In our previous blog, we discussed the necessity of “keeping it simple” as a way to create a foundation for coping with the incomprehensible complexity of trauma. Here, we look at different ways we can incorporate simple practices into our daily lives.
Staying present in the moment of now is one of the biggest challenges in trauma recovery. Symptoms of trauma like flashbacks and nightmares can bring the past into the present as part of the living, or feel like we get taken out of the living present into a living past. We think the past is happening again, even though it is not, and we feel as though we are reliving our trauma, even though we are not. To practice staying present, we can incorporate grounding and mindfulness techniques.
Grounding is a practice of bringing oneself into the present moment by connecting with the earth. We are human beings, which quite literally means we are beings of the earth. When we get disconnected from our humanness, that is, the nature of who we are, it is often because something unnatural has happened. Trauma is not natural. Though it is part of life, it turns everything we know about ourselves and our worlds upside down. As a result, we can feel like we are no longer connected to our nature, or the natural world.
Practicing grounding is as simple as wiggling our feet on the floor, or taking off our shoes and socks then walking around barefoot. We might ground by connecting with nature, submerging ourselves in water, or touching a natural material like a leaf or a tree. Grounding brings us into the immediacy of the present moment and connects us to what is always present- nature.
Awareness, paying attention, and noticing- these are three of the primary functions of mindfulness. Living in the fog of trauma can cause us to be less than mindful. We aren’t fully present, fully aware, or fully paying attention enough to fully notice some of the glorious details of our lives. Instead, we are consumed by the trauma of our past and how it imprisons us. Mindfulness can be as simple as taking a deep breath and paying attention to the way it makes us feel. Mindfulness meditations and guided mindfulness practices can help us cultivate our skills for keeping it simple and being present.
Learning to be is part of the process of trauma recovery. Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).