Psychological Symptoms Related to Trauma

Psychological Symptoms Related to Trauma

Trauma impacts our psyche and contributes to behavioral challenges

First and foremost:

  • Shame
  • Self Doubt

Shame and self-doubt causes the biggest challenge for trauma survivors. Strong feelings of shame and strong tendencies toward self-doubt keep us paralyzed and can keep us from moving forward. We can feel like we cannot trust ourselves and don’t know what’s safe and what isn’t safe.


Psychological and behavioral issues related to trauma include:

  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • anxiety disorders
  • panic disorders
  • phobias
  • feeling jumpy
  • eating disorders
  • addictions
  • substance abuse issues
  • risk-taking behavior
  • self-mutilation or self-harm
  • suicidal ideation and attempts
  • depression
  • dissociation
  • paranoia
  • chronic rage
  • chronic shyness
  • explosiveness and reactivity
  • chronically passive
  • isolating
  • difficulty sleeping, sleep disturbances, nightmares,
  • flashbacks
  • intrusive thoughts
  • intrusive imagery
  • intrusive emotions
  • avoiding situations
  • avoiding relationships
  • reoccurring looping thoughts
  • mind racing
  • survivor’s guilt

You may have a few of these, or many, or even none. These symptoms aren’t proof of having a traumatic experience in your past, but if you’re carrying unprocessed trauma, most likely, you’re going to be showing one or more of these psychological symptoms and signs.


Trauma lives in the body and causes these kinds of issues.

We have to live with the symptoms until we can process the trauma. Carrying a load of unprocessed trauma taxes our body, our health, and limits how much we can be active and engaged and confident in our own lives.


Continue with the practices from last week

The Breath  

Notice your breath. Breath in for 2 counts and out for 4 counts. Or in for 3 counts and out for 6 counts. The idea here is to have the exhalation be twice as long as the inhalation. it’s ok if the exhalation isn’t twice as long. Just let it be longer than the inhalation.

The Heart

Simply placing your hand on your heart and feel the connection between your hand and your heart. You can increase the effectiveness of this by saying something kind to yourself. Even something as simple as “I hear you.”

The Hug

Place you right hand under your left armpit. And your right hand on your left upper arm. Gently squeeze . . . giving yourself a hug.

Daily Practice

Can you commit to 10 minutes per day to use these simple tools? Play around with them and notice how your body responds. Which works for you? You can combine them as well, using the Breath with the Heart and the Hug.

You can begin to bring your nervous system back into balance. The results may be subtle or obvious. With consistent practice over a period of months you will notice a difference. What have you got to lose? 


May you reclaim your heart.  💗Bindu

Freedom from Trapped Emotions

Freedom from Trapped Emotions

We are taught in our society to suppress our emotions. 

That is a huge travesty.  

Often depression and chronic anxiety is caused by not feeling our emotions.  The habit of suppressing our emotions creates a backlog.  That backlog of unfelt emotions can feel very overwhelming.  When we suppress our negative emotions, we also suppress our ability to feel positive emotions.  By becoming more aware of our emotions, and allowing ourselves to feel them, we can reduce the backlog and move towards emotional freedom. 

What if much of what you feel is from your past?

What if much of the anxiety you feel has nothing to do with your present?  What if much of the sadness that you feel is trapped emotions from your past?  When you encounter experiences in your present that remind you of the past experience, the emotion comes up. 


The emotional hamster wheel 

When an emotion comes up, we can spend years, trying to change our outer circumstance so that we don’t feel the emotion.  That is a hamster wheel that never ends.  And it creates its own stress.  

We have all kinds of defense mechanisms that we use to avoid feeling our emotions.  Over thinking, creating a story about it, analyzing, obsessing, blaming others, blaming ourselves, isolating ourselves, going to numerous practitioners, trying to change our circumstances, taking masses of supplements, etc.   


