How To Avoid Making PTSD Worse With Social Media

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How To Avoid Making PTSD Worse With Social Media

Have you ever wondered why you go on social media to find help for your PTSD, but always leave feeling worse off?

I put together this video training to answer that question exactly. It's all about how to avoid making PTSD worse on social media, specifically when it comes to the "PTSD Community".

Here's what I cover in the training:
- 3 delusions of sufferers everywhere
- Why these can cost you everything
- 4 social media rules to live by (to ensure you don't get worse)

PTSD groups, communities, blogs, forums and websites can be extremely beneficial or can be the reason you find yourself stuck or at rock bottom.

Watch the training below to learn how you can get the most out of PTSD communities without harming yourself further!

Check it out and let me know what you think i nthe comments!

To your recovery,
Kayleen & the team at OvercomingPTSD.com

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Transcript

0:00  Hey, Kayleen here, and today I want to talk to you about how to avoid making PTSD worse with social media. So there's a lot going on in the world right now as there always is. But with everyone stuck at home, people are spending more time than ever on their devices. So I wanted to talk about how to avoid making PTSD worse with social media, specifically in regards to the PTSD community. So, there's a lot of our lives now that happens on social media, and social media can be important for certain reasons. But today, I want to talk specifically about the social media that is the PTSD community.

0:35  So there are three things that I want to talk about today. The first thing I want to talk about is the three delusions of sufferers everywhere. And these are three things that I see all across the world--and again, we're talking about social media--so this is a global thing that's going on. All across the world that people essentially believe, and with their core, believe are the right things to do, but can actually hurt you.

0:58  And that's the second thing I want to talk: about why those things can actually cost you everything; and specifically, how they relate to your life and how they can spiral you down to rock bottom (or further for some people).

1:12  And then what I want to finish off with is four rules to live by to ensure that you don't get worse--that your PTSD doesn't get worse when you're in these PTSD communities on social media seeking help for your PTSD, seeking guidance and support. And this is really, really important because again, now more than ever, people spend time online, there are so many different communities, specifically in regards to PTSD.

1:36  So we're going to talk about three things that you might believe right now; and we're going to talk about why they can actually hurt you, and how they actually hurt you. And then at the end, I'm going to give you four rules to live by so you can safely use social media, and so you can safely be involved in the PTSD community so you can get the help you need without hurting yourself further.

1:55  So let's jump into the first one here. Three delusions of sufferers everywhere. There are really three main delusions that I've picked out here that I see in all of the PTSD online communities. And I picked these out, I'm calling them delusions, because they're things that people you know, truly believe will help you and truly believe, you know, you kind of have to live by these rules specific to this PTSD community in order to get the most out of it. But they are actually things that are extremely, extremely dangerous to you and your healing journey. And we'll talk about why that is next.

2:32  So delusion one: sharing trauma stories is important. How many times have you joined like a Facebook group that's specific to healing PTSD, or helping PTSD, or PTSD support. And the very first thing you see in almost every post is "TW", or trigger warning, that's what that TW stands for. Trigger warning, abuse, this, that and the other thing, and then they go on to share a story or explain something. Sharing stories is a really dangerous belief, a dangerous delusion that is held in the PTSD community. And you know, it comes from a good place, and it comes from a place of, you know, I'll share my story; and so you feel validated, and you can relate to me and I can relate to you. And so we kind of, you know, end the stigma of mental health, and we get all the pain out there. And so you can see what I went through and relate to it, and we can connect, and we can be buddies, and we can help each other.

3:30  But in reality, what it does is more harm than good. And that'll make a lot more sense as we get into the next step here, and and why these things specifically, can literally cost you everything. And these things, these three things specifically for a lot of people are what brings them down to rock bottom, to that place of hopelessness and despair. And if you think about, you know, almost every PTSD recovery book-- you pick up a book, or you go on someone's blog--and what's the first thing that you see? You see in almost excruciating detail, them share their story in an attempt to validate themselves and say, hey, I've been through something and I've either overcome it, or I'm working on it. So hey, listen to me. But it's a dangerous place to be, because you're filling your mind with things that are harmful. You're filling your mind with stories of abuse and trauma, and your mind then goes and actively seeks those things.

4:28  So your mind is this really cool thing, and basically what you put into it, is what it will give you out; and so if you put garbage into it, you'll get garbage out, just like your body. If you put junk food into your body, you're going to be lethargic, you're going to be overweight, you're going to have disease, right? If you put garbage into your mind--if you put scary movies scary stories, you know, all these trigger warnings--if you read stories of abuse, and mysterie,s and and all these scary, scary things, your mind is going to actively seek those things out. And now, your mind actually already does that. Right? Because we have this lizard brain, this primitive brain. And what it does is it tries to seek out danger.

