Stress can be good and bad. Stress that overwhelms and ferments within the soul is bad. It builds up within the body and releases the fight or flight response which in the moment may be good but over time can become detrimental to health. Stress however that pushes one forward to meet challenges in the moment can be a benefit. It ultimately depends how the body responds to certain stress and how long the stressors remain.
The article, “Why Stress Is Like Debt And How To Harness Its Productive Power” by Noah Mishkin takes an interesting approach at viewing stress and how one can better distinguish between good and bad stress. He states,
“The onset of stress can happen in an instant, leaving entrepreneurs figuratively paralyzed and unable to function adequately or cope heartily. Stress can also creep up in small, unnoticeable doses, accumulating over time, until the moment you realize how completely overwhelmed you’ve become, making it harder to take control.”
Reacting and coping with stress is an important part of business and life itself. It is critical to face stressors but when one cannot it is best to try to let things go so the body does not remain in a state of unresolved energy. How one faces stress is key.
Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Consulting.
Anxiety is a constant source of stress like symptoms but without an actual stressor present. Anxiety persists beyond the stressor and can sometimes be due to no stressor at all. Anxiety can be a response also to past trauma that leaves the person in a constant state of fight or flight. Obviously anxiety can cause numerous health issues putting the body constantly on red alert and be damaging to forming social bonds with other people.
Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program, as well as its Crisis Intervention Program and see if the programs meet your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress or Crisis Management.
Breathing is life itself in the East. Each breath is critical to existence and plays an important role in balance. In meditation, proper breathing is critical. Proper breathing can reduce anxiety and stress and return the body to a sense of calm. This is why breath work is an essential element in the meditative process. With proper breathing, one can find a balance with self and life and ease away from the loud noise of the temporal world.
The article, “How To Do the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise” from Cleveland Clinic’s healthessentials looks closer at the 4-7-8 Breathing exercise and how it can benefit someone. The article states,
“The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a style of intentional breathwork that can calm your mind and body. Though popularized in 2015 by integrative medicine specialist Andrew Weil, MD, it has ancient roots in the yogic practice of pranayama, or focusing on the breath.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Certification as well as AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Certification and see if they meet your academic and professional standards. The programs are both online, independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Meditation or Stress training.
Cortisol is released into the body during times of stress. This short term boost to the body is useful but over long periods of time it can damage the body. It is important to reduce cortisol output by managing stress and eating properly. Stress Management is key in keeping the body’s response systems in control.
The article, “Your 5-Minute Read on Lowering Your Cortisol Levels” from healthline takes a closer look on how to monitor and lower cortisol levels. The article states,
“While cortisol is essential for a variety of functions in the body — including regulating the stress response — consistently high cortisol levels due to chronic stress can lead to health issues. Taking steps to manage your stress levels and maintaining healthy habits like eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep, are some things that may help. If you’re experiencing persistent health issues or chronic stress and nothing seems to help, it may be a good idea to talk with a medical professional about your symptoms.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Consulting.
PTSD is unprocessed trauma due to a horrific event. Learning to finally face that trauma and move forward is an important step. Learning to process and again learn to trust and have productive relationships are important. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by a severe trauma that continues to haunt and trigger the past emotion as present. It is unfragmented elements of a moment so bad that it is not fully processed into long term memory. Therapy helps properly process this material to long term memory so it can be properly understand by the person as the past. One still lives with the scars of the past but are able to in a healthy way process and understand it.
Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Training
Sexuality and intimacy are crucial aspects of human life. It allows two to bond and share the deepest feelings with a wholesome sexual experience. An experience that is pure and filled with love as opposed as corrupt and full of hate. During trauma, individuals can lose intimacy and a healthy understanding of love and sex. This can create obstacles to fully reacclimating into society because one is not able to form a new bond or attachment with another human being. The act of intimacy and the act of sex in themselves can also become triggers and reminders of past abuse and push the person away from these normal and healthy bonds.
