Posts Tagged ‘MINDFULNESS’

How to Identify and Cope With Your PTSD Triggers By Matthew Tull, PhD

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PTSD triggers may be all around you. Even though it may sometimes feel like PTSD symptoms come out-of-the-blue, PTSD symptoms rarely spontaneously occur. Instead, whether you are aware of it not, PTSD symptoms are often triggered or cued by something in our internal (anything that happens within your body such as thoughts or feelings) or external (anything that happens outside your body, such as a stressful situation) environment.

 

Because certain thoughts, feelings, or situations can bring up uncomfortable PTSD symptoms, such as memories of a traumatic event or feelings of being on edge and anxious, one way of coping with these symptoms is by increasing your awareness of these triggers. You can prevent or lessen the impact of certain PTSD symptoms by identifying what specific types of thoughts, feelings, and situations trigger them, and then, take steps to limit the occurrence or impact of those triggers.

 

Kinds of Triggers

Triggers can fall into two categories: Internal Triggers and External Triggers. Internal triggers are things that you feel or experience inside your body. Internal triggers include thoughts or memories, emotions, and bodily sensations (for example, your heart racing). External triggers are situations, people, or places that you might encounter throughout your day (or things that happen outside your body).

 

Listed below are some common internal and external triggers.

Internal Triggers
Anger
Anxiety
Sadness
Memories
Feeling lonely
Feeling abandoned
Frustration
Feeling out of control
Feeling vulnerable
Racing heartbeat
Pain
Muscle tension

External Triggers
An argument
Seeing a news article that reminds you of your traumatic event
Watching a movie or television show that reminds you of your traumatic event
Seeing a car accident
Certain smells
The end of a relationship
An anniversary
Holidays
A specific place
Seeing someone who reminds you of a person connected to your traumatic event
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Gratitude and paying attention?

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I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness.

 

 

It’s right in front of me

 

if I’m paying attention

 

and practicing gratitude.

 

– Brené Brown
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Sounds like awareness and gratitude are important.

 

I would add some giving to complete the menu.
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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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From “Buddhism Now” blog

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Question: What can I do about doubts? Some days I’m plagued with doubts about the practice or my own progress, or the teacher.

 

 

Answer: Doubting is natural. Everyone starts out with doubts. You can learn a great deal from them.

 

What is important is that you don’t identify with your doubts: that is, don’t get caught up in them.

 

This will spin your mind in endless circles.

 

 

Instead, watch the whole process of doubting, of wondering. See who it is that doubts. See how doubts come and go.

 

 

Then you will no longer be victimised by your doubts.

 

 

You will step outside of them and your mind will be quiet.

 

 

You can see how all things come and go.

 

 

Just let go of what you are attached to.

 

Let go of your doubts and simply watch.

 

 

This is how to end doubting.
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Self is an Illusion part three, 3

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Turning off default mode

 

Normal consciousness relies, at least in part, on the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN), according to neuroscientist Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research in the brain sciences division of the Imperial College of London medical school.

 

 

The DMN is a network of interacting brain regions that acts as a cognitive transit hub, integrating and assimilating information. As the name implies, it’s the usual system of organization for your mind. Carhart-Harris says the DMN “gives coherence to cognition” by connecting different regions of the brain, and is considered the “orchestrator of the self.”

 

 

Carhart-Harris and his colleagues found what seems to be an important function of the DMN inadvertently.

 

 

While studying brain networks, they got curious about what changes might occur when people are under the effects of hallucinogens.

 

 

In studies analyzing the effects of psilocybin on brain wave oscillation and blood flow, they found that when the DMN was inactive, an alternate network of consciousness seemed to arise.

 

 

When some study subjects tested psilocybin, they reported a strong sense of interconnectedness, as well as spiritual, magical, and supernatural feelings.

 

 

 

In the alternate mode, brains produced a different world that offered other sensations and realizations than in everyday life. In this mode, the self wasn’t the protagonist of the narrative.

 

 

Meanwhile, scans of blood flow and brain wave oscillations showed new, unusual—but orderly and synchronous—connections forming between cortical regions, as if the brain was reorganizing its network.

 

 

This led Carhart-Harris to posit that the DMN generates the feeling we each have that we’re individuals, a feeling that manifests very strongly as reality.

 

 

 

And that means we can temporarily switch off, or mute, this part of the brain.

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The Undefeated Mind: Responsibility; Doers heal, live longer, may be happier!

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In the elderly, feeling a sense of responsibility has been found not only to improve daily functioning but also to increase lifespan.

 

 

In a study of nursing home patients by researchers Ellen Langer and Judith Rodin, residents on one floor were given a plant for which they themselves were expected to care (the experimental group) while residents on another floor were given a plant for which their nurses would care (the control group).

 

 

After three weeks, 93 percent of residents in the experimental group showed an overall improvement in socialization, alertness, and general function; in contrast, for 71 percent of residents in the control group functioning actually declined.

 

 

And in a follow-up study eighteen months later, half as many of the residents who’d received plants for which they were expected to care by themselves had died as the residents who’d been given plants for which their nurses cared.

 

 

Finally, perhaps the most significant way in which embracing a sense of personal responsibility increases resilience is by motivating action (remember, resilience is also defined by our ability to persevere through obstacles).

 

 

In fact, feeling responsible for achieving an outcome may motivate us even more powerfully than our desire to achieve it.

 

 

After all, a sense of responsibility often makes us do things we don’t want to do.

 

 

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in people suffering from, of all things, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

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Part two of five: BRAIN PRANK Scientists studying psychoactive drugs accidentally proved the self is an illusion: February 09, 2018

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Our awareness of existence—the ability to distinguish between the self and others—is created by the brain, neuroscientist Anil Seth explains in his TED talk, “Your brain hallucinates consciousness.” He says, “Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience—and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it.”

 

Yet when you are unconscious, you continue to exist without perceiving your own presence. You cease to participate in reality but continue to live. When roused back into consciousness, you lack a narrative to explain the time away. The narrative of the story that seems to be your life is just a function of your brain’s mechanisms, not who you really are.

 

Still, the hallucination of consciousness is one we’re all having in tandem. When we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality,” according to Seth. In this agreed-upon reality, we are each separate individuals, whose stories begin with our births and end with our deaths.
But there are other ways to experience reality, which you may have already glimpsed, even if only fleetingly. Sometimes our consciousness shifts. The boundaries of the self seem to become less rigid and we commune with another person or thing, as can happen during drug-induced epiphanies, sure—but can also happen when people fall in love, meditate, go out in nature, or experience a great meeting of minds.

 

In The Book (pdf), philosopher Alan Watts writes that we aren’t individuals existing in lonely bodies. We’re a flowing segment in the continuous line of life. He and others—mystics, monks, poets (pdf), and philosophers from numerous traditions—argue that people are sad and hostile because we live with a false sense of separation from one another and the rest of the world. “This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences,” Watts wrote in The Book. “We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”

 

Seeing the interconnectedness and timelessness of existence provides a grand scale. It helps put your problems in perspective. That’s why scientists are trying to find ways to trigger the epiphany Watts talks about. Drugs can help, especially since we think we now know how the brain generates the illusion of self.

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