You are going about your day, coffee in hand, when you suddenly have a flashback. Your heart beats faster and your mood suddenly spirals.
You start to pick up your pace as your body signals to you it’s not okay. It’s been months, maybe even years and you still have these clear memories of what happened.
You thought you were done with it.
You thought you had moved past it.
You thought you were in control.
And yet, here they are again.
Those are the effects of trauma, any of the ones listed above cause the brain to want to kick into survival mode.
The brain navigates our environment according to potential danger. Flashbacks signal danger right now to the brain even if it’s not in ‘reality’, it is reality for your brain.
Here are some tips to calm your nervous system down and signal to your brain “I am safe”.
1. Deep breaths with long exhales.
This stimulates your smart vagus nerve which tells the brain to calm down. Three breaths is enough to activate your parasympathetic nervous system so you feel calmer and cortisol (the stress hormone) stops getting released in your brain.
2. Feel your feet. Your breath. Sounds around you.
Mindfulness of the present moment allows the ambassadors of your brain which reside in the prefrontal cortex the time they need for rational reasoning, something that gets shut off when your brain feels a threat. Often there is no space between stimulus and our reaction to the stimulus – being more mindful allows a gap to between this to happen. This is where we can be more
3. Tap on your collar bone.
Say out loud all your present feelings. Tapping is part of emotional release and saying your feeling out loud gives them permission to be there. FEEL because suppression never works. (We know this right?)
Google EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) if you want to learn more about Tapping.
Remember there is nothing wrong with you. You are safe.
I teach women suffering from trauma to find integrate practical tools to release their trauma so that they can feel free and like themselves again.
I do this via 1-1 Coaching – Apply here if you want to chat about integrating your trauma.