hay and the like. The powerfully, potent groundedness of these wonderful four-legged beings and their calmness and earthy smells, all fill my senses and triggers a relaxation response in my nervous system from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state, and subsequently my mind then also slows down.

* Is getting grounded and rooted something that’s challenging for you also?

* How does this manifest in your body and life?

* What works best for you?

©Angela Dunning, 16th May 2022

Share this page on Facebook