Freeing ourself from trapped emotions 

The only way to free yourself from an emotion is to feel it.  Emotion stands for energy in motion.  When you do not feel an emotion, it does not move through you and it gets stuck.  When it gets stuck in your energy field, it continually sends a signal to your nervous system which contributes to insomnia.  It also blocks the flow of energy in your meridians and interferes with the functioning of the body and organs. 


A suggested practice to help you feel emotions 

Here is a practice that can help you to feel your emotions and release them.  When you feel an emotion coming on:

  1. Deepen your breath.
  2. Feel the emotion whether it be sadness, anger, fear, etc.
  3. Avoid getting into an internal dialogue about the emotion.
  4. Remind yourself that you don’t need to act on the emotion.
  5. Keep saying, “this is only an energy that is moving through me. I am willing to feel it and let it go”
  6. Try this for 5 minutes.
  7. Notice if there is a difference. 

Afterwards, take some time to reflect on your experience.  Did this help?  Were you able to do it?  Did it feel to scary to feel an emotion?  

May you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be free. 


Fibromyalgia, Trauma and Shame

Fibromyalgia, Trauma and Shame

Do you ever feel like you can’t do anything right?

Do you feel like nobody likes you?

Do you criticize yourself?

Do you fail to stand up for yourself?

Do you ‘what if’ yourself related to past regrets?

Are you ashamed because you have fibromyalgia?


These are all symptoms of shame.

And shame is one of the symptoms of trauma.  Shame is a result of trauma.

Guilt says we have done something wrong.

Shame says that we are wrong, that there is something inherently wrong with who we are.  We don’t deserve respect.  We don’t deserve love.  Sometimes that we shouldn’t even exist.

Childhood Shame

Childhood shame is particularly invasive.  Especially if we had a parent who physically, mentally or emotionally abused us.  Or neglected us.  

The shame becomes part of our identity.  It influences every aspect of our lives.  Our careers, our relationships, our sense of family, our parenting.

It can seem that nothing goes quite right no matter how hard we try.  If something does go right, it doesn’t last. 

Adult Trauma

Even adult trauma can create the wound of shame.  We can feel that an accident or illness is our fault.  That we did something wrong or could have prevented it.   That is where the “if only’s” come into play.  

That isn’t real.  It isn’t your fault.  

Moving Beyond Shame

I think that shame is one of the most difficult things to overcome in our lives.  But with patience and persistence we can over come shame or at least take the edge off of it.  And most importantly, not let it control our lives.

First and foremost, we need to acknowledge the shame.  Recognize that there is a part of us who feels undeserving, unlovable and simply wrong.

The next step is to embrace that part of yourself with compassion.  To give that part what you didn’t get as a child . . . unconditional love.  Even the part that can’t fully love and accept yourself needs compassion.  

Simple tips to help in healing shame

There are some very simple tools that can help to heal shame.

1.  Simply place your hand on your heart. Feel the connection between your hand and your heart.   If you like, you can add your other hand.  And breathe.

2.  Find a phrase that is comforting to you.  It might be “I love you”  or “I forgive you”  or “I understand” or “I hear your pain” or “I am sorry you hurt so bad.”   Or another phrase of your choice. 

3. Think about what you most wanted to hear as a child.  Or what you would like to hear someone say to you now.  Say that to yourself.  

4.  Place your right hand under your left armpit.  Then place your left hand on your right upper arm.  Give yourself a gentle squeeze, a gentle hug.  

These might not seem like much, but your body, your nervous system and your heart doesn’t distinguish between who is giving the love.  If you gently hug yourself, that counts.  If you say, I love you to yourself, that counts.   The physical touch is particularly a good way to offer love to yourself. 

The Importance of Patience

If you are just beginning to express loving compassion to your wounded heart, it might not trust it in the beginning.  Your inner child has not learned to trust.  

Practice accepting yourself as you are with all your fears, anxiety, crazy, and idiosyncrasies.  You are unique.  You are special.  You just don’t remember that yet.  

When the shame arises, remind yourself that it isn’t who you are, just a wounded part that needs love too.  

My upcoming programs are a great way to receive support from a loving community of like minded individuals.  Stay tuned for more information. 

