Understanding Your Daily Focus
Let’s talk (gently!) about trauma, and how sometimes its
effects are so different from what we might expect based on what we’ve seen
portrayed in the media. Often, PTSD is shown as someone having violent physical
reactions such as flashbacks, tremors, or bursting into tears. While these are
symptoms of severe PTSD, a lot of the time the way we react to the world around
us in small, maybe unnoticeable ways, can be signs of dealing with trauma as
I want to look at emotional regulation; the way we react intensely or negatively to seemingly innocuous events. When we face stress as an infant or child, our brain develops patterns to help us cope. An instance may be that if you suffered and survived a bad car accident, you might be irrationally wary of all machines, including the elevator at your work, forcing you to walk up way more stairs than anyone should deal with. This and other trauma responses may seem small in the moment, but they create illogically and potentially hindering reactions to situations.
In this week’s Daily Focus, I want to offer a few solutions for dealing with emotional dysregulation, ways to acknowledge your patterns of behavior and work to change them.
Saturday, July 3
“Meditation is one of the best ways to look inside of yourself, and actively work to rewire your brain. Seeking answers when you’re in a calm and safe state will allow you to look closely at the what of your behavior, if not the why.”
Today is a chance to look inward. If you’re feeling stuck on
a choice or need direction that you can’t seem to get from outside sources,
it’s time to go inside yourself instead. Sometimes you need to look at the hard
pieces of the truth, and where you really want to be.
Sunday, July 4
“We often use Tarot to answer our questions, but if we flip the script and allow Tarot to pose the question, then we are forced to look within ourselves to find the answer.”
I talk a lot about the healing power of Tarot, and I want to
reinforce the idea that you do not need to be psychic to benefit. Often, when
we read predictively, Tarot provides answers to us, things we didn’t already
know. When we use Tarot as the question, we have to turn inward instead and
look for the answers among our own experiences and feelings. In this way, a
card that, when read predictively, indicates something negative, would only be
asking you to look back into your past to examine a time when you experienced
Monday, July 5
“For those who are able, exercise is a great way to jump-start the parasympathetic nervous system and rewire the fight or flight response.”
Since becoming disabled, I have lost the ability to do most
of the active things I once did. I have had to replace running with deep
breathing, but it works just as well to activate my body away from panic and
back into itself. Just getting your blood circulating better can help stave off
anxiety and panic, because your body has something more pressing to focus on.
Tuesday, July 6
“One of the best things you can do to understand your feelings and behaviors is journaling.”
Journaling is a mixed bag for a lot of people, as it can be
hard to feel you’re being genuine and not performing. I urge you to do it
anyway. If it helps, write it like a letter to yourself. Remember that this is just
for you. And when you’ve finished, close the book and leave the feeling there
Wednesday, July 7
“Spending one-on-one time with friends, or anyone who really gets you is a great way to be reminded of how connections can ground us and make us feel more understood.”
After a year of serious isolation, it can feel weird to jump
back into social circles. If you’re struggling with this and feeling isolated,
try reaching out to one trusted person, and taking it slowly. Often, when I am
at my saddest and most antisocial, it can be a struggle to make myself
reconnect. But it’s worth it.
Thursday, July 8
“Being understood and feeling connected is one of the most important things to us as humans. And good stories, in all their forms, have always been a way of reminding us that we’re all cut from the same cloth, and facing the same innate challenges.”
Another way to feel connected to humanity is to take in stories. Maybe it’s books, movies, shows, or games, but whatever your poison of choice is—we all want to hear stories of bravery and hope to remind us how strong we can be.
Friday, July 9
“Above all else, have hope for the future.”
Hope is the key. Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you’re engaging with stories, friends, or yourself, look toward the best possible future and imagine your ideal self in your ideal world—and then do the work to get there.
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