Forest

POWERFUL LIVING

The Conscious and Subconscious Mind

 

People who drive cars often refer to something called “autopilot”. This is when you drive to the same place very regularly, and temporarily your subconscious takes over and gets you to your destination. You then have a sudden realisation of “I don't really remember the drive” sometimes it doesn't happen for the whole journey, you might miss a junction or turning and then ask yourself “where am I going again?”

Man Driving in Car

The word subconscious literally means below awareness.

This level of the mind is not well defined or understood, but it nevertheless has tremendous power over human perception and behavior. Almost all brain activity happens on a subconscious level. Estimates vary, but perhaps a mere 10 percent of information ever reaches the conscious mind. 

As Freud put it, “The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.”

SUB
CONSCIOUS
MIND

Recommendations from the NHS

Medication

The top 4 ways to recover on the official NHS website are:

  • Exercise

  • Staying at work

  • Physical therapy

  • Painkillers

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

All of these recovery methods are absolutely fantastic and fundamental to be able to recover, however what they dont tell you is that if you are not mentally sound, and you don't have a weight baring down from something that has happened in your past. Letting go of past emotions and being able to accept what has happened and be excited for the future is something a lot of people struggle with, communication is the most fundamental part of any recovery.

NHS guides and support process: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

What is trauma, Stress & Anxiety?

Stressed Woman

Going through very stressful, frightening or distressing events is sometimes called trauma. When we talk about emotional or psychological trauma, we might mean:

  1. Situations or events we find traumatic

  2. How we're affected by our experiences.

Traumatic events can happen at any age and can cause long-lasting harm. Everyone has a different reaction to trauma, so you might notice any effects quickly, or a long time afterwards.

Source: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/trauma/about-trauma/

Fitness Class

What are the best ways to deal with Trauma, Stress & Anxiety (in my opinion!)

I think staying at home sitting down doing nothing “feeling sorry for yourself” will get you nowhere understandably when you are first ill or on the downward spiral we all punish ourselves in different ways, some: force feed, starve themselves, smoke excessively, drink excessively, etc. I think it is important to allow ourselves this time as it is needed to feel normal again, whatever has happened will have caused a negative effect inside the body and inside the mind. Therefore were not only allowing our bodies this physical release of energy and endorphins, serotonin and all the things you might have been deprived from or something you’ve been missing.

I think, when you have gone through this process, provided you aren’t doing damage to your body and mind (also those people around you) then indulge in what you love to do to make sure that you feel better, well rested and then have the mental & physical capacity to make the change you want to make. If you aren’t going to do it properly don’t do it at all.

There are so many benefits to being consistently being outside and the main big benefits are a reduction in your blood pressure and subsequent health benefits that come along with this such as a better blood circulation improved cardiovascular fitness and improved stiffness. By moving more the joints, muscle, ligaments and tendons are being used a lot more and then they build up in strength and are able to do more, are able to go further.

The best ways to deal with trauma stress and anxiety (according to the NHS)

Beach Meditation
Outdoor Exercise

Tip 1: Get moving

Trauma disrupts your body’s natural equilibrium, freezing you in a state of hyperarousal and fear. As well as burning off adrenaline and releasing endorphins, exercise and movement can actually help repair your nervous system.

Keeping things basic

Some people arent ready to go out and do 30 mins of exercise a day and thats ok! It is all about the hear and now, naming 5 green objects in your room to help keep you grounded.

Try walking up and down the stairs a couple times just some basic stuff to get you up and active.

 

Try to exercise for 30 minutes or more on most days.

Or if it’s easier, three 10-minute spurts of exercise per day are just as good.

Exercise that is rhythmic and engages both your arms and legs

Such as walking, running, swimming, basketball, or even dancing—works best.

Add a mindfulness element.

Instead of focusing on your thoughts or distracting yourself while you exercise, really focus on your body and how it feels as you move. Notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of wind on your skin. Rock climbing, boxing, weight training, or martial arts can make this easier—after all, you need to focus on your body movements during these activities in order to avoid injury.

Tip 2: Don’t isolate

Following a trauma, you may want to withdraw from others, but isolation only makes things worse. Connecting to others face to face will help you heal, so make an effort to maintain your relationships and avoid spending too much time alone.

You don’t have to talk about the trauma.

Connecting with others doesn’t have to involve talking about the trauma. In fact, for some people, that can just make things worse. Comfort comes from feeling engaged and accepted by others.

Ask for support.

While you don’t have to talk about the trauma itself, it is important that you have someone to share your feelings with face to face, someone who will listen attentively without judging you. Turn to a trusted family member, friend, counselor, or clergyman.

Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel like it.

Do “normal” activities with other people, activities that have nothing to do with the traumatic experience.

Reconnect with old friends. If you’ve retreated from relationships that were once important to you, make the effort to reconnect.

Join a support group for trauma survivors.

Connecting with others who are facing the same problems can help reduce your sense of isolation, and hearing how others cope can help inspire you in your own recovery.

Volunteer.

As well as helping others, volunteering can be a great way to challenge the sense of helplessness that often accompanies trauma. Remind yourself of your strengths and reclaim your sense of power by helping others.

Make new friends.

If you live alone or far from family and friends, it’s important to reach out and make new friends. Take a class or join a club to meet people with similar interests, connect to an alumni association, or reach out to neighbors or work colleagues.

If connecting to others is difficult…

Many people who have experienced trauma feel disconnected, withdrawn and find it difficult to connect with other people. If that describes you, there are some actions you can take before you next meet with a friend:

 

Exercise or move.

Jump up and down, swing your arms and legs, or just flail around. Your head will feel clearer and you’ll find it easier to connect.

Vocal toning.

As strange as it sounds, vocal toning is a great way to open up to social engagement. Sit up straight and simply make “mmmm” sounds. Change the pitch and volume until you experience a pleasant vibration in your face.

Friends Socializing
Girl Relaxing

Tip 3: Self-regulate your nervous system

No matter how agitated, anxious, or out of control you feel, it’s important to know that you can change your arousal system and calm yourself. Not only will it help relieve the anxiety associated with trauma, but it will also engage a greater sense of control.

Mindful breathing.

If you are feeling disoriented, confused, or upset, practicing mindful breathing is a quick way to calm yourself. Simply take 60 breaths, focusing your attention on each ‘out’ breath.

 

Sensory input.

Does a specific sight, smell or taste quickly make you feel calm? Or maybe petting an animal or listening to music works to quickly soothe you? Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so experiment with different quick stress relief techniques to find what works best for you.

 

Staying grounded.

To feel in the present and more grounded, sit on a chair. Feel your feet on the ground and your back against the chair. Look around you and pick six objects that have red or blue in them. Notice how your breathing gets deeper and calmer.

Allow yourself to feel what you feel when you feel it.

Acknowledge your feelings about the trauma as they arise and accept them. HelpGuide’s Emotional Intelligence Toolkit can help.

Tip 4: Take care of your health

It’s true: having a healthy body can increase your ability to cope with the stress of trauma.

Get plenty of sleep.

After a traumatic experience, worry or fear may disturb your sleep patterns. But a lack of quality sleep can exacerbate your trauma symptoms and make it worse.

Women Practicing Yoga Outdoor