The power of your breath is that it is always in the moment.
Self awareness is key to starting a successful trauma healing journey. It can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning, as you are literally choosing to counter your biology in choosing discomfort, learning how to navigate stepping outside your comfort zone and taking a hard look at your helpful but toxic coping strategies.
I do a lot of trauma education with my clients. I know it provided me with the comfort to know that there was nothing wrong with me in how I had responded to and lived through my trauma. In fact, I was in many ways a textbook example of a child that grew up in a household with domestic violence, and was being abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. The outcome was that I lived with toxic stress as a child and as an adult, that toxic stress was still living inside of me as if it was still happening and all my systems were on high alert, all the time!
As I started to understand the impact of trauma and learning that I was not alone, I slowly became aware of how big a part my biology played in how I would be able to heal from the past. It became easier and easier and I was open to learning new things, actually willing to explore anything if it helped me find peace in my mental, emotional, and physical state and better able to connect with people.
Learning about the power of my breath was an important piece of the puzzle. As survivors of trauma, we hardly notice our breath (or our shallow breathing), we hardly notice our tight sholders and the weight on our hearts or the knot in the pit of our stomach. It has been such a big part of your life, you assume it is what all people feel and experience.
When I started to get into meditation about 20 years ago, I was fascinated by how the simple act of taking a deep breath could shift how I felt and it gave me the space to think about how I wanted to respond to my thoughts. I did practice meditation and some form of breathwork of and on during my healing journey, but it was not until a few of years ago that meditation becaume a regular self care practice and then again when I received my TRE certification. I reconnected with the power of my breath, the awareness it brings to your body, inside and out, and the power it has to shift from a place of tension to relexation, one breath at the time.
Our breath is one of the systems of our body that can override our subconscious automatic systems. We only have to become aware and start to take the breaths we need to make the shift from how we usually feel to how we want to choose to feel now.
If you are new to mindfulness or meditation, here are some simple steps for you to try:
1. Find a comfortable seat, keeping your eyes open or closed.
2. Begin by taking 3 full slow deep breaths, inhale and exhale fully.
3. Allow your breath to come back to normal.
4. To start, just sit and notice your breath coming in and going out. What do you notice?
5. Any thoughts that come to mind, just notice them and let them go.
6. The more you practice, start to notice how your body responds to the inhale and the exhale. Your lungs, the warmth of the breath, and the thoughts that might be distracting.
7. No need to control or judge. You can't do this wrong. Just accept and allow. And give yourself this moment of being aware of your breath, being fully in the present moment with yourself.
8. As you slowly come back from this breathing meditaion, just take a minute to scan your body and notice how you feel before you head out to your day.
9. In the beginning, it might be helpful to set an alarm and just start with 1 minute or 5 if you can and start to notice over time as you start to feel more comfortable sitting for longer periods of time.
The long term benefits of mindful breathing include stress relief, better control over difficult emotions, increased positive thinking, and more self awareness, just to name a few. What is powerful about starting a simple breath meditation is that you can do it anywhere, it can always help you to come back to the present moment, where we want to be for connecting with other people. So much of our worry or anxiety about life is about the future or rumination about the past that we can't change. Start with just one minute a few times per week and notice how you feel.
Ready to start reconnecting with your body through mindfulness, meditation or TRE? Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. I can help! Just follow (this link) or call 619-889-6366 to reserve a one-hour coaching session with me ($100). Let me help you with the next step to heal your life. You deserve it! Reserve your spot NOW!
Have you read my new book, “Releasing Your Authentic Self”? If you’re ready to do the deep, hard work of emotional healing, this book is for YOU!! You’ll find it at Amazon in paperback (link) or Kindle (link). Enjoy and happy reading!
Are you looking for more support? I have created a closed Facebook group for the readers of “Releasing Your Authentic Self” If you are ready to dig deep, and want to experience the daily support, encouragement from others like you. Follow this link to learn more: Releasing Your Authentic Self Support Group.