One who has experienced trauma must eventually face intimacy, trust and friendship and if desired, a more deeper friendship in the contract of a sexual relationship. Unfortunately, trauma makes this difficult and can prevent the person from an important fountain of healing that can bring the person closer to becoming one again. In this article, we will look at a few issues of intimacy and sexuality that someone who has faced trauma will deal with and how that someone can learn to trust and love again.
In intimacy, one opens oneself to another. This can mean many things to a survivor of sexual trauma or betrayal. One feels the loss of a control. In isolation, one feels one has the power to control what occurs and the fear of opening oneself, puts oneself partly at the power of another. It is exactly this power that a trauma survivor fears. In addition, trauma survivors fear abandonment. If one opens up, then one risks the chance of being hurt and betrayed again. Hence many experience abandonment issues. Intimacy also opens up the chance of rejection. Trauma survivors fear the thought of being rejected for who they are and may very well reject someone before they can be rejected.
It is important with intimacy to accept fears. This is the hardest part, but only until one dismisses the fears, can one again learn to have a trusting relationship. The fear may be in the other person, or in one’s own tendencies but one cannot have the healing powers of intimacy without trust and letting fears go. One also needs to reject ideas and notions that can block intimacy with others. Many who have been traumatized universally label everyone. All men/women are bad is a common over generalization. The perpetrator was not good but not all people are bad. This central concept can take time to finally become a reality again. Other false narratives include assuming no one has every experienced what one has experienced, or that one cannot ever burden another with one’s issues. In addition, others feel unloved and if anyone ever knew what occurred, then that person would no longer be lovable. Flaws are seen as more prominent and as a sign of weakness, when in reality everyone has flaws.
Learning how to discuss the past and discuss the future are critical communication skills. Individuals who fear intimacy need to be better able to express to another and share how to handle issues and conflicts. Without releasing the fear, false notions and opening up communication, then a person suffering from trauma will not be able to open again and find the value and healing within a friendship or a deeper relationship.
One of the biggest blocks to a deeper relationship is again seeing sexuality as wholesome and natural. Sex in its very nature promotes union, trust, and love but the trauma has distorted the true value of intimacy and sexuality. Following an assault, sex itself can become a trigger to a PSTD response. A certain touch can remind one of the trauma and turn something of love into something of abuse. The person has a hard time viewing sex as holy and the person as sacred. The rape or assault has stripped sexuality and intimacy of its dignity and the person has difficult times again experiencing these feelings and senses in a positive way.
Sex can also be seen as a way to control others, or it may be a device to fix what went wrong before. Unhealthy expressions and sexual behavior can result in different directions from fear of sex to promiscuity later in life. It is hence important to remove these past negative images. One image that is especially unhealthy is seeing all sexual behavior and correlating it with a sense of disgust. It is important to learn skills to neutralize this feeling of disgust and help re-evaluate these past negative experiences with positive experiences.
In rebuilding oneself for intimacy and sexual relations, the traumatized need to overcome many hurdles of trust and intimacy but certain steps can help to start the healing process. Disgust and association with trauma can be overcame with patience and time and understanding from one’s new partner.
It is hence important to again see certain parts of the body as holy and good. They cannot be seen or associated as evil in themselves. The action must be separated from the part of the body itself. Second, one needs to learn neutralize disgust. Ideas that the body is an object to be used must be dismissed and replaced with ideals that the body is a temple and a gift. This not only deals with the other person, but also how one views oneself. One can further separate the feeling of disgust with sex itself and shame. The shame with trauma needs to be separated from the act itself. By learning to separate negative feelings and events from the body and act itself, one can better open up to others. One can then create a new narrative where the event with a different person is not hateful or abusive but instead filled with love and respect.
Unfortunately, while rebuilding each other, partners should be conscious of others past. Certain boundaries may initially needed and a slow crawl until mutual comfort is met. Flashbacks can occur and it is important to recreate intimacy and the sexual experience together to form new wholesome memories. This requires patience, counseling as well as awareness.
