Experiencing trauma can lead to the chronic activation of the survival response on a neurological, physiological, biological and emotional level. For those who suffer from anxiety or the effects of trauma, the world can feel like a stressful and threatening place.
The sense of fear in the mind and in the body is created as you anticipate impending bad outcomes and bad experiences. The more these neural pathways fire the more adept your brain becomes at creating them.
Consistently identifying small opportunities to shift your focus from danger to safety can start to reverse the pattern of self-generated fear.
Neural plasticity can be utilized to the opposite effect to counter the fear and create peace of mind. It can be really empowering to reclaim a self-generated sense of safety and control.
Be aware of positive, supportive, protective things you can already depend on, such as;
A compassionate friend
An animal’s presence
Beauty in nature
A moment of stillness
Meditation – particularly metta meditation
The love of a family member or friend
The kindness of someone you don’t know all that well, but see regularly – such as someone who serves you in the local shop
The sound of a song that always makes you feel happy
The taste of something that makes you happy
The smell of something soothing
When you think of safety what feelings and sensations in the body occur to you?
What makes you feel protected and safe?
If you can do this a number of times a day it will help to shift you out of survival mode.
Changing your thinking patterns takes dedication and practice, but the more you practice the easier it will become!