5:05  Now if you're struggling with PTSD or C-PTSD, you're always on high alert. So you already have that alert kind of turned on all the time, that hypervigilance where your brain is extra seeking out danger, but everyone is a human being; because we're animals, it's always kind of scanning for danger. But the more danger you input into it; the more you read those stories, you know, you can feel that when you read a really good story. And sometimes they're really well written, when you read a really good story about someone, you know, trying to harm themselves, or doing harm to others, or getting harm done to them, you can feel it in your body. And what that is basically telling your body is that the world is a dangerous place, and oh my gosh, all these things can happen and you know, it makes you really feel.

5:08  Your mind is very powerful thing. So when you put those things into it, that's what you're going to get out as well. So that is something that can actually stop you completely on your healing journey. And again, that will make a lot more sense when I talk about why these things specifically can actually cost you everything. But that's the first one: sharing stories is important. And that's why you see that so often in the PTSD community. You know, the moderator of the group sharing stories as someone who's, you know, been through x, y and z and they share stories; it's super, super dangerous. So that's the first thing you'll see.

6:22  Then what you'll see is delusion two, which is venting is healthy. Okay, so the next thing you see all the time in the PTSD communities, the first thing you see is this is what I went through, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and super, super long, right? sSuper detailed. And again, it's coming from a good place, it's coming from a place... And I used to think this too, when I was still struggling. When I was still, you know, working on my healing journey, I thought I had to explain everything to anyone I ever met, so they would understand me. But that's not the case at all; and specifically, when you're in PTSD communities where everyone has PTSD or CPTSD, or everyone's been hurt in some way, it's really dangerous to yourself and to other members.

7:01  And so the second thing you'll see is venting is healthy, right? And you won't see this written, but what you'll see is like, Oh, I just had to get this off my chest and, and you know, my mom did this, and bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, and it's...Venting is another word for complaining. And so again, what you're doing is you're feeding this into your mind, you're feeding these complaints, these excuses into your mind. And your mind is spinning in this negativity.

7:27  And I'm going to talk about something next called the belief cycle. And it's basically why you believe what you believe, but why you end up stuck, or why you end up backsliding, or why you end up, like, unable to break through the wall to actually fully recover. And these are called inputs. So anything you put into your mind or into your body, that's an input. And when you have these negative inputs, it weighs so heavily on you. And it is so damaging to your brain. So that's the other thing you'll see. You'll see people venting and people just saying, "Oh my gosh, my life is so hard--this, that and the other thing, it's impossible to recover. It's so hard, I'm so tired all the time." And you see these people  just giving you reason after reason that it's hard for them, or it'll be hard for you, or just kind of sometimes throwing their hands up and being like, "Oh, this is so awful. This is so sad." It makes my body feel awful, just just saying those just giving those examples to you. But that's the second delusion: venting is healthy.

8:28  And the third thing is: people with PTSD give the best advice. And this is something that, you know, it can take a second to realize why this is a true delusion. You know, when you think about getting advice, you know, if I want to, let's say be a millionaire, if I want to be a millionaire, you know, I'm not going to ask my neighbor who is on welfare. And you know, that's not a dig. But I'm not going to ask them because they're not a millionaire, right? So if I want to be a millionaire, I'm going to go have to seek out and say, "Hey, are you a millionaire? Do you have a million dollars in the bank? Or do you have a million dollar home." or whatever it is, and then I want to get advice from them, right? I'm not going to get weight loss advice from someone who is 300 pounds overweight, it's just not a good place to get advice, right? And when you put it like that, it almost seems obvious, right? If I want to sail around the world, I'm not going to get advice on how to do that and what route to take from an astronaut, right? You want to get advice from people who have done what you want to do. And so taking advice from people with PTSD, when you want to overcome PTSD, is not necessarily the right thing to do. Now, people with PTSD, they understand you, they're there with you. You can kind of commiserate, which is not necessarily the healthiest thing to do. And you might get some good coping skills or some good tips. But if you want to heal your PTSD, you have to seek out someone who's healed their PTSD. If you want to truly heal and overcome your PTSD and live a life truly free of your PTSD, you can't take advice from someone at rock bottom because they've never done it before. So if you want bad advice, this is a good place to get it: within the PTSD community, where people still have PTSD; where people are still suffering each and every day. That's where you get bad advice. And again, this isn't a dig, I'm not trying to say this in a mean way. It's just like, you really have to think about where to get good advice, you want to reach up, you never want to reach down or sideways, you want to reach up to get to that next level, you have to be reaching towards someone who's already achieved what you want to achieve, or who has helped others achieve what you want to achieve. So you want to be seeking someone who has either overcome PTSD themselves, or who has helped people successfully overcome PTSD, or both. And so that's what we want to be reaching for.

