The need for compassion with ourselves

Talkin’ bout tough stuff alert.

How do you start talking about trauma with the ones you love and trust?

Even understanding our own trauma can be elusive.

If you have been through a traumatic experience, you may understand what it feels to be triggered or experience ‘flight, fight, or freeze’ while under particular stress. But it doesn’t make it easier to understand or accept!

When triggered, some amazing things happen in the brain. The Broca’s Centre in the left brain, where time and language are understood, has been measured to go blank while heightened.

And the emotional right brain lights up like fireworks. This makes your brain chemistry resemble the initial traumatic experience, all the while not being able to describe it because your language centre goes offline!

Talk about the need for compassion with ourselves…

The great thing is, you have the POWER to rewire this pattern and talking to your loved ones can take some of the pressure off and reduce feelings of confusion:

  • Breathe through the moments of re-experiencing stress – raised heart rate, sweat, tingling. Tell yourself “I am safe”. Make the out breath twice as long as the in breath.
  • Describe what happens physically when you get triggered so that others can look out for the signals.
  • Understand that your triggers don’t define you.
  • Have compassion with yourself while the left brain can’t yet describe what is going on and say, “I need a minute to breathe!”
  • Make sure you’re sharing with someone who doesn’t interrupt you or talk down to you.
  • Remember that the trauma is not recurring even though the brain and body might be in overdrive.

You are amazing, and you are worth listening to.

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