Trauma impacts our psyche and contributes to behavioral challenges
First and foremost:
- 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
- feeling jumpy
- eating disorders
- substance abuse issues
- risk-taking behavior
- self-mutilation or self-harm
- suicidal ideation and attempts
- chronic rage
- chronic shyness
- explosiveness and reactivity
- chronically passive
- difficulty sleeping, sleep disturbances, nightmares,
- 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
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.
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.”
Place you right hand under your left armpit. And your right hand on your left upper arm. Gently squeeze . . . giving yourself a hug.
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