10:59  So these are kind of the three delusions that you see within the PTSD community that can leave you stuck, feeling hopeless, feeling oh man, just heartbreaking each and every day to see these things. And it can actually hurt you, they can actually make your PTSD worse, because you're filling your mind with essentially more PTSD, the definition of PTSD, not verbatim, but the definition of PTSD is experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. And so if you are reading something in enough detail, and you're in a vulnerable enough place, who's to say that you can't literally get hurt by that, who's to say that that can't literally, actually cause you harm? You know, we know now based on our research that PTSD can be caused from anything from anything as seemingly small as a childhood embarrassment, to as seemingly big as a true kind of tragic event, and anywhere in between.

12:00  And I say "seemingly," because everyone experiences the world differently. Some people go through traumatic events, and don't get PTSD. Some people go through childhood embarrassments and have true full PTSD. And that's what you kind of see there's this big spectrum of where you can get it. And so if something hurts you, it hurts you. You know, your pain is your pain, it doesn't matter what anyone else has been through. If you're hurt, if your past negatively affects your present, then you probably have PTSD or you're in need of healing at the very least.

12:31  So it's really, really dangerous to do these things. And it can actually traumatize you further or re-traumatize you, if it's something that hits like really close to home. It can really kind of it can trigger you. I mean, that's why they do that right? Trigger warning, but you can't help but read after that, right? So you have to be really careful about these things.

12:49  Same thing with the venting, you know, you're seeing people say, "Oh, my gosh, my life is so hard," and it just brings you down, okay, it makes you seek the negative. Your brain is looking for that stuff anyway. And it makes it challenging to say, you know, to look for the people who are winning. You know, in our brains, a negative weighs seven times as much as a positive. So if somebody cut me off, right--I'm from New York, so I'm a little bit aggressive in the car--but if somebody cut me off, and you know, it made me super upset now, something I do now is live in the present. It's not something that upsets me. When I was struggling with PTSD, I probably would have sworn, did the finger, the whole thing, but let's say somebody cuts me off and it makes me upset. So it's a negative event, I kind of yell at them. I overreact a little bit, you know, when I get...

13:34  But earlier that morning, my boyfriend, Brad, he gave me a flower. Like really sweet, he was out for a run, and he just picked me a flower, and he gave me a flower, like super sweet. When I get home that night, the thing that I'm going to hang out with my friends that I'm going to tell my friends is "Oh, this guy, you know, he cut me off. He was from New Jersey, and like, he shouldn't have been driving here any rate." And that's the thing, I'm going to tell my friends, right? And Brad would have to give me seven more flowers just to make it so at the end of the night, I say, oh, Brad gave me a flower today, and it was the best thing ever." Okay, so that's a silly example.

14:09  But because of this lizard brain, because your brain is always seeking the negativity in an attempt to protect you--right--it's looking for that kind of fight or flight. What your brain is doing is it's looking for dinosaurs. I use dinosaur as an example. But it's looking for dinosaurs. And so it's always kind of scanning. And that's why you see a lot of negative headlines in the news and they suck you in, right? Because they're playing to your negative brain. But your brain is always scanning for "Hey, where's the danger? You know, where is the dinosaur? And what are we going to do about it?" And so when it gets, that it latches on to that, and things happen in your body--this is a simplistic version--but things happen in your body that make you uber-focused on that and make that weigh really heavily. Because it's really important that you watch out for dinosaurs, right?

14:54  And so we have this primitive brain that's still in there, and that sees things as negative news, or stories, or venting as just as negative as a dinosaur. Okay, so it really doesn't understand the difference. Okay? And then you really want to watch, where are you get your advice? Are you getting weight loss advice from someone who is wildly overweight? Are you getting advice on how to fly an airplane, from someone who is a scuba diver, right, you want to be really, really careful about that. And those are the things you see in the PTSD community that can make you worse. If you take advice on how to sail around the world from an astronaut, you're probably gonna run into a lot more trouble than if you got a solo sailor, right? If you took someone with you, that had sailed around the world before. So you want to be really careful, because they can actually make your PTSD worse.

