Underrated & Over Proven
Most people don't know this...
But there's a big box of tricks in the back of the closet for healing PTSD.
There's one that works for everyone... every single time.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to healing PTSD that truly works, but this technique is an important piece of the puzzle across the board.
It's more than just a piece, it's the frigging border of the puzzle.
If you've found yourself caught in a trigger, overwhelmed with anxiety, or you're just drawing a blank on what you can do to help yourself today...
Don't even let fear in (not worth it).
I got you.
Now... This technique I'm about to share is underrated and over proven to do some serious shit in less than 3 minutes.
If you've ever been to a really good counselor, this is one of the first techniques they would have shared to help you cope. And it would have been implemented into a short and long term plan.
This technique cannot be overlooked, overbooked, or talked about enough when it comes to healing PTSD.
It might seem like a short term fix at first, but it's not.
And paired with other methods it's a very serious part of a long term plan.
You: "So, what is it?".
Me: "That's right".
You: "I breathe every fuckin' day. How is breathing more gonna help me?".
I'm glad you asked.
The Key To Healing
Now, sit the fuck down, BREATHE into your asshole, balls, or pelvic floor... and check this out.
There are two types of breathing. Shallow and deep.
You want to think about breathing very deep.
Deeper than just your gut.
Your normal breath is shallow.
It resides in your chest.
When you see a child ages 0-2 breathe...
You'll notice that their stomach expands with each breath in.
And the last thing to move is the chest.
Do you know what kind of breathing happens when you go into an episode or face a trigger?
You guessed it.
That's what happens when you face a fight/flight/freeze scenario (and 'experts', please start including freeze because most people actually do freeze up rather than fight or run!).
What happens when you consciously force breath into the lower portion of your lungs?
It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxes and calms.
It also delivers more oxygen to the brain and quiets the mind.
What does EVERYONE with PTSD wish they could do in the midst of an attack?
RELAX AND CALM DOWN, RIGHT?
This is a fucking ninja-combat move against losing your shit when triggered.
Breathing deep in the face of a trigger could mean the difference between...
Damaging a relationship or not.
Getting in a physical altercation or not.
Scarring a child/spouse/friend or not.
Completely fucking up your daily plans or not.
There's power, freedom, and antidote in this method.
Don't throw it away.
You Should Know
One of the first signs of going into a PTSD attack is a depressing of the chest.
If you were sitting in a chair it would look like a slight rounding of the back and deflation of the chest.
Why is this important?
Because THE FIRST sign of most attacks includes being in a position that closes off the lower lungs.
In this position only shallow breathing occurs.
When air is forced into the lower one third of your lungs, you not only activate your parasympathetic nervous system and start calming down, but you're forced to retract out of the first physical position that precedes most PTSD attacks.
When my wife first brought this to my attention, I about shit myself.
Because 80%+ of the time I would go into a PTSD attack, I would start folding forward and cutting off my depth of breathing.
Most people breathe like shit.
For those of us with PTSD...
We really don't have that option.
Put It All Together
On the first go around for some of you, this technique will be amazing.
For others, it's gonna feel like a pain in the ass.
You're gonna think it's not working.
You're gonna feel like it's the last thing you want to take time for at that moment.
The truth is...
It is working.
It's literally the best thing you could be doing in that moment.
The effects will become clearer over time.
Keep in mind...
This isn't going to take your attack away...
It's purpose is to help you manage it. Give you a leg up.
Help you take control. Help you stop before you do something you regret.
It's a safety-rope to grab instead of completely sliding down the spiral of emptiness, sadness, and aggression.
If you feel shaky, can feel something coming on, need a reset, or are in the midst of reliving something...
Start breathing from below your navel.
Do not think of sucking air in from your chest.
Think of the air coming in from your asshole, balls, your pelvic floor, prostate, perineum, or below your navel.
Your chest should be THE LAST thing to move.
Fill er' up and hold till the count of 4. You can hold double that if you'd like.
Experiment. That's how you will truly heal PTSD. Experimenting on yourself.
Luckily for you, I've been the lab rat for part of it, so at least you know which tools are available and how they can be used.
You have to use them, augment them, find out what works and what doesn't for you.
It's OK to breathe through your mouth and nose, but when you can, inhale only through the nose and exhale through your mouth.
This will help your heart rate come down.
Get to the point where you're inhaling at a minimum of 4 counts. If you can do 8, go for it.
Each count is going to be a second or longer.
Get to the point where you're exhaling at a minimum of 4 counts. Again, if you can do 8 or even longer, go for it.
Do this anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Set a timer. Use the Calm app. Or do a minimum of 15 breaths in the above style.
Try to do this as soon as trauma hits.
If you're with your wife, just straight up tell her "I need to breathe NOW".
If you're out with friends just dodge into the bathroom, walk to a secluded spot, or just breathe quietly.
If you're a bit more open, don't give a shit what anyone thinks about it, or don't mind if someone asks you if you're OK (personally, I've never found anyone that cared how I was breathing) then just start breathing.
At first, try breathing louder, like a bull after it's run toward a red flag.
You want power behind your breath. Feel your muscles, lungs, and sinews move.
It may help to close your eyes.
It also may help to keep your eyes focused on something.
Try it out. Stick this in your bag of tricks. You're gonna need it.
If you have questions, leave them down below.
And remember that no matter how far gone you feel, you can become way better than you are right now.