I recently participated in a training hosted by the Center for Mind Body Medicine (CMBM) on how to use mindful practices to help heal from trauma. It was a very powerful course and offered great tools and insights that will help me on my own path to wellbeing, as well as giving me more to offer others on their roads to recovery.
Sadly, almost everyone has experienced some incident or prolonged experience in their life that has left them with deep-rooted trauma that physically and/or psychologically has negative effects on their life. For some people, it is obvious that they are hurting , while others hide their pain and often make it more traumatic in the long run by doing so.
As climate chaos increasingly wreaks havoc on nations around the world, and social problems such as war and mass shootings ruin people’s lives, the more equipped we are to deal with and recover from traumatic disasters, the better. This statement is obvious. Yet, the self-care and mindfulness practices that lay the foundation for increased personal resilience are often left out of people’s daily repertoire. However, we can all choose to take simple steps towards incorporating more mindfulness practices into our lives that will make us stronger today and for the challenges ahead.
Starting with ourselves, and focusing on our own healing and the strengthening of our bodies and minds, is key to being able to be more available to others in need. Things as simple as breath work, a healthy diet and exercise, and mindful eating are all foundational to this work of trauma healing and general well-being. Even people who have not suffered a disaster are able to find great health improvements from these practices when done regularly. CMBM’s website, www.CMBM.org, gives many examples of tools people can integrate into their daily lives. Trainings are offered around the world by the organization, especially in hard-hit communities such as refugee camps or war-torn countries, or communities recovering from fire, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
The training I participated in was set up to help the communities in and around Northern California’s Shasta Country working to recover from the devastating Carr Fire of 2018. Other fire-stricken communities participated as well, including Butte County, Lake County and Sonoma County.
I know personally how hard it is to recover from such an experience–from the economic and personal loss, the physical and mental trauma, and much more. The healing needs to take place in every aspect of life, and it often takes longer for the person to recover than the landscape. These tools offered by CMBM have helped as I navigate the uncertainty of my life on my personal road to recovery and wellbeing.
At the training, participants received a copy of a book by CMBM’s founder called “The Transformation.” This book is a wonderful roadmap to aid in our personal healing process or just discover tools to better deal with stress of any kind. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
I highly recommend that people see what pearls of wisdom they can benefit from by exploring www.CMBM.org. One tool you can take away from this blog today is a simple parasympathetic system activation breath. Practiced anywhere from 15 seconds to 15 minutes, this technique quickly switches the body to a calm and healing state. Simply relax your stomach, sit or stand comfortably, and slowly and rhythmically breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Focus on the breath and let any thoughts that come to mind just drift away on your exhale. This “Soft Belly Breath” is as simple as can be, yet a mighty tool to help calm ourselves in any situation and dive deep into the healing of trauma.