Healthy sexuality is the ultimate key. While intimacy does not necessarily involve sexuality, nor the necessity of entering into a sexual relationship, one must still restore a sense of the sacred to the sexual act. Sex is not about control, secretive, shameful, wrong, abusive, dis-connective, controlling, superficial, or selfish but instead is a spiritual, emotional and physical act that binds. It builds self esteem and gives proper pleasures associated with that. It is celebrated and gives deeper meaning to life. It does not abuse, but promotes a feeling of unity and safety. It honors and loves and builds two instead of breaking down another. Finally, it does not reject, but it also accepts the imperfect and celebrates the two.
For some, sex is more than naturally just beautiful but also sacred from a religious view. Sex in this regard binds two as one before God and calls forward a vocation that goes beyond the symbolic act of sex, but carries itself in all matters of life itself. Spiritually, the destruction of sex to anything less is not of God and is a misuse of this divine gift to not only bring forth new life but also unify two into one.
One can restore intimacy, and if desired, a healthy sexuality after assault, but naturally, the traumatized must learn to reprogram one’s mind to not only not fear but to open up and let go past narratives that prevent the leap of love and faith. The traumatized must also learn differentiate the corruption of the perpetrator from the holiness and goodness of the action itself and how it can be experienced with a good person.
It is a most disgusting sin to harm another through sex because it injures the person not only physically but also emotionally. It affects one’s ability to feel intimacy again and feel trust. It is more than a theft of virginity or physical freedom, but is a theft of self, but fortunately, through healing, counseling and prayer, one can again heal.
Adaptogens are great and natural herbs and supplements to help one manage stress and anxiety. They are natural but still need to be utilized under care of a specialist due to the fact certain levels can be counter productive or mix poorly with other medications. Integrative Holistic Specialists can help one find the best herbal supplement for an individual when dealing with stress.
The article, “What Are Adaptogens and Are They Healthy?” from Cleveland Clinic’s Healthessentials takes a closer look at a variety of adaptogens. The article states,
“Adaptogens can affect how much cortisol is released in your body when you’re stressed. Less cortisol can mean less of a physical stress reaction. As stress is connected to your nervous, endocrine and immune systems, it can cause physiological changes like an increased heart rate. Again, adaptogens can help how your body responds physically to stress.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Specialist Program, as well as AIHCP’s Stress Management Program. The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Holistic Nurse or Stress Management Consultant.
During recover from severe trauma, the person must be able to reconnect the dreadful event with his or her life story. The injured person must understand the event as a chapter that has meaning to one’s life and connect it to the present and how to cultivate the future.
As one progresses in their treatment of processing the traumatic memories, one will need to create future chapters that are not defined by the evil of the trauma, but are defined by growth from it. The present and future need to find happiness, meaning and self esteem in order to self sustain any recovery and help the person integrate back into society.
Happiness can be subjective in regards to what makes one smile, but at the most inner most level, it is universal. Happiness when misplaced in material things can never lead to true happiness, but values and beliefs and love and family can all have more long lasting meaning to sustaining happiness and leading one to it. One who has suffered severe trauma may have difficulty defining oneself or finding love and connection with the world, so it is important to understand how again to be happy. Obviously placing one’s faith in the most elements of happiness is critical. Far too many who even suffer no trauma, still choose false idols of happiness. They place their love in things over people, self over family, and in ideas that die with time instead of live eternally.
Some common traits of those who experience some relevance of true happiness can be found in those who possess a healthy self esteem and peace of mind. These individuals cultivate virtue and love within themselves and with others. They have healthier experiences with social interactions and bonds that form from these interactions. Most hold a belief in something greater than than themselves. Most find this in faith and religion, but any type of objective code that binds one beyond oneself, gives a person purpose and meaning.
