We’re living in an isolated hothouse; during this forcing process, we’re all being confronted with our inner self-talk.
Uncertainty, anxiety and avoiding that inner conversation is sending some of us into excessive cocktail hours or endless Netflix binges, and others into thoughtless rage that matches the senseless rage of those on the “other side of the aisle.”
Yet we’ve got to give ourselves loving hugs right now, and a laugh or two. Because it’s also an astonishing, unparalleled moment to dissolve old thought addictions by healing from traumatic patterns.
I happen to help people professionally with emotional regulation and leadership, but of course if you see a psychologist, you can check this information with them. I advise listening to the wisdom of your own heart.
I’ve crafted a ten step emergency protocol based directly on my personal experience, and it’s meant to combat Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms.
Is the world experiencing trauma right now, yes or no? Would it be fair to suggest trauma can create PTS?
These activities are intended to stop you from speeding into the same old rotten hell-hole, self-sabotaging thought pathways on that fearful, amygdala-flavored neural super highway.
It starts with becoming aware that you’ve slipped into the lower depths
If you are:
- Once again reviewing extremely negative loops of thought
- Revisiting worn narratives about the worst experiences you’ve had
- Arguing with people in your mind’s eye
- Generally anticipating trouble – then you’ve got some medicine to take.
Here’s what you might do instead
These tips are best paired with a fine sense of humor.
#1 Whip out your sports bra and sneakers. Men, you too. When you fear for your future survival because of an inflamed, well-worn neural pathway, the least of your problems, fellas, is wearing a ladies sports bra on top of your t-shirt.
#2 Unlock your mini trampoline.
#3 Jump on the trampoline for ten minutes. World dance music is a good assist. Don’t have one? Then jump up and down on the grass.
#4 Drink two big glasses of filtered water once your breathing is back to normal.
#5 Grab your keys and run around the block once, and if you’re not a runner (I’m not), jog then walk when you get winded.
My friend, you are stomping out the evil by confusing the patterns, interrupting them with vagus nerve stimulation, and teaching your brain and spirit who boss. You boss.
#6 Inner sparkle check point – a karmic reminder here – your ferocious intent to heal is powerful and should not be underestimated.
#7 Sit at home and do three rounds of a form of yogic breathing called bhastrika, the bellows breath. Count to thirty for each round and rest a few seconds between each one. Remember, you’re smokin’ out a varmint. There are several how-to videos online that demonstrate how to do bhastrika.
Note: fast, deep and propulsive forms of yogic breathing are not always recommended for people with manic disorders like bipolar, or heart problems. I learned that from The Art of Living Foundation and other expertly trained breath work teachers.
#8 Meditate for 15 minutes (either Hindu-style with a mantra or listen to an app, whatever works) or get into a state of coherence using a HeartMath tool. I need and use both methods daily. Be discerning; if traditional meditation creates real unease, maybe return to it later in your life journey.
#9 Mirror work mantras. That’s right, this is about as corny and embarrassing as it gets. But it works! You’ve just slowed yourself down, and by now your parasympathetic nervous system is hopefully radiating calm.
Look at yourself and say a mantra that you’ve picked because it has real meaning for you, like “I am healing,” or “I am a good person.”
This is not the time for snark.
How would you comfort a four-year old child who felt terrified by something you couldn’t see or understand? That’s who you’re comforting, the younger you. Be angelic.
#10 Appreciation Rant. Say it out loud if you can. Perhaps you’d like to take a walk if you need privacy for other-people reasons.
Instead of indulging in the negative ranting and catastrophizing that showcases broken remnants of PTS, turn this habit on its head.
Pour a waterfall of light on every human that you can think of who impacts you positively. Say lovely things aloud “to” everyone you appreciate. Imagine them feeling and receiving it.
P.S. Extra gold star to the brave man in a jog bra muttering spectacularly kind things to himself on the sidewalk.
This emergency protocol is meant and offered sincerely
It is for the brave ones who refuse to let Brain capitulate them into a Heck Hole or keep them in existential dread any longer than necessary.
Instead, interrupt the pattern as soon as you notice it.
Use exercise, breath work to lower your cortisol level and increase DHEA (a feel-good hormone), and then leverage positive psychology while your system is most receptive.
Decide that healing yourself is non-negotiable, and know that every cell of your being thirsts for love. We’ve forgotten that love and equilibrium are meant to be our default setting.
Activate your intent to heal by doing something transformational. Soften. The world needs your heart.