60-75 percent of the people in U.S. experience trauma in their lifetime. 20 percent of such people experience PTSD, the different symptoms around trauma.
Trauma includes emotional, physical or sexual abuse, it could be from an accident, illness, or surgery, a natural disaster, loss of a loved one, or ending a relationship. Whatever the source of trauma, it leaves its imprint on the brain.
Trauma occurs when the nervous system is overwhelmed and the coping strategies don't work. If the trauma is not processed, the unprocessed fear gets locked in the body resulting in anxiety, depression and dissociation. It brings intrusive thoughts that torment and causes sleeplessness. Communication between the frontal cortex and the limbic system breaks and the body and mind goes on full alert thinking one is in constant danger.
“In the broken places the light shines through.” - Leonard Cohen
It is Not your fault
Know that you are Not alone
"The (mis)perception of mindfulness as a ‘simple technique’ belies the complexity and skill needed to deliver a mindfulness training that has real therapeutic and transformative power."
Mindfulness in the mental health setting https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353507/
“When the resistance is gone, the demons are gone.”
- Pema Chödrön
How Mindfulness Helps:
Mindfulness-based approaches target several core features of PTSD
The loving-kindness meditation helps the users to intentionally develop kindness and compassion towards themselves and others
Mindfulness promotes acceptance and awareness, thereby reducing the core symptoms and preventing the onset of PTSD
Brings focused, non-judgmental awareness to the experience
Regular practice builds more connections between the areas of the brain, slows down reactivity and increases the sense of the body as a whole. This leads to greater emotional regulation and tolerance - (Siegel, 2007)
Process involves learning to:
Recognize and understand the suffering
Gently bring in a sense of safety and compassion
Practice grounding techniques
Recognize the tolerance zone and the distress zone with a kind presence
Practice R.A.I.N. (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) to bring mindfulness and compassion to difficult emotions
Live with a fearless heart
"The longest journey begins with a single step." - Patanjali
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Source: Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience - Mindfulness-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: a review of the treatment literature and neurobiological evidence - Jenna E. Boyd, MSc, Ruth A. Lanius, MD, PhD, and Margaret C. McKinnon, PhD, CPsych https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5747539/
Tara Brach Ph.D Clinical Psychology, https://www.tarabrach.com/healing-trauma-transcription/
* Mindfulness for PTSD is a tool in healing that must be carefully employed. It works in conjunction with therapy but does not replace therapy