If you’re experiencing the effects of PTSD/trauma you may have been advised to meditate or practise mindfulness. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re finding this challenging.
Being hyper-vigilant and ‘on alert’ is hard wired into your nervous system as a survival coping mechanism that is activated when the organism perceives it is under threat, even if that threat is no longer a real and present danger. You can still experience all the physical responses of a cortisol/adrenalin charge, shortness of breath, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, digestive system not working, these are all the signs of an activated nervous system.
When your nervous system is hyper-activated and you try and relax with meditation or mindfulness it can feel like letting your guard down, and this will be perceived internally as dangerous.
Meditating can become a conflict because there is a part of you that understands living in a state of constant stress and arousal is wearing you down and it wants to take the pressure of.
However, there is another part of you that continues to be on “high alert” and feels energy charged. This is because your body is still holding an uncompleted fight-flight-freeze survival response that was activated at the time the trauma event/s took place.
A natural response to chronic emotional pain and suffering is to move towards its opposite, to find a way to overcome, to be rid of, to forget about, to relax, to let go, to try and understand it cognitively, to distract yourself with alcohol or cigarettes, anything, in the hope that the suffering will ease. At best, these are adaptive strategies or distractions that may provide temporary relief but they don’t lead to long-term release or real healing.
Real meditation is about meeting the present as it is. That does not mean re-experiencing the trauma, absolutely not. In fact this approach, which has been and still is widely used as a trauma therapy, is counter productive and not recommended.
The good news is that the effects of trauma, be it a traumatic event or long term developmental trauma, can be released safely and gently.
Cognitive work is necessary but its limitation is that it doesn’t shift the process emotionally or somatically. This is where Emotion Mind Body Integration (EMBI) is so effective. EMBI is a combination of hypnotherapy and TRE, a revolutionary body-based stress and trauma release technique.
This unique, whole body-mind approach works not with the symptom or expression of nervous system dysregulation but it enables you to increase self-regulation and to rebalance the central nervous system, at the same time bringing new, life enhancing strategies into play.
Discover for yourself that you can heal from the effects of trauma. No matter how strong a hold it may seem to have on your life, there is a way forward.
Take that step, call me now, Lee Barnasson, on 0411 075 445.