Posts Tagged ‘Thought’

PTSD’s schedule

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PTSD has its own schedule, seemingly its own power source and strong stress hormones.

A trigger can explode at any time releasing cortisol, adrenaline and Norepinephrine into our blood stream.

High anxiety ensues.

The breath has great influence on our nervous system.

Until we learn to dissipate a trigger firing, we are at PTSD’s mercy.

I use ten, slow, focused breaths to accomplish this task.

Let the storyline fade, feel where your triggers manifest in the body.

Take your breath into the middle of your body sensation.

Know your fears physical manifestations.

Mine always jolts my solar plexus.

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Demystifying Meditation for Depression and PTSD

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Take the robes, lineage and all the rules out of your meditation practice. Our goal is not enlightenment, it is improving, healing or wellbeing.

I may meditate for 30 minutes but my goal is to focus on ten breaths with very specific intention. How, you may ask?

We use a combination of our senses. Thought is the enemy, thinking is the opposite of meditating. Actually these two actions happen in different hémisphères of the brain.

So let’s start: Visually; I use a model a continuum so getting lost in the pauses becomes much harder. There are visual models, the boxed breath and my breathing track. I also monitor what my eyes see with eyelids closed.

Auditory: A plethora of stimulus here. Pick out the quietest sound in the room, then go beneath it. Listen for the sound of your inhales and exhales. For me, I hear my inhales and exhales, as my focus stays inside my nostrils. For those experienced, a symphony plays inside our head, listen inside your ears.

Tactile: During the pauses, internal noise stops, it is a special opportunity to search for agitation, tightness, fear in the body. Focus on your inner world, intently. I , also focus on my third eye, or my upper lip close to my nostrils, feeling the cool inhales pass followed by the warmer exhale.

Smell: At the zen center form was important, incense and repeating phrases were staples. Incense can tell the brain it is time to meditate.

Mindset: No goals. We influence nothing, try to exert no energy, we observe and focus. We always set for others first.

Again, we are the ultimate observer, detached from thought and judgment, existing totally in this moment, unencumbered by the past.

We let thought clear, and hold an empty, focused space so our mind and body can repair as neuroscience tells us.

Know that ten focused breaths can deliver us to a no thought space, and active meditation. Once we are there time stops and the body repairs itself.

Question?

Inhale starts at bottom right corner traveling up and to the left.

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Our Storyline is so biased

Pixabay
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Shaila Catherine:

“Most people perceive things through the distortion of desire, aversion, or delusion; grasping for objects with thoughts, “I like this, I don’t like this,” or grasping for self with assumptions of “I am this, I am not this. It is our predisposition and assumptions that distort perception.”
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My two cents: I believe our “Ego” distorts desire.

Our “Ego” craves importance, approval and reacts when he/she receives criticism and loss.

He/She (Ego) judges, comparing our storyline to our life.

In fact our “Ego” is the ultimate judgment center, highly emotional and adolescent with emotions.

Criticism and loss are followed by outrage and anger or an attack.

The “Ego” has great impact on our storyline, how we see ourselves, worthy or unworthy, victim or thriver (surviver).

Follow your “Ego back to its source. You will not find a source, he/she is created for identity.

My PTSD improves when my storyline losses importance.

We do not take our storyline with us when we die.

Must not be important.
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If our Ego disappeared would we have PTSD?

http://m.deveoh.com/old-ventriloquist-dummies?page=4

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We create this character for identity, adopting the name our parents gave us. So my “Ego” is named Marty.

Marty never feels equal to another “Ego”, always better or worse. If we walk into a room of people sitting around a big table, our “Ego” judges others and assesses our rank, our status in the group.

We decide by things we hold important. A group of athletes would give me a high ranking, while entering a group of knitters would send me to the basement.

How we rate ourselves within our peer group and how the opposite sex sees us are two important areas.

Our “Ego” is in charge when strong emotions are present. Our “Ego” feels the outrage not our observer (true self, soul).

If someone cuts me off on the freeway, it is my “Ego” that is pissed, feels disrespected or threatened.

If I take a breath, focus, and let go, the anger dissipates. That anger needs my “Egos” energy to stay alive.

PTSD goes away when I focus, let my mind empty of thought, and observe life in this present moment.

It’s like seeing everything in my landscape without judgment (observer mode).

My “Ego” takes a place in the back, in the far reaches of my mind for a minute.

