I have been wanting to work on the game exercises but they mostly involve talking to people, which I really don’t like.
A couple years ago I was in a new age bookstore looking for something on transcendental meditation when I ran across a book titled “Healing Trauma” by Peter A. Levine. The thesis is trauma locks up feelings in the body that must be released. I did some of the exercises but it didn’t seem useful so I set it aside.
I was getting a course of Rolfing- on the theory it might help unlock mental anguish locked in muscle tension- and the Rolfer brought up this book, or this author, not by name but it was him she was talking about. As an aside there was a man named Wilhelm Reich who had a theory about “body armor”- that is how this came up with the Rolfer. He believed that people locked up tension in their bodies, and then when they got involved in a romantic relationship after a few weeks it starts to release. This causes discomfort and a vague feeling something is wrong, which is attributed to the new romantic partner, leading to problems or the end of the relationship. Reich had some other theories that are regarded as pretty crackpot but I think he was on to something here.
I was in a used bookstore the other day and saw another book by Levine, so I bought it. I went further into the exercises where it gets more into body feelings. I realized how much anxiety I have, all the time. A great deal of my time and energy goes to managing the anxiety. All the activities I enjoy are things that produce strong body sensations, which provide a relief from anxiety.
The way I deal with anxiety in social interactions is to try to script them closely in advance. This obviously presents problems for meeting new people so I’m going to work on the anxiety a bit more.
(Note- “anxiety” may be taken as a psychiatric or psychological diagnosis, but I use it here in the more casual sense, of “shyness”, “unhappiness” or “discomfort.” Nothing wrong with this guy!)