Trauma Rescue - What To Do When You're Freaking Out

A little over a decade ago I experienced several years of persistent loss and trauma. I was forced to pick up my broken pieces and start all over again. Previously I had been an avid reader, practitioner and even teacher within the positive thinking movement, but it was useless when I found myself in fight/flight mode, my heart racing, my thinking panicked and irrational. 
Gradually over years of refinement under continuing stressful conditions, I created a set of tools that addressed not only calming the inner creature in trauma, but also transitioned that frightened creature out of terror and into empowerment. 
Personally I have gained more of a sense of control over my life and my personal energy. And we know particularly during this pandemic that control is really just an idea we hold onto so we don’t fall down. But we can move ourselves out of trauma and gain more control over our own consciousness. 
So here’s a step-by-step list of how I pull myself together and make lemonade with lemons. I hope it helps someone else adapt to trauma and evolve to a more empowered and hopeful place. The first five steps are simple damage-control. The remaining steps five - seven are for moving on and recovering from a traumatic episode. I have a copy of this list in the Reminder App on my phone. I recommend you type one up for yourself. It seems I'm unable to share lists directly from my phone.
If we can combine a hopeful outlook with our social distancing we can be as resilient as possible, no matter what happens. 
Be Well X.

Step Zero – Retreat

1.     Stop and withdraw from whatever situation is aggravating or triggering you.
2.     Find a safe place to be for a moment while you rebalance.
3.     Change the scene. If you’re out or at work, try to go outside or to your car for five minutes, grab a drink of water. 
4.     If you’re at home, think ‘forced depression.’ This means stop everything and retreat to your nest/bed.
5.     Retreat isn’t failure, it’s damage control. We don’t make good decisions when in trauma. 

Step One – Identify

1.     Know how to identify that you are stressed. Are you having a panic attack? Feeling confused? Fearful? Angry? Hysterical? Is your heart racing. Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Sweating? Muscle stiffness or clenched jaw? 
2.     Simply noticing that you are stressed is the first step to managing your consciousness. 

Step Two – Rebalance

1.     Once you know how you feel it’s time to become an energy healer for yourself. This means re-balancing your own energy and recognising whether you need to be ‘wound down’ or ‘wound up.’ 
2.     If you’re highly agitated or stressed you probably need to be wound down. This means finding some way to stop racing around and be still. It’s important to focus on your exhalations during this process. With each breath you are expelling electromagnetic energy from deep within your body. Feel the breath heave from the base of your lungs. Make an ‘ahhh’ sound if it helps. Gradually slow the breaths down and increase the space between them. Stop after a few minutes and just feel the energy settling within your body.
3.     If your body is still feeling aggravated try some exercise, dance, walking or yoga. Make it gentle exercise, as vigorous exercise may add to your chemical stress levels. 
4.     If you’ve shut down into depression that’s fine too. Depression is a state of deep-rest, where we heal and re-structure ourselves from within. Honour the process, but stick to certain routines like meal-times. Even a piece of toast or fruit can help to keep you going when you don’t feel you have the energy any more. 
5.     A shower is magical, clearing your energy field. I’ve used it personally, as well as a parenting technique. A grumpy child is usually refreshed after a bath or shower.  It really does work wonders and can bring you up a notch or down a notch as needed. 
6.     Go back to step zero if necessary and just lie down. Really try to concentrate on something that helps you avoid going into a thought spiral. Play some music or think of a meditation symbol to visualise. 
7.     Do whatever you need to do to rebalance yourself. You’re in charge of your charge. 

Step Three – Retrain

1.     If you’re going into a thought spiral it’s important to stop feeding it energy. This means distracting yourself while keeping your mind occupied. A good novel, podcast or online movie can be great, but keep it positive and uplifting. Remember – you’re applying medicine to change your vibration. Choose a movie or book that matches where you want to be, not where you’re coming from. 
2.     This is when you can apply positive thinking and brain training techniques like CBT, NLP and Hypnosis. Sometimes I write lines containing affirmations. Writing is easy for me. Do what is easy for you. The important thing is to put the programs into your brain that you want to see in your life. Peace and health for example. 

Step Four – Reconnect

1.     Connect with the world in a safe way that is not aggravating. This might mean going for a walk and communing with nature. It might mean picking up the phone or checking your favourite online group. It might mean setting a coffee date. Or simply cuddle your pet, partner or child.
2.     Think about your energy exchange with others. Are you nourishing others and thereby nourishing yourself? Be careful not to engage in connections that might drain you until you are feeling strong enough to handle it again. 
3.     It is your responsibility to ensure that your lack of energy doesn’t drain others, or that your overcharge doesn’t burn them out. That’s the real dance of personal energy management. 
4.     Get back to work and leave the storm outside. 

Step Five – Express

1.     Record the journey any way you like, the fierce and the beautiful. Express yourself into a journal, blog, painting, drawing, song, story or monologue. Moving energy helps you to move on from the situation. 
2.     Listen to the advice that comes from those around you. Books, articles, counsellors, doctors, friends and family. Take it all in and then figure out what applies to you. There are healers all around us. 
3.     Practice mindful listening. Listen to the words as well as the spaces when someone is speaking. Watch their body language and expressions, paying attention to how their energy rises and falls. Doing this puts you into a receptive state of consciousness. Try it out. 

Step Six – Envision

1.     Imagine for a moment exactly where you want to be in as much detail as you can. What do you want to be doing and feeling? Walk around in a ‘day in the life’ of the person you wish to become. How does it all feel in your body and mind?
2.     Now imagine feeling that way right now, exactly where you are. Imagine that you can feel that way exactly where you are right now. And so it is. 
3.     Envisioning where you’re headed is the best way to ensure you’re taking the right steps to create the life you want. Even if things look hopeless now, imagine that a miracle happens and what that might look like. 

Step Seven – Unify

1.     If I get stressed, so does my cat. I find that comforting her also comforts me. If you’re a parent you’ll know what I’m talking about. Reassuring someone else creates a corresponding chemical calming effect within our own bodies. 
2.     Contemplate the place you wish to occupy in the world. It might be that you need your emotions to help change the world. Learn to focus and channel them so they can help you and not trip you up. For most of us it's beneficial to try to channel our emotions into avenues and activities that don't aggravate us too much. 
3.     Personally, I find it helpful to think about the contribution I’m making to an energy I describe as World Consciousness. It means to take stock of the influence were having on the world energy recipe right now in this moment. Am I a sweet influence? Or a bitter one? Now anyone who cooks knows that we can’t have sweet moments all of the time, but when considering the collective soup we’re all floating in at present, I think we could add some more palatable stuff to the great recipe. 
4.     Back at Steps One and Two we looked at how to calm our inner-creatures. The instinctive, sensitive, aware part of ourselves that is perfectly adapted to help us survive. Here at Step Seven we become creators, able to assess the information provided by our creature-selves and make decisions that assist us on a collective as well as individual scale. It basically calls upon us to ask: ‘What kind of creator do you want to be? A loving and compassionate one? Or a reactive wild creature in trauma?’ 

Still too stressed to think about the world?

1.     Go back to Step Zero if you’re not ready to be let out yet. Rest and recuperate. You’re the only person who can really give yourself permission to take time out from stressful situations. You might lose time, but you needn’t lose face with poor decision-making and emotional meltdowns. 
2.     Repeat the steps as many times as you need.
Remember, Steps Zero to Four are for rescue and Steps Five to Seven are for recovery.
In summary:
0.     Retreat
1.     Identify
2.     Rebalance
3.     Retrain
4.     Reconnect

5.     Express
6.     Envision
7.     Unify

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Leanne Margaret © 2020


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