I asked my therapists one day, Doc, if I can be free of trauma for five minutes while meditating, then I can increase that time more and more with practice?

She said of course.

I have learned to meditate, a space where I travel to the right hemisphere of my brain, it is “Egoless” over there.

No words, sentences, right or wrong, good or bad.

Words are pixels on this side.

Think of the “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy on our lap.

He/She is kind of us, but can say things we never would think of.

Just think of how common sense disappears when we get really pissed.

Look at that dummy on your lap, and say Hello to your “Ego”.

We need less “Ego” and more Observer for balance and wellbeing.

Next time you get pissed, follow the “Ego” back to its source.

Trick question. Who knows the answer?

Our true self (soul) can exist without the “Ego”, the “Ego” can not be exist without our true self.

Out deep in the woods, our “Ego” loses his/her powers.

The answer: The “Ego” has no source to find, it is made up without a center.

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Survival Mode: “The Body Keeps the Score”

Pixabay: Comfreak

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“In other words: If an organism is stuck in survival mode, its energies are focused on fighting off unseen enemies, which leaves no room for nurture, care, and love.

For us humans, it means that as long as the mind is defending itself against invisible assaults, our closest bonds are threatened, along with our ability to imagine, plan, play, learn, and pay attention to other people’s needs.

Darwin also wrote about body-brain connections that we are still exploring today.

Intense emotions involve not only the mind but also the gut and the heart: “Heart, guts, and brain communicate intimately via the ‘pneumogastric’ nerve, the critical nerve involved in the expression and management of emotions in both humans and animals.

When the mind is strongly excited, it instantly affects the state of the viscera; so that under excitement there will be much mutual action and reaction between these, the two most important organs of the body.”

The first time I encountered this passage, I reread it with growing excitement. Of course we experience our most devastating emotions as gut-wrenching feelings and heartbreak.

As long as we register emotions primarily in our heads, we can remain pretty much in control, but feeling as if our chest is caving in or we’ve been punched in the gut is unbearable.

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Tips for navigating the mechanical side of PTSD

https://www.turningwithin.org/fight-or-flight

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Serious PTSD sufferers live with an elevated nervous system, some underlying agitation is always present.

For me, the fight or flight exploding was like getting shot in the solar plexus, intense, an electrifying jolt.

Those are the easy times to know the condition of our nervous system.

Bringing more awareness to my inner world, I have noticed a few things.

First, my baseline activation is higher, my nervous system has more agitation at rest than a normal person.

I have learned my nervous system, or anxiety level can be raised to an excited level without me recognizing it consciously.

When intrusive thoughts are active, then I notice my agitation consciously. I guess it needs to reach a certain intensity before I become aware of it.

Being sensitive to smaller levels of activation helps us navigate PTSD much better.

An elevated nervous system depletes our energy, wears on our emotional stability.

This is the mechanical, the physical part of PTSD that we can learn to calm.

They teach Navy Seals to handle fear (high anxiety), their fight or flight mechanism, using their breath, focusing on elongating the exhales.

Yes, slow focused breathing can dissipate adrenaline and cortisol while activating our parasympathetic nervous system, the breaks, bringing calm.

I have learned that fear, it’s physical embodiment, our adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism), contains no fear.

Fear is added by our thoughts. I choose to focus on the body sensations, taking my breath into the middle of the agitation or unrest.

While hiking with my chronic pain, I would summon my fight or flight mechanism to fire, then use the Adrenaline and Cortisol for my workout energy.

While handling my fight or flight mechanism everyday hiking, I became more familiar, more comfortable with that intense feeling.

The more we know about our nervous system the better.

Now I do not fear my chronic pain or my fight or flight mechanism firing.

If you weather the storm sitting quietly, motionless, focused on your breath, your confidence and power will grow.

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How many kids heal from serious Childhood abuse?

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Statistics cover the many causes and their percentages, absent is any percentage for how many heal and how many suffer and die early.

Finding a ballpark figure of how long it takes to heal is non existent.

I would like to know what chance exists for healing from serious childhood trauma.

So many parts of our abuse are intertwined with our brains development. My brain was filled with abuse before it was even capable of distinguishing between trauma and normal development.

If you have serious childhood PTSD, a regular therapist without outstanding skills and wisdom will not work very well.

Recognize the mountain we have in front of us.

People suffer from a single trauma, we were traumatized for a decade and a half growing up.

