Reclaiming Your Body
I've got to be honest. Since forever, I've struggled to see rage or anger on the inside of me. When I read depression is caused by internal anger/rage, well, I just want to punch a hole in a wall and scream "no, it's not." Oh, yep, that'd be where my anger is located. Right in the centre of don't cast me in the same mold as everyone else. I find it incredibly frustrating, (and I've had it said to me), when people assume because depression is part of my life I must be hiding an angry person somewhere within. Nope. I'm not.
I do have other things that make it hard to be full time in my body, or focused fully on the here and now. Decades of hypervigilance that I wasn't aware of has made it impossible to be fully present, as yet, 100% of the time. When the hypervigilance stops, then the depression comes. Currently, I do gym as often as I can to help break the cycle of the depression. It literally feels like a cloud coming in over my head if I miss gym 2 or 3 times in a row.
Reclaiming my body wasn't something I started out doing. By necessity, I began trying to breathe in and out 5 seconds each for 1 minute in order to try and sleep each night. I was desperate for sleep and nothing was working. Eventually, I taught myself to do this breathing regularly and I included placing something of weight on my chest and created an awareness of my chest going up and down with the breathing, plus counted on my fingers. Sometimes I included essential oils under my nose to help relax my body, and other times I had to practice slowing my thoughts down.
I had to include all of these strategies to shut my mind down from a day of hypervigilance. Doing the breathing and being aware of how far I could feel the breathing going down and into my body inspired me to keep going and doing the breathing for more than a minute. This way of breathing literally gave me back my ability to begin feeling my body and it also gave me a deeper awareness of my mind.
I kept doing the breathing each night in bed, initially because I was desperate to sleep, but then when I noticed the changes in my day to day life, it was worth every struggle to do the breathing consistently. It was literally changing my brain and I was gaining clarity as well as being able to, eventually, fall asleep.
With the study I'm doing now I understand how important it is to get more oxygen into our body when we have Complex PTSD. If you don't want to do it at night in bed, then do it for a minute watching tv. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. More oxygen means more blood flow through the brain. This then gave me the ability to do more during the day. Yay!
It was around 5 years ago that I began this way of breathing. The lengths of the breaths, 5 seconds, are scientifically proven to be optimal breathing. Anyone could take this short example of breathing in and out for 5 seconds and see that it's virtually impossible. That alone is why it works for us.
Throughout the years of doing this breathing I've become more conscious of who I am, and who I am not. Daily I am able to reclaim not just my body, but also my emotions. I was so excited the first time I had a gut feeling! My response was "WOW" people ignore these? I had to laugh because I couldn't even feel mine for decades. With all the new scientific discoveries of how the gut is attached to the brain I suggest you begin now to reclaim your body and look forward to living wholly fulfilled!