Oh geez, you guys, I apologize. I still need to write up more posts about the trip to Sweden I had in July… I had so many things I wanted to document, but I just haven’t had the time. Hopefully one day soon…
But I’ve been dealing with nursing school the past three weeks, as well as work, and prior to school: kids and getting them ready for back-to-school… and of course Doctor/Therapist appointments.
A couple days ago I had a 3rd therapist appointment and he gave me two main tips to work on to help with the anxiety and PTSD. I also have a workbook to start working on for cognitive therapy – I haven’t started that yet.
Anyway, I figured I’d share these exercises with you all in case they might help someone else too.
- Meditation. My therapist wants me to take 3 minutes, 3 times a day, in which I sit still and just focus on breathing. It’s supposed to help quiet the inner voice in my head… when my thoughts start to wander I am supposed to bring myself back around and focus on feeling the breaths go in and out. This is supposed to make the inner voice less frequent, but also change the brain itself. It enlarges the self awareness and compassion part of the brain and decreases the stress part. He had me watch this video and then practice it… So far so good, but it’s only been a few days since I started.
- Bilateral stimulation. This is basically supposed to release the anxieties and “unstick” memories and thoughts that occur frequently with PTSD. Basically, you don’t lose the memories or thoughts, but they become less important in your brain. So, when I have a PTSD attack I’m supposed to do this to help minimize the attack itself and eventually the frequency. To do it, I am supposed to activate my left and right brains in a sequence. It can be done with a few different senses, but the easy on-the-fly way for me to do it for myself is to lay each hand on my thighs and tap my hands back and forth in turn; left right left right… etc. I can also cross my arms over my chest (give myself a hug) and do the tapping on my upper arms. Read this if you need more information on that.
In other news, in case you hadn’t realized… International Suicide Prevention day was on Monday and R U OK? Day was on Thursday, which incidentally was the day of my therapist appointment… But anyway, though the day has passed and I didn’t mark the occasion on this blog this year, it is never the wrong time to ask someone “R U OK?” You never know when your words or your concern can save a life. …And if you are not OK, please don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help.