Happy individuals usually also possess a mastery of their life. They have believable goals, moderate ambitions, and mastery of their schedule and how things are accomplished. They are not in chaos but order. Furthermore, they possess an optimistic outlook on life that is not always defined by success but by self and self worth. Unfortunately, like a thief in the night, grief and loss can occur. Even the happiest person can be robbed of everything, even beyond family, virtue and love. Grief is the price of love in this temporal world. With that truly happy individuals will deal with pain and sorrow and trauma but they will ultimately have the meaning and self esteem to guide themselves through the journey of grief and adapt and adjust to the loss.
Happy individuals are not always happy or content but they are not constantly dragged down with hate, blame, bitterness and helplessness. They may deal with trauma but eventually again find the light at the end of the tunnel. Some may require help but ultimately, their spirit may be hurt, but never killed.
Individuals who experience trauma or PTSD may not be able to find happiness in their life. They may not have the skills or the trauma was so great, it paralyzed their spirit. As those who experienced trauma reawaken, they need to work towards re-involvement into society and hobbies. They need to form and organize a plan. They need to stop worrying as much and become more optimistic and find value in life itself.
This centers around having meaning. Without meaning, something is useless. So it is imperative for those recovering from trauma to again find meaning to life. What meaning or direction can they decipher from the horrific event they witnessed or were apart of? How can this event give them meaning forward? How can the person move forward from it and do new things? Victor Frankyl during his days in the Nazi concentration camp found meaning in survival and a deeper sense of justice that would one day come. He found meaning in the smaller things that reflected goodness that existed among the evil.
A deep core to meaning usually involves having a commitment to something higher than oneself. Whether it be a philosophy, or a faith, one can anchor oneself despite any waves of the ocean of life. No matter what occurs, even it temporarily numbs, one is able to find course due to meaning. This moral compass can find true north in the most terrific storms. Many individuals are stripped of meaning at a young age because of trauma. They are unable to again find meaning.
It is important then to create self esteem. This may be difficult for someone who has been stripped of all dignity, but through therapy and work on self, one again can start to find value in oneself and separate oneself from the trauma. In finding self esteem, one can find meaning and happiness again.
Self esteem looks at value in self. It correlates with the numerous qualities that happy people experience. At its core, one sees intrinsic value in self, unconditional worth, the experience of love and growth in life.
Self esteem is realistic in self. It is based in truth, even in imperfections. It is appreciative of one’s good qualities and ignites positivity in oneself. It does not create a false arrogance or deception but sees all as equally beautiful in different ways.
Furthermore, self esteem is able to separate the value of one’s core from externals. Bad things that happen or mistakes are not the core of one’s soul. One may have had bad things accidentally occur, but that does not make oneself a bad person. Instead of “BECAUSE” of that, I am “THEREFORE ” this or that, the mind sees that “EVEN THOUGH” this occurred, “NEVERTHELESS” I am still me. The EVEN THOUGH/NEVERTHELESS logic separates someone from the incident. It does not make the person a product of the incident. This slight change of words creates an entirely different person.
Individuals with good self esteem are able to see their core self absent of bad events. They are able to truthfully see the bad and good, but not define oneself by any bad, but only work on the good. They are able to put this optimistic energy into change.
Again, when things go astray, they do not see these things as permanent but temporary. They do not define lack of success as themselves. They do not look to be better or less than anyone and they are more likely to see someone different due to position not necessarily more or less innate worth.
Trauma can destroy self worth. It can make one feel horrible one self and equate oneself to the trauma. One cannot differentiate between core and accidentals. One hence is always feeling less and inadequate. This can lead to competition with others, or fear of being in the open due to fear of failure. It can cause mistrust and bitterness and envy. It can force one to deny any meaning in life but trauma and the product of that trauma.
Happiness, meaning and self esteem are key to functioning individuals. Trauma can take it temporarily or permanently for some. It is important to anchor oneself to something more than the event. To anchor oneself even to something more than this world can ever take. We live in a valley of tears and bad things happen to good people, but there is good too and light that can be found. Those who are able to find meaning and self esteem and value in something greater are better able to navigate and cope with trauma during life.
