Some Ideas before Meditating

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The breath has great influence over the nervous system. Think about slowing the breath, extending the exhales, releasing the tensions, and letting go of the noise.

 

How much can you lower your heart rate, pulse and blood pressure? Are you comfortable trying to slow it down?

 

How quiet can make your being?

 

How low a decibel level can you detect. Can you hear your heartbeat or the pulse beneath it? Can you hear your inhales and exhales? Can you pick out the quietest sound in the room, then go beneath it?

 

 

Can you place complete focus on your senses.   Breathing, the inhales and exhales, the pauses have far more depth, far more power than you can believe.

 

 

Are there smells in the room?  Are they  pleasant or unpleasant, strong or subtle?

 

 

Can you feel body sensations, tingling, tensions or agitations?

 

 

With eyes closed, what do you see, darkness, light grey or bright white? Some see lights or images. Can you be open to exploring this inner world?

 

 

Try to heighten all your senses. Be an observer of all that you can sense, feel.
Picture yourself sitting at the edge of an extremely dry jungle, focused on the breath. Something is headed our way, quiet down inside and listen as far into that jungle as possible. Can you hear the animal approaching?

 


Picture yourself in a World War Two submarine under attack in the North Atlantic from a destroyer.   Depth charges explode around us, fear, panic and helplessness jolt us.   Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, silence is your only survival tool. Can you focus like your life depends on it?

 

 

Can you bring this kind of intense focus to your meditation practice?

 

 

With daily practice you can!
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Applying Meditation/Mindfulness, using the focus we have built

 

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Happiness exists in only one time zone, this present moment, now.   Happiness does not exist in the past or future.

 

 

That means staying present, being acutely aware of our surroundings without judgment is the goal.

 

 

Check in as often as you can during the day. Focus, take three deep breaths and come back to now, then smile.  It’s working.

 


If we placed all our energy today on this task, opportunity may arrive.

 

 

You may see how much time we waste meandering in thought and connected emotion.

 

 

I still find myself in one of my childhood fantasies, World Series, bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded and I am at bat.

 

 

It is far better than a trauma memory or a negative emotion but it takes me away from now.

 


Now, is what we need.

 


Three letter word changes life, completely. All those worries, doubts and fears fade, leaving us with precious time and energy.

 

 

The mind can be trained to go slow and empty itself of thought with daily focus and application.

 

 


Not a huge effort, but a specialized, specific type of focus and exploration.

 

 

Start your journey with ten minutes a day.
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Is PTSD a Precursor to Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures in Veterans? Neurology Reviews. 2013 June;

 

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SAN DIEGO—Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) preceded a diagnosis of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures in 58% of military veterans and a diagnosis of epileptic seizures in 14% of military veterans, according to Martin Salinsky, MD. His study found that a preceding history of PTSD was the only significant psychiatric predictive factor for psychogenic seizures in this population.

 

“This finding is largely driven by patients with a history of TBI, and particularly by patients with a history of mild TBI,” said Dr. Salinsky. “We are beginning to see a model develop whereby the development of psychogenic seizures in veterans with mild TBI may be mediated by PTSD.” Dr. Salinsky, Director of the Epilepsy Center of Excellence at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, presented his results at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.

 

Diagnosing Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures in Veterans
Dr. Salinsky’s findings are the latest in his ongoing research in veterans with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Previously, he and his colleagues had identified psychogenic nonepileptic seizures in 25% of veterans and in 26% of civilians who were admitted to a shared epilepsy monitoring unit. “In veterans, we saw more patients with psychogenic seizures than with epileptic seizures,” he said. “In civilians, we saw many more patients with epileptic seizures as compared to psychogenic seizures. This gives the appearance that psychogenic seizures are more common in veterans, but as a percentage of all admissions, it’s almost the same.”

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PTSD picks the very, very brave soldiers, also

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“Hacksaw Ridge”

“The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion after he risked his life — without firing a shot — in the Battle of Okinawa.”

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Over a 12 hour period, demonstrating superhuman strength and courage, he lowered 75 wounded comrades to safety. Two days later he returned to that Ridge and was wounded.

 


The movie ends with this euphoric life of grandeur, Desmond lauded and decorated with fame and glory. The real story was he suffered from crippling PTSD the rest of his life. He lived as an invalid for years, depending on his wife to take care of him. Nightmares haunted him until death.

 

 

The idea that weak soldiers get PTSD and strong ones do not, is almost abusive in nature.

 

 

This statement pisses me off and violates everything my blog and volunteering stands for.

 

There is a small percentage of people who are resistant to PTSD but that is under 5%. The rest of us are vulnerable. In battle placing a soldier at the front for extended periods increases PTSD significantly. Redeployments have also added to this epidemic of not only PTSD but suicides.

 


Soldiers with PTSD will not seek help if you strengthen that stigma of being weak causes PTSD.   This statement could not be more ignorant or uninformed.