15:46  So what I'm going to talk about next is something called the belief cycle. And it's a really amazing, amazing visual for how beliefs and how all of these things truly affect your life, and how your life is basically run, and how your thoughts and your actions and your beliefs and your experiences all fit together in a cohesive unit. So I'm gonna set up the board and we'll talk about the belief cycle.

16:08  The belief cycle, like I said, is a pretty cool way to represent how your thoughts, beliefs, and actions actually dictate the experiences that you have. And then, of course, how you can control those things to work for you or work against you. And this is really why those three things that we talked about--why sharing trauma stories, venting, and getting advice from the wrong people can can truly spiral you down to rock bottom--and unfortunately for some people, further than that--or with the right control over this can spiral you up towards full recovery and beyond.

16:41  So the belief cycle here starts at the top with thoughts and interpretations. Now this is the thing you are in control of. So thoughts are interpretations. And I'll explain further what that means as we go along here. But that's where the cycle starts. So that's why it's important to watch what you input into your brain. So if you're reading a lot of trauma stories, and you're thinking oh my gosh, the world is a dangerous place. Oh my gosh, people never recover. Oh my gosh, people are so mean, what you're doing is you're feeding those negative thoughts. And then what happens from there is your thoughts feed your beliefs.

17:15  So you control your thoughts, and your interpretations, which again, I'll explain in a minute. They feed your beliefs. Now your beliefs dictate your actions, what actions you take, okay? And your actions dictate your experiences; and your experiences and how you interpret your experiences dictate your thoughts. So everything starts here. In regards to control, everything starts here at the top with your thoughts and interpretations. So let's say you know, you think you know, I'll never recover or you read the stories and you say, "Oh my gosh, people suffer with this for decades." So right here you think people suffer with this for decades, that feeds the belief that it's impossible to recover from PTSD. So that's a belief that you hold ;and if you believe that that's okay. You know, you want to work on changing that belief and you can actively change your beliefs. But you know, you have that thought; you feed the belief it's impossible to recover from PTSD. Now your thoughts and interpretations create and feed your beliefs. Your beliefs dictate your actions, so this dictates what actions that you take; so if you believe you'll never recover from PTSD, what actions are you going to take? If you believe it's impossible to recover from PTSD, are you going to put that much effort into truly healing the core, into healing the root? Probably not, right, so if you don't take action or if you take little action, what experiences are you going to have?

18:50  You know, if you don't take healing action; if you do nothing; if you cope, and run, and numb because you believe it's impossible to heal... Let's say you cope, you run, you numb the experiences that you have, or your relationships worsen;  you lose your job, right? You have a low quality of life, maybe you you get overweight because ...this for me, right? I was all I was eating was ice cream and watching TV. And so those are the experiences you have. And then you're going to have thoughts or interpretations of those experiences. So because your relationships worsen, because you got overweight, because you lost your job, you think, "Oh my gosh, I'm a failure, I will never recover from this." And that feeds the belief that it's impossible to recover from PTSD.

19:33  And what happens here is you have this cycle that that goes either down--you can spiral you down. We'll put a little trashcan there. It's not the most sensitive thing I've ever drawn, but it can spiral you down into the trash, or the reverse way, which I'll show you in a second. It can spiral you up to full recovery and we'll put a little chalice. That is your goa,l right? So it can spiral you down to rock bottom or up to full recovery. So let's say... because again, it feeds itself.

20:04  So let's say you believe that it is possible to recover from PTSD. So let's say, you know, you have a thought of, you know, well, there's 100 different types of therapy, maybe, maybe it is possible. And that feeds the belief that it is possible to recover from PTSD. So you just have a thought that says, "Wait a minute, you know, I have this person on the internet, you know, if they did it, maybe it is possible. I don't know, maybe it is possible. And that feeds the belief that it's possible to recover from PTSD. So that belief, you know, once you have that belief that it is possible to recover from PTSD, you take action, right? So if you believe it's possible to recover from PTSD, you're probably going to maybe try to go to therapy, or you're going to try some new skills, or you're going to look online for resources.

20:47  Let's say you go to therapy, right? So you take action, because you believe it's possible to recover from PTSD. You take action, you go see a therapist, and you have an experience that, you know, maybe you get, I don't know, 1% better. Going to therapy once isn't the perfect example. But let's say you go to therapy and you know, it feels good to get some skills andkind of know where you're going in regards to the healing journey. So you have an experience that's positive. Now your thoughts or interpretations of that experience are going to be, "Wait a minute, I went to therapy and I do feel a little bit better, oh, it really is possible to recover from PTSD." Okay, and then maybe you work harder, maybe you go to therapy twice a week, or maybe, you know, you get a recovery coach or you know, take action on your own time. mYou work with the skills that you learn more often; you do whatever you need to do, right. And so this, this feeds itself, okay, and so it can spiral you down to rock bottom or up to to full recovery and to reach your goals and beyond. And that's because of something that I call the belief scale.

