Someone recently wrote in to me and asked a really popular question. She asked, “What is up with unstressing and why does it happen with The Ziva Technique?” You see, she had done all kinds of meditation in the past but had never experienced the emotional and physical detox that Ziva created for her.
As you may know, unstressing is our term for what can happen in the body when you begin a meditation practice like this — and it’s something that not a lot of other people are talking about. Unstressing can look like tears, anger, fatigue, or even physical symptoms like inflammation and headaches. I want to give you an intellectual framework for why this is happening, and why it may not have happened for you in the past with other meditation methods.
So this all comes down to a bit of definition clarification around what meditation really is. Because so many people’s meditation practice is really a mindfulness practice, they’re used to creating a state change. This means it’s making you feel better immediately, right now, in the present moment. So if your boss yells at you and you do 10 minutes of mindfulness on an app, it will create a calming effect.
What Ziva creates is a trait change. You’re actually healing things on a cellular and epigenetic level, meaning the benefits last long after your sitting. Because you’re going in, de-exciting the nervous system and allowing your stress to find the exit door, it can sometimes feel the same way on the way out as it did on the way in.
So if you’ve got some sad flavored stress, you might feel a little teary-eyed. And if you broke your ankle when you were 16, you might even feel a bit of pain in that area.
What if I’m scared of unstressing?
Here’s the thing: some people are really drawn to the unstressing nature of Ziva. There’s a bit of the “Listerine effect” at play — after all, if it’s burning, it’s working, right?
If you don’t fall into that camp, I understand if there is some hesitation around this idea. After all, it can be uncomfortable to move bravely through the uncomfortability of that initial purging.
The good news? Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good (as long as you keep meditating of course…).
I created a video all about this concept and I go into detail on how and why this detoxification can manifest. I go into:
- Why the fear of unstressing shouldn’t keep you from meditating
- What is happening chemically in our bodies that allows us to create this purge
- Some symptoms of unstressing that can arise and why it’s worth enduring them
- Why community is so important during the unstressing phase.
Watch “Why Does Ziva Create An Emotional & Physical Detox?”
This is brave work. It’s also so so worth it.
Sometimes you need to go through a hot second of stress withdrawal in order to find the lifetime of bliss on the other side. Not a bad trade-off to me.
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