The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Tag: meditation

Finding Peace Using Meditation

In stressful times like these, it’s important to find ways to tune out the extra noise. Personally, I can’t leave the news on for too long. The noise we hear affects our energy and mood & I’m very mindful of what I’m hearing during my “off” hours. Background news or negativity can be draining even if we don’t participate or pay attention to it.

This week’s post is my low-key way to introduce or encourage you to consider meditation.

Unfortunately, people get discouraged by numerous myths about meditation.

“It’s too woo woo for me.”

“I can’t quiet my mind because I have too much to do.”

“I don’t know where I can do it. Don’t I need a meditation room?”

(No you don’t need a meditation room but if you’re interested in decorating a peaceful area in your home or office, I got you! Read: 4 Ways To Inspire A Peaceful Environment)

What helped me ease into a meditation practice was listening to guided meditations. I use the Calm app, which provides free and paid memberships, and it’s a perfect lifesaver when you need visual or audio imagery to help calm the eff down. I also use the sounds of waterfalls or rain as background noise when I’m writing (heads up creatives)!

Need ideas of where you can do a 5-minute meditation?

-After dropping off the kids at school (in the car or at home).

-On the train, plane or airport (especially if you’re a nervous traveller)

-During a break at work

-Driving to pick up lunch

-Waiting in the drive-through line

-In the shower or tub

-While working on deadlines at work (reports, grants, audits)

Plus, research has shown that guided meditation can help calm children and babies. A therapist told me how a client and her baby responded when she played a guided meditation during their session. She said the client’s baby stopped fussing, fell asleep during the session and the mom was obviously relieved. Try playing meditation music during your kids’ bedtimes and see if you notice a difference!

I have attached a link to a YouTube video introducing you to an easy 5-minute guided meditation. You don’t have to sit cross legged or close your eyes. Just sit comfortably, breathe slowly and focus on 5 minutes of peace. You’re welcome!!

 

Coping with PTSD

 

 

trauma quote

*No Spoilers I swear!!!*

I watched American Sniper this weekend and wondered how they would portray trauma. Based on the trailer I knew this was a true story of a U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. who fought in the Middle East.

The director, in my opinion, did a brilliant job of focusing on this soldier’s facial and body expressions during moments of despair. It was evident when he was experiencing flashbacks and/or detaching from reality. As a clinician, I have experienced moments when clients are detaching from the present and they emotionally transport back to that scary place.

Traumas happen everyday and in all situations. For children, trauma occurs the moment their sense of safety is disrupted. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can occur for crime victims (burglary, assault, robbery), survivors of abuse, car accident victims, first responders,  nurses and people who have been abandoned by loved ones, just to name a few examples. A person can have close proximity to a traumatic incident and experience PTSD or secondary trauma.

 

How can PTSD survivors cope and heal from their trauma?

 

  1. Working with a therapist trained in trauma work is the first line of defense. Most domestic violence agencies have specially trained therapists who can deal with adulthood domestic violence as well as childhood traumas. Children can suffer from emotional trauma due to divorce, separations or overhearing arguments from family or parents. Most mental health professionals are trained in trauma-specific treatments.
  2. Grounding exercises orient a person with PTSD to the here and now. Wiggling your toes, running your hands under the faucet and rubbing a soft material or pillow have been helpful grounding methods.
  3. Breathing and meditation also help PTSD clients whether they are dealing with flashbacks or trying to adjust to a regular routine. Diaphragmatic breathing can help regulate blood pressure and cortisol levels. Yoga sessions have been tailored specifically for wounded troops and have been shown to be effective.

 

Here are some resources that may be helpful for you or someone you know:

https://ptsd.va.gov

http://www.nami.org/

PTSD Information email: ncptsd@va.gov

Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 or Text to 838255

Apps available on iTunes:

–  PTSD Coach

–  The Mindfulness App

–  Simply Being – Guided Meditation

In most cities you can call 211 from your phone for counseling centers near you.

 

Do you know anyone who has suffered from this? What methods have helped them?

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