 

Being vulnerable, accepting our weakness are part of the healing journey.
22 suicides a day is the opposite.
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5 Things Happy People Consistently Do By John D. Moore, PhD

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Happiness can be a habit

 

Do what happy people do if you want to feel good. Joyful individuals behave in certain ways, avoiding some actions and embracing others. When you stop doing what makes you feel bad and do more of what improves your mood, you’ll be happy too.

 

1. Avoid procrastination

Procrastination increases stress and won’t make you happy. The most satisfied people in the world get on with tasks, especially those they dislike. They know they will be relieved when jobs are complete and not have to worry about them.

Carry out chores you hate early in the morning when you have the most energy. As a result, you’ll feel liberated from burdens and free to enjoy the rest of the day with a smile.

 

2. Build gratitude
Happy people aren’t just grateful; they develop gratitude with positive thoughts. They count their blessings, making themselves hyper-aware of the abundance in their lives. Likewise, they appreciate the little gems of life around them, like rainbows and wildlife.

Generate happy thoughts by focusing on gratitude. List the prosperity available to you, including shelter, food, love, and anything else that pops into your head. Also, spend at least ten minutes appreciating positive aspects of your day.

 

3. Exercise
Get moving! Stagnation, also known as sitting for too long, causes ill-health. Exercise increases feel-good chemicals. Happy people are active. They might also rest, but they don’t loll on the couch for long periods.

Go to the gym. Attend exercise classes. Or take a stroll. Walking each day improves physical and emotional health. For added benefits, exercise outdoors; nature calms the soul. It reduces stress, increasing room for joy.

 

 

4. Quit worrying
Everyone worries, but people who are always happy know when to stop. They understand worrying makes them ill and doesn’t solve problems. Your unhappiness will increase if you worry, so learn how to quit.

When troubling thoughts arise, shift your focus. Don’t dwell on problems that run through your mind and make them grow. Studies show distraction and positive thinking lessen worries. Happy people combine the two by entertaining themselves with upbeat thoughts.

 

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Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness: EXPOSURE

 

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“Left to our own devices, we typically move away from pain and toward what is pleasurable. It’s a habitual, deeply wired response.

 

But part of practicing mindfulness is deliberately exposing ourselves to whatever is happening in our field of awareness, both pleasant and unpleasant. Whether we’re daydreaming about our next meal or feeling a sharp pain in our shoulder, we stay present.

 

We let ourselves be impacted by whatever is happening—right here, right now. For many beginning meditators, this can seem counterintuitive, but mindfulness works differently.

 

We practice turning toward what is arising instead of away from it.”
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My two cents: Mindfulness is the safe and secure way to start exposure therapy. We observe our thoughts without judgment.


We have no control over what thoughts surface, only power over where we place our attention. If we have PTSD, intrusive thoughts will arrive without input from us. We do not fight them, engage them or avoid them.

 

Avoiding our triggers leads to isolation and suffering. Our fears have an unknown quality to them, when we avoid them. They grow more terrifying inside our thoughts.

 

Staying present, feeling the emotional thought and the body sensation linked to it fully, enables us to let it all go.


Observe the thought patterns of your mind. Most trauma thoughts repeat themselves over and over and over until we integrate them.
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What Is Hypervigilance? Healthline Blog

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“Hypervigilance is a state of increased alertness. If you’re in a state of hypervigilance, you’re extremely sensitive to your surroundings. It can make you feel like you’re alert to any hidden dangers, whether from other people or the environment. Often, though, these dangers are not real.

 

Hypervigilance can be a symptom of mental health conditions, including:

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
anxiety disorders
schizophrenia

These can all cause your brain and your body to constantly be on high alert. Hypervigilance can have a negative effect on your life. It can affect how you interact with and view others, or it may encourage paranoia.

 

Hypervigilance symptoms
There are physical, behavioral, emotional, and mental symptoms that can go with hypervigilance:

 

Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms may resemble those of anxiety. These may include:

sweating
a fast heart rate
fast, shallow breathing
Over time, this constant state of alertness can cause fatigue and exhaustion.

 

Behavioral symptoms

Behavioral symptoms include jumpy reflexes and fast, knee-jerk reactions to your environment. If you’re hypervigilant, you may overreact if you hear a loud bang or if you misunderstand a coworker’s statement as rude. These reactions may be violent or hostile in a perceived attempt to defend yourself.

 

Emotional symptoms

The emotional symptoms of hypervigilance can be severe. These can include:

increased, severe anxiety
fear
panic
worrying that can become persistent
You may fear judgment from others, or you may judge others extremely harshly. This may develop into black-and-white thinking in which you find things either absolutely right or absolutely wrong. You can also become emotionally withdrawn. You may experience mood swings or outbursts of emotion.

 

 

Mental symptoms

Mental symptoms of hypervigilance can include paranoia. This may be accompanied by rationalization to justify the hypervigilance. It can also be difficult for those who experience frequent hypervigilance, like those with PTSD, to sleep well.

 

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