Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

“Perfect Breathing”: Focus

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Image credits: Gordon Wiltsie25

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Simply, the single most important effect an awareness of your breath brings is focus. 

 

If you are focused on even a single breath, you aren’t distracted by the regrets of yesterday or the anxiety of an unknown tomorrow. 

 

That breath brings you to the here and now. 

 

Being conscious of a single breath, 

 

as we learned earlier with the Six-Second Breath, 

 

and staying in the moment, 

 

is a simple yet valuable perception for easing anxieties about the past and fear of the future, 

 

keeps you tuned to whatever task is at hand, 

 

and provides a strong bridge between mind and body. 

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The Rollercoaster ride of PTSD! My crazy Path! Part 2!

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This trigger felt much worse than it actually turned out. I perceived danger, confusion, fear and anxiety. My Trauma thoughts always  catastrophizethe the event. What if this happens continually, I will suffer for the rest of my life!

 

 

Trauma is a huge bluff!!! BLUFF, BLUFF, BLUFF, BLUFF.

 

Besides our fight or flight mechanism firing, bp, heart rate and respiration rising along with loss of fine motor skills, nothing happens. My fight or flight mechanism is dormant when a trigger fires now. This is what we consider fear, the feeling of being afraid is linked to this mechanism. It prepares us for a lethal threat.

 

PTSD has stolen the code, the switch which initiates a trigger, spreading anxiety and fear, flooding our system with cortisol. It is memories of past danger that is the culprit. I know I am safe when a trigger erupts now. More important my body knows it from my exploration of my inner world.

 

That is one of the goals of a meditation practice.

 

When we dissociate, get lost in trauma thought, the default mode kicks in. We become focused on “I”, me, mine, their unworthiness, suffering and helplessness. Trauma is fueled continually in this default mode.

 

Playing defense helps me tremendously. I do not ruminate or grasp these thoughts. They are left alone to fade from consciousness. It is like a tug of war. Grab that rope even with one hand and the rest of your body is a prisoner.

 

My answer to this trigger was first to ignore the intrusive, negative, unworthy thoughts. Next I focus on my breath, my model, and brought approval and inner peace to the anxious feelings in my solar plexus.

 

Next, I meditated in half hour sets in the morning and night, bringing security and inner peace to my inner world. That soothed me and allowed me to use exposure therapy. I went back to similar spots where I was triggered.

 

This calmed the catastrophizing thoughts.

 

Now, a day later I am much better. Focused and more centered. It is not the end of the war but I won this battle.

 

You can also. Build your tools while things are calm.
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Being empty: Daily application

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During the day we need to perform certain tasks with our minds empty.

 

That is, free from thought, when we shower, get dressed, or do any mundane chore.

 

Consider how much of the day is lived with the mind full of complex machinations, serious doubt, invented worry or anxious anticipation of a coming event.

 

All of our waking moments can be occupied with frivolous judgments, ruminating journeys of investigation or make believe scenarios of our life.

 

The mind craves to be focused, empty and clear.

 

In this state it reaches full potential, opens its expansive nature and unlocks its crystal clear power.

 

Opportunity and wellbeing are attached to a mind that is empty and focused during the day.
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We must be able to endure the awkward, the uncomfortable

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Reading one of the blogs I follow, a post listed all the doubts, judgments, concerns about the therapist, therapy and her own worthiness or unworthiness.

 

It seemed a celebration of victimhood wrapped in the Ego’s narrative.

 

Healing will never happen if we wait till things feel good or it is the right time to try.

 

Safe is never arriving, even the richest man has no idea what’s around the next bend.

 

 

We have to learn to withstand, to endure situations and people who make us uncomfortable, uneasy or even a little scared.

 

Unless we endure, experience these situations, healing or happiness will always be a stranger.

 

We will never feel that calm, that feeling of I am ok, worthy!

 

Being worthy comes from within, not through achievement or approval.

 

Next time a trigger explodes, focus on your breath, observe the narrative and watch it fade away.