May you know that you are loved, 💗Bindu

Coming Soon!

Learning to Love Yourself!

Learning to Love Yourself!

In the early 80’s when I had just begun my search for healing, my sister gave me a recording of a song entitled, Learning to Love Yourself is the Greatest Love of All, by George Benson.

As I listened to it, I cried and cried.  It so touched my heart.  I could see how far away from loving myself I was.

For years, this became my theme song.  If I broke up from a relationship and was devastated, I asked myself, “how can I love my self more.”  If I am so devastated by the end of this relationship, then I need to learn to love myself more.

If I had a failure in my life, or things just weren’t going my way, I asked myself, “How can I love myself more.”

It took a long time and a lot of heart breaks and failures in my life, before I could truly love myself and hold myself with compassion.  But I have arrived.  I still have my moments of self judgment, but they no longer have much of a hold on me; sometimes just fleeting thoughts.  Sometimes they grab me and I hold myself with self-compassion and work through it.  Reminding myself that is only my shame talking and that isn’t who I am. 

I wish this for you also.

May you Love Yourself more and more each day.


Here is a link to listen to:

The Greatest Love of All by George Benson

and another rendition by Whitney Houston

I hope they encourage you the way it did for me.

Trauma, Awareness, and Acceptance

Trauma, Awareness, and Acceptance

Trauma and the Nervous System

Last week, we talked about how trauma changes the nervous system and identified the different ‘states’ our nervous system can be in.

This week we will work with how to know where you are at any given moment.

Our nervous system changes moment by moment. You could be in sympathetic overdrive one moment and then parasympathetic freeze in the next moment.

You could be grounded with a balanced nervous system in one moment and in sympathetic overdrive the next.

The nervous system isn’t static. It changes from moment to moment.

States of the nervous system

Sympathetic Activation

In this state the sympathetic nervous system is activated. The overriding emotion is fear or anger. Your instinctive reaction is to run away or fight. You are mobilized; your survival energy kicks in. You feel like you need some kind of action to be safe.

The perception here is one of danger. We’re alarmed. We’re hyper vigilant. There’s a sense of separation, where we’re cut off from others. We are looking and listening for danger.

This gives rise to ongoing anxiety, panic attacks. Angry outbursts. An ongoing feeling of anger. Being in self protective mode. We can’t rest or relax. Insomnia is frequent.

You may be driven to be active all the time, unconsciously trying to keep yourself safe.

What are other signs that you become aware of, that are unique to you? We are all different and unique.

Parasympathetic Activation

The body puts you into a state of freeze. You are immobilized.  You shut down. You are locked into a hypo arousal state. You become fearful of everything with an inability to respond or react. If your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged you will feel lethargic, exhausted, no energy, overwhelmed, dead, sleepy, disengaged, spacey, ungrounded. Brain fog.

You don’t have the energy to fight or flight. You may feel as if you are floating. You are untethered. A sense of me versus you, us versus them. You we have a sense of separation, cut off from others. Disconnected.

What are other signs that you become aware of, that are unique to you?

Regulated Nervous System – Ventral State

A healthy nervous system regulates our experience. Our body can gear up for activity and gear down for rest and relaxation. And we can easily switch from being geared up to gearing down. In a healthy, balanced nervous system, we experience a sense of inner calm, clarity, compassion and confidence.


The goal isn’t to always be in the same state.

As we move through life, we will experience all of these states. We naturally move through the states. That is normal and healthy. The problem arises when we get stuck in sympathetic arousal or parasympathetic freeze, or a combination of the two. We don’t have access to the ventral state.

Often, shame creeps in. Self judgment arises. We feel like we need to be more in control. We shouldn’t get angry. We should have more energy. We shouldn’t be depressed or anxious. But we are.

But remember, these states are your nervous systems way of trying to protect you and keep you safe. They are automatic reactions over which you have no control.

Compassion is necessary. Let yourself off the hook.

There is a way out.


Awareness and acceptance.