Parts of us stayed behind in survival mode.

We act out from invisible fear we spot and isolate for reasons no one else can see.

We are not like normal people and will never be like them.

Even if we heal, our lives will never resemble theirs.

Our brains wired differently and not for our wellbeing.

Our coping mechanisms we used to survive our abuser will damage us in adult life.

Will we ever feel safe, worthy and secure?

I have improved in remarkable ways but feeling safe and worthy, having peace of mind are not my companions even now.

If we are offered another life, reincarnation, how many of violently abused kids would take it.

This little boy would never chance being abused like I was ever again.

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I have two significant traumas in my life: a pattern has emerged

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My traumas waited many decades to explode, coming alive in my consciousness. Usually a crisis, death, cancer, another trauma, etc. activates our stored trauma.

For me, this has happened twice, a decade apart, one with my whole childhood, second a horrible public betrayal in college.

During childhood, my brain wired under duress, fear and survival shut down many normal developmental circuits.

As a child, my complete focus centered around my father (my abuser).

Instead of developing healthy attachments, social skills, all my focus was spent on my fathers mood.

When a caregiver places you in imminent danger, even digestion is interrupted.

So the pattern of being consumed by trauma thoughts is a habit practiced from such an early age.

Now, a second trauma, not childhood but a college tragedy erupted a couple months ago.

Now my mind haunts me night and day playing a short video of the trauma.

My inner world tries to change the outcome. The wounded me in college, does not want to endure this a second longer.

I never felt this humiliated and worthless in my life. We feel the emotions at the time of the event, like reliving a real horror movie.

Of course my trauma from childhood made this new trauma far more damaging.

Abused kids lack emotional regulation skills and healthy coping mechanisms , making us vulnerable the rest of our lives.

Realize, if you have Complex PTSD from childhood, a new trauma will be far more damaging to us than a normal person.

I am finding that two big traumas like this can be overwhelming, so much more power in combination.

Yes, frustration and resentment share my mind with fear and humiliation in the midst of this past trauma.

You can see the rollercoasre ride our traumatized mind takes us through.

This is not an easy life. We isolate to protect our damaged souls.

Not everyday is jubilant on this journey.

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Part 2: Combining Neuroscience with Meditation (Mindfulness) Practice

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Rick Hanson from “Neurodharma”

“Further, what is not compassionate and kind–such as hurt, resentment, or contempt–can loom large and persist in a persons mind

The Brain is designed to be shaped by our experiences–and especially those in childhood…...particularly if they were painful and involved other people.

The traces linger and can shadow your days.

These physical changes in your brain are not reversed just by watching your mind.

It takes deliberate practice to heal and to find new ways of being with others.

So let’s see how we can grow compassion and kindness for others–and ourselves.”

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My two cents: Our childhood abuse has built strong negative neural networks of suffering for us.

I have healed twice but have not changed my negative neural network.

My mind lacked kindness,approval and support as a child, it is prone to worry, doubt, anxiety and worthlessness.

I can only imagine how constant criticism from my father wired during childhood.

We need to alter our neural networks, well I do!

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Intense and barely controllable urges and emotions make people feel crazy

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The Body Keeps the Score:

Still others may shut down emotionally and not feel any obvious changes.

 

However, in the lab we have no problem detecting their racing hearts and the stress hormones churning through their bodies.

These reactions are irrational and largely outside people’s control.

Intense and barely controllable urges and emotions make people feel crazy—and makes them feel they don’t belong to the human race.

Feeling numb during birthday parties for your kids or in response to the death of loved ones makes people feel like monsters.

As a result, shame becomes the dominant emotion and hiding the truth the central preoccupation.

They are rarely in touch with the origins of their alienation.

That is where therapy comes in—is the beginning of bringing the emotions that were generated by trauma being able to feel, the capacity to observe oneself online.

However, the bottom line is that the threat-perception system of the brain has changed, and people’s physical reactions are dictated by the imprint of the past.

The trauma that started “out there” is now played out on the battlefield of their own bodies, usually without a conscious connection between what happened back then and what is going on right now inside.

The challenge is not so much learning to accept the terrible things that have happened but learning how to gain mastery over one’s internal sensations and emotions.

Sensing, naming, and identifying what is going on inside is the first step to recovery.

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My two cents: Sensing, naming, and identifying sounds like being aware.

Being aware of our inner world as we let the storyline fade is our goal.

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