15 Things to Stop Doing
Prioritized In Order
Shhhh! Enough already.
Stop talking about your trauma event.
It just stirs up the feelings again, which spikes cortisol and adrenaline and suppresses serotonin, GABA and dopamine.
Trauma sufferers can become addicted to telling their story and being back "there," instead of being with the rest of us "here."
Use a qualified therapist for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and then stop self-triggering by talking about the trauma event or the chronic trauma conditions.
Talking about your trauma event(s) doesn't help you understand them or come to grips with them. Its like picking at a wound. Leave it alone so your body can start to heal.
Ditch the High Glycemics
Refined sugar is a cortisol engine. It spikes cortisol, which is the main culprit hormone in trauma response, spiking anxiety and stress.
Sugar = bad. Cortisol = bad.
Go low carb and focus on low glycemic index foods. Eat lots of berries, green veggies and lean protein.
Toss the cookies in the garbage.
Stop Risky Sexual Behavior
Sexual diversion by engaging in risky or outlandish sexual behavior is a great mental escape, except that it increases your risk for more trauma.
Escaping this way does nothing to help lower cortisol or adrenaline.
We are looking for nice and easy, easy does it, take it sloooow.
Ditch the Clicker
A very little bit of TV is ok, less than 20 minutes per day.
It's an alpha wave escape for your brain. And can take your mind off of your trauma.
But checking out for a long period of time is not good. We want our brain in the here and now and soaking in the evidence around us that right here, right now, in this world, everything is ok and alright.
"Numbing numbs everything." Brene' Brown. WARNING IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY USING PRESCRIBED, OTC, ILLEGAL OR RECREATIONAL DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, CONSULT A PHYSICIAN AS TO HOW TO BEST CEASE TAKING THEM!
The whole basis of Paleo Freedom is allowing the natural, positive triggers in life to stimulate a physical response to lower Cortisol and Adrenaline and to increase Serotonin, GABA and Dopamine. We can't accomplish that if you are in a drug induced fog. It's that simple. No drugs.
Stop Sleeping Too Much
Its easy to sleep too much when you are dealing with the side effects of trauma, stress or anxiety.
Sleeping is a way to check out. When you're asleep, frankly it doesn't hurt as bad.
But it pushes your serotonin levels down and that's a key neurotransmitter to make us feel that everything is ok. No more than nine hours, than get up and move!
No More Negative People
There is a power, good or bad, in the people you hang out with. Negative people will absolutely bring you down. Stay away from them. You get to choose who you spend time with.
If it's a friend or a family member, put in place a simple boundary like this: "Ann, I love you. And I want to support you. But I am trying to heal from some trauma (you can also used words like "bad shit") in my life. It doesn't work for me to keep hashing over bad things. I need to focus on the positive and move forward."
You may have to say that 2, 3 or even 4 times. Then they will stop.
No More Cable News
Look around you. As a world, we do an incredible job of taking care of each other. Most of us live safe, well fed lives with contact with at least some friends and family.
Cable/Network News caters to the darker side of human emotions, be it on the Right or the Left. It creates a We/They mentality that is grossly distorted and more importantly get you to fixate on things that you can have absolutely no impact on. Its a grand charade of conflict that exists only for ratings and click bait.
Shut it off and walk away.
No More Negative Social Media
Clean up your social media posts that you follow. Just like Cable/Network News that exists to stir shit up and get you engaged and enraged, we all have friends on either side of the political spectrum who are always seeking to portray the other side as evil and hurtful.
It's a lie that they have fallen for. Poll after poll shows that most Americans are actually very close in their beliefs on most topics.
Plus, unless you are running for office, you'll never do anything about it. It's out of your hands, so turn it loose and live a more positive life.
Unfollow your negative friends.
Don't listen to others opinions. It's your life.
Only your opinion matters about what makes you happy. Often, we listen to the opinions of others and we fear their opinions.
Other people have absolutely no context on your life. Even your parents or your spouse has not experienced all of your life, all of your feelings, emotions and thoughts.
Love them for who they are and don't judge them.
And then set the same standard for yourself. Love yourself for who you are and accept no one else's judgment on your choices or what makes you happy.
Don't be messy
Your brain likes order. It rewards order with a nice boost of dopamine and serotonin.
Make your bed, pick up your socks, clean the kitchen and sweep the porch.
Create some order in your life. It helps.
Don't Take It Out On Others
It's not uncommon for trauma sufferers to reach out and hurt the ones we love with emotional verbal or even physical abuse.
In most cases, they didn't cause this.
Breath deep, do the "15 Do's" on this website and work on healing, not hurting.
Don't Be Lazy
Sitting around is bad, bad, bad. A body in motion tells your body/mind that you are alive, well, confidant, safe and out there shakin', grovin' jivin' makin' baby!!
Sitting around can feel a lot like a "freeze" response to your body, especially when you are trying to shake off trauma effects.
Get up and move!
We get it. When you are down, sometimes you want to be alone.
But it doesn't help. You body/mind needs to see that there is a big healthy village out there and that you are part of it.
Sitting alone watching Downton Abbey and eating Chunky Monkey ice cream is the last thing you need.
Got the park, beach, mountains, farmers market, church, synagogue, mosque, grocery store, enroll in a class, go to a museum, go to a rec center and swim, etc.
But do not sit alone and wallow in your condition.
Many trauma sufferers try to go back in time and change a decision or an action. "If only I had done this..." or "If only they hadn't done this..."
Get over it. Its the past. They, you, it, whatever it is cannot change what happened. Leave the past to the past, it is not going to change. Focus on today and this moment and make a plan for a better tomorrow.
Then follow that plan.
Stop standing and start kneeling
Paraphrasing Brene' Brown, "very few people can navigate trauma without a spiritual connection."
Contemplate a Creator who loves you and stands by you in your pain.
Invoke that Creator's care and love and mercy.
Ask that Creator is there any possible way that your trauma could be something which can make you stronger and draw your closer to your Creator.
Can your trauma be the gateway to learning and understanding your life mission?