Counselors can help others learn these skills and cultivate these values.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program, as well as AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and Crisis Intervention Program. The programs are online and self paced and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Consulting, Grief Counseling or Crisis Counseling.
The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth by Glenn R. Schiraldi, PhD
Dreams are the subconscious mind actively sorting out things while the conscious mind sleeps. Dreams cover a wide variety of issues that the person deals with on a daily basis and helps resolve those issues. From a religious standpoint, some contend dreams can also be of a supernatural origin, but even within this theology, these would be rare circumstances. Science and psychology see dreams only as an internal response to external events while one sleeps.
How one dreams and the symbols within those dreams can be confusing. Some dreams are less important in processing, while other dreams can become more persistent in regards to unresolved issues. The more trauma and intense, the more intense the pushback within the dream. In this intensity, sometimes dreams can take a darker path and become nightmares. Those who experience PTSD usually also experience intense nightmares regarding the event and at more common rate that the regular population. The more recent the event, the more detailed, while the more processed the trauma, the more symbolic the dream may become.
Unprocessed and walled off trauma that is dissociated manifests in dreams. Sometimes, these dreams will create a different outcome or they will push a certain theme. Various symbols in the dream can haunt a person. Monsters, shadows, danger, being chased, being punished, re-threatened, trapped, abused or other physical injuries can occur in these types of intense nightmares. Most nightmares occur in the rapid eye movement of sleep which is later in the night. They are created through the anxiety and fear associated with the trauma.
Until trauma is faced, these dreams will continue to haunt someone. It is hence very important to try to understand what the mind is trying to tell someone regarding the trauma. Counselors suggest confiding to others about one’s dreams. Relate the setting, what happened, how one felt and the various symbols within the dream. It is important to ask how one felt, if one felt helpless or felt fear or shame to better understand what the mind is trying to communicate. Analyze the dream and attempt to see what one’s mind is trying to sort out. Does it relate to the past trauma? Does it relate to how one acted? Does it relate to how one feels about the event? Various symbols within dreams usually have deeper meanings. The monsters themselves have meaning if one looks to analyze the dream.
For example, monsters or being chased or attacked, usually indicates one is running away from something in life itself or is afraid to face something. This is why it is common in PTSD. Individuals are terrified to face or confront the “monster”. It is important to understand who the monster is before oneself in the dream
Injuries, or wounds in a dream indicate a feeling of weakness or powerlessness in one’s life. This again is common for victims who feel they have lost all power in their lives due to the attacker.
Falling is closely associated with those who feel they have no control in their lives. They do not feel like they are in command within their personal or work life.
Being trapped is another common symbol that expresses the need to escape from a bad situation.
Whatever the type of dream and its symbol, it is important to access what it means to you
Some counselors suggest in addition to confiding to another about the dream to imagine the dream at its most intense moment and relate, “It is just a dream”. Understand that it has no power over oneself. It is good to remind oneself before bed in this regard.
Also consider confronting the monsters in one’s dream. While awake, ask what do these monsters want? You can also confront the dream by creating an alter ending. Write or draw and discuss the new ending and see if it has any result. Dreams change as one better copes. Coping and facing trauma will indirectly affect one’s subconscious mind and help one process dissociated material that may be haunting one while one sleeps.
Before sleep, also practice deeper breathing and meditation, as well as Progressive Deep Muscle Relaxation strategies.
Dreams are what dominate one’s mind during sleep. When one is experiencing PTSD, the trauma will find a way to be expressed and sometimes dreams are the only outlet until one chooses to cope and deal with the issue itself. Learning to cope with PTSD, especially through dream management is critical to overcoming PTSD and helping the subconscious mind properly store the memory.
If you would like to learn more about Stress Management Training, then please review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.