 

A calm, a knowing you are fine arrives to greet us.

 

 

Healing or being on a spiritual journey is not an easy, calm path, it can be highly charged, scary and turbulent, like life.

 

Build your focus and hunt down your fears.

 

 

It is a battle, many do not see it like this.
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We need to release the thinker at times!!!!!!!

 

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When triggered, depressed, anxious, angry, stressed or fearful, we must limit its duration! These emotional sates can consume life, every waking moment.

 

The longer we grasp them, the stronger the neural pathway that forms.

 

We have many tools. First we need to let go of the storyline attached to these negative emotions.

 

If we have practiced meditating, we are able to focus on the breath, allowing these emotions to fade from our consciousness. Our breathing is the easiest and quickest way we can calm down.

 

 

I used gratitude to replace negative emotion. I gave thanks for small things, a hot shower, friends, my health, my practice, my tools for healing, etc. I found my gratitude dwarfed that emotion.

 

 

Distraction or entering a task can bring many benefits. I go hike in nature, strenuously. What my eyes see, my nose smells and skin feels is witnessed without judgment. This brings me achievement and exhilaration to body and mind.

 

 

Every time a negative storyline arrives with negative emotion, insert your affirmation. In this moment, right now, I accept all of me. I am perfect as my true self, seeing unlimited opportunity available, today.

 

Prepare a meal or do the laundry. Enter the task, be the knife slicing the vegetables. Slow down, let thought clear, just be in the moment.

 

 

Give and give some more. Giving, maybe just a smile and kind greeting. Care about someone beyond your own ego. Feel their pain, their need! Offer some small comfort.
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Why do people staring at me impact my life so negatively?

 

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I share this with a feeling of extreme embarrassment.

 

 

It seems so mundane, so ridiculous on paper, but in real life, it is my invisible prison.

 

 

Why does this seem to have such a negative influence, such an enormous power, such a quick, catastrophizing affect.

 

 

A childhood filled with constant criticism, extreme physical violence and harsh abuse, lives just beneath the surface of my consciousness.

 

 

I was a thing to my father, like the owner of a fighting pit bull. My worth was how good I made him look playing sports.

 

 

I had a big nose as a kid, which made me a target for ridicule, shame and unwanted attention.

 

 

Add this experience to my fathers abuse and my trauma manifests as social anxiety.

 

 

These two situations dominated my childhood, nowhere was I safe.

 

 

Catastrophic loss seems possible for me, when it explodes.

 

 

My C-PTSD came from this sick childhood.

 

 

Cognitively, I know all of this is irrational, transparent and impossible.

 

 

Knowing does not eliminate hypervigilance, anxiety, fear or shame!

 

 

They run on their own without conscious influence or control.

 

 

If I spend time thinking about any of this, it grows.

 

 

My job is to Meditate, slow the mind, focus it, and then let all these judgments and thoughts pass on by.

 

 

The most I have to fear is my own reaction to this stimuli.

 

 

No matter what, living fully and happily is my goal, not isolation or hiding for safety.

 

 

Thoughts? I have decided to share my journey in more detail as ptsd resurfaces in my life.
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Continue reading

Neuroscience combined with the Breath

 

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As I work with trauma people trying to heal, I am reminded how confusing, paralyzing and scary the journey can be.

 

 

PTSD feels like an enormous monster, a monster we are extremely vulnerable to. This monster is not external, he/she works from the inside.

 

 

We carry our unworthiness, our fear, our trauma inside our mind and inside our body.

 

 

The “Ego” we have created is also vulnerable, he/she is never equal to another “Ego”.

 

 

He/She craves approval, despises criticism.    He/She is the culprit who ruminates (dissociates) into past danger or future worry.

 

 

Our mind is our worst enemy or greatest asset.

 

 

Funny but using the breath with our focus, changes brain chemistry, changes our lives.

 

 

The mind is so plastic that it can change in a month.

 

 

Be smart, combine neuroscience with meditation (the breath) and reap the benefits.
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