Last week, you were introduced to a simple breathing exercise. To let the out breath be twice as long as the in breath. Regular practice will help to bring you into a Ventral State, which will become stronger over time

This week, we will become more aware of our states. And holding yourself with compassion and acceptance. Becoming aware of your states, is an essential part of healing.


For this week.

This week, focus on watching your experience. Noticing when you are in sympathetic arousal, parasympathetic freeze or Ventral – regulated. Here are some things to watch for.

  • Do you stay in one state most of the time?
  • Do you move between states? How often?
  • Do you ever experience Ventral – regulated?
  • What state is dominate in your experience?
  • Are there triggers that will throw you into a fight or flight or freeze state?
  • What are they?
  • Do you judge yourself?
  • Do you feel ashamed?

You might want to pause a few times during the day and just ask yourself, “what state am I in”. When you wake up in the morning, what state are you in? When you prepare for bed, what state are you in?

Notice if self judgment or shame arises.

Place you hand on the center of your chest. As you hold the hand there, breath in for two counts and out for two counts. Notice what happens.

Give this a try this week and let me know how it works. You can use my contact page or message me in Facebook.


May you be aware, 💗Bindu

Coming Soon

Fibromyalgia – Trauma – Fight, Flight or Freeze

Fibromyalgia – Trauma – Fight, Flight or Freeze

Trauma and the Nervous System

When you have experienced a trauma, your nervous system changes.

A healthy nervous system regulates our experience.  Our body can gear up for activity and gear down for rest and relaxation.  And we can easily switch from being geared up to gearing down.  In a healthy, balanced nervous system, we experience a sense of inner calm, clarity, compassion and confidence.

When we experience a trauma, our nervous system gears up to protect us.  It prepares us to either fight the threat  or to run to safety.    Until the body can express and release these energies the nervous system stays in fight or flight mode.  You become locked in to a hyper state of awareness.  If your sympathetic nervous system is engaged, you will feel anxious, angry or both. Panic attacks are a result of the sympathetic nervous system being activated.

If the threat is ongoing or so strong that you become overwhelmed, the body puts you into a state of freeze.  You are immobilized.   You shut down.  You are locked into a hypo arousal state.  You become locked up and fearful of everything with an inability to respond or react.  If your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged you will feel lethargic, exhausted, no energy, overwhelmed, dead, sleepy, disengaged, spacy, ungrounded. 

Many who survive a trauma may move back and forth between the hyper arousal state and the hypo arousal state.  And may or may not have the ability to access or stay in the “normal” state which can move between gearing up and gearing down as the situation required.

The trauma could be an accident or traumatic experience as an adult. Or abuse, neglect, loss or co-dependency as a child. It can be a seemingly harmless negative life experience at any age. What determines whether it is a trauma is how it impacts us. Given what we as a planet have gone through in the past three year, many many people have been traumatized. And that builds upon what trauma existed prior to that. Not a pretty picture.

From what I am learning is that fibromyalgia, is one of the illnesses that studies connect with trauma. This validates my experience in working with fibromyalgia. Trauma is almost always involved.


How to release trauma?

This is the million dollar question.

The trauma is created when the body is unable to release the physical energies that were engaged when the trauma happened. If your body geared up to run or fight and it doesn’t get to release those energies, then the energies stay trapped in the body. Or if your body was in a freeze state, those energies stay trapped until they can move out of the body.

In future emails, I’ll be sharing simple tips to help release these energies from the body.

I’ll also be including what I am learning in my upcoming programs in a more in depth way. Being in a community of people with the same focus can be very helpful in healing trauma.

  • Connect to Your Calm Inner Presence
  • An Introduction to the Integrative Wholeness Experience

I have a few pieces to put in to place before I can launch. But stay tuned. Coming soon.


Tip number one

We want to start by calming the nervous system. Begin by watching your breath. Then make the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation. So, you might inhale for 2 counts and exhale for 4 counts. That is it. This is said to help the nervous system move towards balance.

Give this a try this week and let me know how it works. You can reply to this email or message me in Facebook.


May you heal, 💗Bindu

Coming Soon