Posts Tagged ‘C-PTSD’

The Parts of the Breath: Purpose

 

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In my universe, the breath has four distinct parts, each with a purpose. Working fluidly together, they can flow like a sheet of music.

 

The inhale brings oxygen (life force) into our lungs. This movement takes energy to expand our lung cavity. Inhaling deep down into the diaphragm absorbs 20% more oxygen. Focus as your lungs expand.

 

The first pause takes power to hold back our inflated lungs. The purpose is to allow the oxygen to be absorbed, the most immediate physical need we have. Suicide rates are higher at higher altitudes, connected to oxygen levels. Our mind uses 25% of our oxygen, it never sleeps.


The exhale releases carbon dioxide, the waste product from our oxygen consumption. The pressure is released slowly, effortlessly, calming our nervous system. The exhaust is warmer than the inhale, slower without effort.


The last pause takes little energy. The lungs are empty and at rest, the purpose is to let the toxic air, the carbon dioxide, to dissipate. We do not want to inhale air-filled with carbon dioxide. We pause to take in oxygen rich air.


Meditation is the specific focus, on each part of the breath. It is training the mind to expand awareness, to unplug the cognitive engine for a break.
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Know your mind, explore the inner world

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Where does your mind settle? What entices your mind into thought?

 

Rick Hanson’s says our mind has a negative slant, positive is Teflon, negative is Velcro. We always slow down to see the horrific wreck on the freeway.

 

Our mind unattended finds the negative, quickly!

 

This seems to be the origin of how we waste our lives.

 

We need to limit the time our mind is left unattended, wandering or ruminating in thought.

 

Seems a simple task. Our mind can be our friend or mental torturer.

 

Get to know the patterns of your mind, your daily thoughts, worries, doubts and fears.

 

Our wellbeing grows when we limit dissociation into past or future thought.

 

Do you know your mind or does your mind control you?

 

Do you know your inner world, nervous system?
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Healing from childhood abuse

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Trauma is stored in the right amygdala as implicit memory at the time it occurs.

 

It is stored along side your capabilities at that age.  Abused at five or ten and you feel like a child when trauma erupts. 

 

Part of healing integrates this trauma to the present moment.

 

My trauma is many decades old and my abuser is dead, so real danger is a mirage in real life.

 

The adrenaline and cortisol that jolts my nervous system is real. Our fight or flight mechanism is broken, reading danger everywhere.

 

Our goal is to integrate this implicit memory to now. We are not a 10-year-old anymore and have many more skills and alternatives now.

 

Our trauma happened before our minds developed fully thus confusing development with trauma.

 

Know the mechanism and characteristics of your abuse.  Write your triggers down to limit their power and their ability to impact your nervous system.

 

Develop a plan and a daily practice to confront this disorder.

 

Take action!

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A simple task

 

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In this moment right now, I am Present, I am Aware.

 


I observe my senses, the smells, textures, sounds and sights before me.

 


This is my simple, concrete task for today.
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The first time I felt worthy and at peace was ?


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The first time I felt worthy, at peace was meditating. Oh it took time to build strong focus, being able to let the noise pass on through.

 


Then one day, thought ceased, my mind cleared while focused intently on my breath. It was spacious, expansive and full of some kind of energy.

 

 

My trauma anxiety had receded. That fear and anxious hypervigilance was gone. I was so excited the first time it happened, it broke my concentration and brought me back to consciousness.

 

 

I had found an oasis of opportunity and calm. It was a brief encounter, the first time I had experience being whole, worthy, complete.

 


It took me two years of practice, trying different approaches to discover my worthiness, just sitting quietly following the breath.

 

 

This practice was an internal exploration, dependent on nothing or no one external.
Desire is lost during practice. If I could not be content, free and calm sitting quietly, alone, how could a mate, a fancy car, a yacht, mansion or power bring me happiness.

 

 

Desire for approval melted away when I meditated. This was huge for me.

 

 

My compassion center opened up, gratitude proliferated, and giving regained importance.

 


Thinking seems to be self-centered for me, while meditating is a selfless activity. I tried to be an observer of life, not a narrator.

 

 


My conclusion: If we can not find peace sitting quietly with our mind, how will we heal?

 


How will we find freedom or peace?
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A Mindfulness Practice, mine has four parts


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Mindfulness for me, has four parts or sides. One part is practice, time on the cushion, as the Buddhist say.

 

This quiet time is where we build our focus. Most people see this as so mundane and boring that daily practice becomes impossible. Many distractions frustrate 90% of those who try. You need a purpose to persevere and start a successful Mindfulness Practice.


The second part is application. After we have built our focus, explored our inner world, the next step is application. Check in as often as you can during the day, where is your focus? Are you lost in thought? Our goal is to spend more time in the present moment, each day growing a little.

 


The third part is dependent on the first two parts. We need strong focus, resilience in our nervous system and courage in this third part.

 

When a trigger explodes (fight or flight firing), our goal is to focus on the breath, feel the body sensation, then let go of the storyline. This does not happen immediately.

 

Maybe with eyes open we trace our breathing model for a few breaths. We try to dissipate the cortisol and adrenaline a little more each time. Confidence is gained each time we face this fear.

 


The last part tries to place ourselves in a space where happiness thrives. We try to observe life in the present moment more and more each day. It is a way of life if practiced with purpose.
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Psychology’s Replication Crisis Is Running Out of Excuses: The Atlantic by ED YONG

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Another big project has found that only half of studies can be repeated. And this time, the usual explanations fall flat.

 

Over the past few years, an international team of almost 200 psychologists has been trying to repeat a set of previously published experiments from its field, to see if it can get the same results. Despite its best efforts, the project, called Many Labs 2, has only succeeded in 14 out of 28 cases. Six years ago, that might have been shocking. Now it comes as expected (if still somewhat disturbing) news.

 

In recent years, it has become painfully clear that psychology is facing a “reproducibility crisis,” in which even famous, long-established phenomena—the stuff of textbooks and ted Talks—might not be real. There’s social priming, where subliminal exposures can influence our behavior. And ego depletion, the idea that we have a limited supply of willpower that can be exhausted. And the facial-feedback hypothesis, which simply says that smiling makes us feel happier.

 

 

One by one, researchers have tried to repeat the classic experiments behind these well-known effects—and failed. And whenever psychologists undertake large projects, like Many Labs 2, in which they replicate past experiments en masse, they typically succeed, on average, half of the time.

 

 

Ironically enough, it seems that one of the most reliable findings in psychology is that only half of psychological studies can be successfully repeated.

 

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