Thank you, Kim ❤️
Trauma can take you out of your body. It’s not uncommon to have a healthcare professional tell you that you’ve been dissociating. This was something I did after experiencing severe trauma. Dissociation is a break in how your mind handles information. When this happens you may feel separate from your thoughts, feelings, memories & surroundings. It’s disorienting & can cause isolation, at a time when support is important to your healing process.
In combination with professional help & support from family, friends & support groups, meditation can be a helpful integrative & holistic tool to help you reconnect with your body & mind.
One way meditation does this is by implementing breathing exercises. I often found, when being triggered, that I would stop breathing altogether. Or my breath would become short & shallow which had the potential to lead to symptoms you’d experience during a panic or anxiety attack.
By slowing my breath down, focusing on the rise & fall of the air in my lungs & paying attention to contact points between my body & whatever was supporting me (chair, bed, yoga mat, floor, etc.) I found myself becoming centered again. My heart rate would slow, my thoughts would become clear & calm & I felt reconnected to myself & my surroundings again. Think of breathing exercises as an anchor that you can come back to again & again.
The cool thing about breathing exercises is that you can do them anywhere, anytime, you’re breathing right now. Stop for a second & notice your breath. Is it fast? Short? Shallow? Were you holding your breath? Try to slow your breath down, inhaling & exhaling out of your nose. Filling the whole space between your bellybutton & collarbones. You can even place one hand on your lower belly & one on your upper chest & see if you can feel that you are breathing into the spaces where your hands are. Do this for a few minutes & notice how connected & relaxed your physical & mental body becomes 😊
Please reach out to a healthcare professional for support if your grief has become too much to handle & remember that you are not alone ❤️
You can listen to this meditation series on Insight Timer following this link.
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