Over my years of living with PTSD, I have discovered that putting self-awareness and self-care first is the key to thriving. I have put a tremendous amount of effort into both and I am becoming more skilled in looking for creative ways to take care of myself physically and emotionally. This is the foundation for my blog. My mission is to help others with PTSD thrive and live a life that they absolutely love. People need to know that a diagnosis of PTSD, or any other mental illness, does not have to mean living a life they do not enjoy. I want to share my experiences with my journey towards self-awareness and becoming creative with self-care.
Self-awareness helps you understand how you and the world interact. Self-care gives you the tools to help navigate that world. It gives you jurisdiction and control over your life. PTSD at one time left me feeling powerless. Triggers would come and I had no way to stop how my body and mind responded to them. It was terrifying and extremely disheartening. I felt as if I had no control over how my mind and body reacted to the world around me.
I remember my first time out in a busy public place after a particularly difficult period of time. I was with my sister at the mall. I am not sure what triggered me. I don’t really even remember being at the mall or what happened at the beginning of the trip. The first thing I remember is her leading me into a clothing store and finding an air vent and standing with me underneath it. She had me focus on her face and our breathing. At one point a salesperson came over and my sister let her know that we were ok and she was just helping me through a moment.
The moment ended and we went back out into the mall. Although my sister was completely calm and acted as if nothing was out of the norm, I was so embarrassed. I wondered if I would ever be able to be totally self-reliant. If she had not been with me I am not sure how the situation would have turned out.
Through counseling, I have learned that knowing myself is such an important part of thriving with PTSD. Understanding what triggers me, how I can prepare or process each moment has made life so much better. It has given me back control over my world.
I have learned that self-care is not necessarily getting a massage or my nails done. For me, it is finding ways to improve or change how things affect me and how I process events and information. It might be the way I look at or prepare for situations that arise. It could be something I do to help me relax on a regular basis. Maybe it is dealing with something that I know is a stressor, so I take steps to eliminate that stress. I have learned to be creative and look for ways to practice self-care in all areas of my life. This is what helps me to thrive and love living my life.
Ok, so now to the actual subject of this week’s post.
This week a friend reached out to me about something called EFT Tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique.
Now before I go on, I need to tell you that I am a Christian. I have heard of EFT Tapping in the past. I have seen a lot of people talk about the benefits of the practice and their positive results. Some of the people that I have seen using EFT also believe in some things that are not in line with my own beliefs. That being the case, I did not spend much time researching EFT as a possible self-care practice.
When my friend reached out to me I reconsidered looking into it. First I wanted to talk to my counselor about it. Hence me not publishing this post last week. I was waiting to get more information.
My counselor understands my beliefs. When I mentioned EFT to her, she explained that she only knew about it from a clinical and therapeutic sense. She felt that it would be beneficial for me and agreed that I should look into it. She explained that it would definitely be a tool that I could use on my own. She gave an example of me being out somewhere in public like the mall and being able to use it on my own without assistance. When she gave the mall example my ears really perked up as I remembered the mall incident with my sister. This could be a tool for me to use that gives me more control over my own body and mind.
So, now that I have gotten comfortable with the idea of looking into EFT, I am doing just that. I will put some links below of some of the things I have read or watched during my search. I am not going to go into a long explanation as I am just beginning to understand it. I will be writing more about this subject in the future, probably again this week even.
For now, this is the gist of it in my own words, from the little that I have read about it.
EFT is where people repeat phrases that have to do with a certain feeling or situation that they have decided on. While saying these things they tap on different points on their body. My counselor mentioned something about how it does something with both sides of the brain. I know it also has something to do with cortisol, which is a stress hormone and the bodies fight or flight response. I know there is a ton of research on how it is helping people with things like PTSD. I know it can be self-administered.
That is it. That is all I know right now. Pretty basic, not so sciencey explanation, isn’t it.
With that being said, I do not have an opinion on it yet or know if it is something I will do. I think it is a tool that I want to look into. I will make a decision on whether or not I will use it once I know more about it.
Here are some links to places that have information about it. I am not saying I agree or disagree with any of these. I just found some information here and am sharing it with you. Look for more blog posts about this topic. I will definitely be writing more about it in the future.
Do you have an opinion or experience with EFT Tapping? I would love to hear them, good or bad.