No matter the source of your stress, physical or emotional, the body can be soothed by calming the alarm center of your brain. Limbic Trauma causes 70% of chronic disease, physical and mental. You can calm the Limbic system by up-regulation – calming the body which then calms the Limbic system. And Down Regulation – using the thinking part of your brain to recognize trauma thoughts (negative thoughts)
The most important first step is to conquer the art of breathing with your diaphragm: Paced abdominal breathing. The in-breath, inspiration, should be half as long as the out-breath – expiration. You could achieve this with box breathing – breathe in (for 4 counts) hold – 2 counts, breath out – 4 counts – hold for 2 counts. Or make up a variation that suits you – in for 4, out for 6, hold for 2.
Take a look at Step 2 if you prefer a shorter video.
If you have very severe pain – you might not be able to do the exercises below. Have a look at the Recovery Poses until you have improved, then you can move on to the exercises below.
Along with correct breathing, you could follow a daily program of morning and evening exercises. Choose the one you like. Let your body guide you – adapt the exercise according to your abilities. You could do them in a chair if necessary. In the beginning, you may not be able to do them all. Remember – check with your physician first.
Morning exercises – try them and pick the one that suits you
Evening Exercises – have a strap handy to assist with the stretches if you are stiff or if you have too much pain .
If the Qi Gong exercise is too difficult, then do Recovery Back Pose
There are medications that can help you sleep, but they do have serious side effects. Be very careful of meditation and mindfulness if you have PTSD. If your healthcare provider has approved you for this, try some of these sleep meditations.
If you feel overwhelmed, you could try these self-soothing exercises.
Here is a Qi Gong Exercise if you are feeling very overwhelmed.
Daily Practice of Mindfulness can change your life. Reading a bible, or other spiritual works are wonderful ways to heal. Practicing mindfulness can enhance the experience. This is a free course – Palouse Mindfulness. Again be careful of this if you have PTSD and make sure to speak to your healthcare provider first.
If you are thinking too much – thinking of things that you need to do or things that happened or things to come – your are anxious. Try the 5 Grounding Technique:
5 things you see
4 things you hear
3 things to touch
2 things to smell
1 thing to taste
On-Line management of Depression is a handy tool if you don’t have access to a counselor.