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What Are Some Ways That I Can Calm Myself Down When I Begin to Feel the Emotional Effects of Past Traumatic Experiences?

One of the first things we must do when we feel upset is to lead our bodies back to a calm state. We can do this anywhere by giving ourselves a break and taking the time we need to get back to a centered state of mind. For those of us dealing with the emotional issues associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other types of trauma, our emotional states could be triggered by unanticipated events or circumstances.

While most of us may have been in therapy for some time now and have a good set of coping skills to navigate our triggers, we have little control over things going on in the outside world. We can do our best to avoid our triggers; however, we may unintentionally find ourselves confronted with emotional triggers throughout our daily lives. Mindfulness techniques can help you to stay grounded and calm when you are facing emotional distress. One technique to practice mindfulness is to focus on the five senses.

  • Sight: look at an object or a picture with intention. Study the details of it as if you were going to be asked to describe it to someone without the gift of eyesight.
  • Hearing: close your eyes and listen to music, or focus your hearing on something in your immediate environment, like an air conditioning unit or a car engine running. Or, simply close your eyes and listen with intention. Try to hear things you might not have noticed like birds chirping or children laughing.
  • Taste: if you have a snack, like a raisin or a peanut, place only one in your mouth and close your eyes as you focus all your attention on just this one piece of food.
  • Smell: find something pleasant to smell, like a candle or a bar of soap. Again, imagine that you have to describe the smell to someone without the gift of smell!
  • Touch: close your eyes and notice the way things feel in this moment. This could be the temperature of the air or the sunshine. It could be a piece of cloth in your hands or a stress ball.

Mindfulness refers to any activity that engages us fully in the moment. When we are in a state of mindfulness, we focus on something within our own body or environment that will take our full attention. The Guest House uses mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga, to help individuals recover from traumatic events. Call us today at (855) 483-7800!