As I walked through the perfume department, a scent drifted past and catapulted me back to a time of great distress. In that moment, I felt my heart pulse faster, my shoulders tense and a ferocious panic rise within. All I wanted to do was flee, yet I stood still, completely paralysed by fear.
When people say “the body remembers what the mind forgets”, I think of that time; how a stranger testing a scent in my presence reminded me of an event I hadn’t thought about in a long time. The physical response triggered seemed to happen before my mind could even piece together what was going on and why.
Could it actually be true that our bodies hold on to stress and past trauma when our minds forget?