21:48  So the belief scale, is pretty simple to understand. So each time you have a belief, be it positive or negative, you can think of it like each thought you have... Sorry, I misspoke there. Each thought you have feeds your belief scale, either positive or negative. So if you think about your thoughts as like a piece of gold, and just a traditional scale, it just tips either way, right? When you have a thought, you place it, whether it's positive or negative, on the belief scale in that direction. So if you have positive thoughts, you're going to place a place a piece of gold in this positive direction here. Now if the scale was directly even, it would tip to the positive side. So once it tips to the positive side, it's easier and easier to get it to tip, because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it tips, and it  tips and it tips, right? And then it gets so heavy, that basically you're just spiraling (in a good way, though), you're spiraling up and up and up, positive and positive and positive, positive, but the same thing can happen on the other end.

22:48  So if you have negative thoughts, or negative interpretations of experiences, what's going to happen is you're going to tip it to the negative side, and it's going to go down and down and down and down and down. And that's why it's a cycle; and it can spiral you again, up towards full recovery and beyond, or down towards rock bottom; and again, sometimes further. Okay, so this is a really, really important kind of concept to understand.

23:12  So it all starts up here with your thoughts or interpretations. Now I put interpretations for a reason. And this is something I teach in, you know, in, in almost everything I do with the belief cycle, but I teach in it my recovery program, I teach it in the webinar. And it's really important, and there's a lot more that goes into beliefs and changing your beliefs. But this word here is important. And I just want to explain it, because I want to give to you, I don't want to leave you with any kind of questions here.

23:38  So the interpretations. You have an experience; your thoughts, and interpretations are just that. Now thoughts, you control your thoughts, and you control your interpretation. So for every event, there's more than one way to interpret it. And the best example that I use is I'm a guitar player, right? I sing I play the guitar. So I use the example of, you know, when I was younger, let's say I was 12 years old, and I brought out my guitar and I learned a song and I sang it in front of a few friends. So I sang a song in front of a few friends, and they clapped. Now there are a few ways that I can interpret that, you know, I can interpret that as "Oh, they clap, they must, they must love when I when I sing, and when I play the guitar, they must have really liked it, I must be good." And if I thought that, if I interpreted it that way, that was my experience. Right? I played guitar and my friends clap. If I interpret it as you know, they must think I'm good, I'm going to believe I'm a good guitar player. So I'm going to practice more. So I'm going to play in front of friends more; and again, it feeds up and up and up.

24:35  But that same experience, if I interpret it as "Oh, they just clapped so I saw I wouldn't feel bad. That was a pity clap. They don't really like it." So if I interpret it that way, that feeds the belief that I'm not that good of a singer. I'm not that good of a guitar player." And maybe I practice less, either playing in front of people and I'm not as good, right? Because I'm practicing less or I don't play in front of people at all. And then that feeds the believe--it feeds itself--that I'm not a good guitar player. And maybe I never play again, right? And it's something simple like that. There are two ways that you can interpret.

25:08  I mean, there's more than one way to interpret anything. And so you want to watch how you're interpreting things because it's super important, because this is what you control up here. And it dictates how you feed that belief scale. And how you feed that belief scale determines whether this spiral, this cycle now... this is that play, whether you like it or not, right, but how you feed this belief scale--And again, this is where you're in control--dictates whether it spirals you up, or it spirals you down. So it's super, super important. So let's take you know, sharing trauma stories as our example here.

25:42  And this is why these three things can can literally cost you everything, or you can be careful with them; and we'll talk about that next. So, sharing trauma stories. Maybe you have an experience where you you're in an online Facebook group and you read a story and maybe it's like really close to your own, right?

26:01  So you're gonna think about that and you're going to be like, the thoughts in your head are probably predominantly negative when you see something scary; when you see something that's that's traumatic, you're gonna be like, "Oh my gosh, that was so bad. That was so bad. I can't believe that that happened to them." And you're getting you... maybe your heart's gonna race, right? But you're gonna think all these negative thoughts, and maybe that story because they say, you know, I felt really good for a while, but then x, y and z happened and now I'm back to rock bottom; and so because you read that story, your thoughts are gonna be like, "Oh my gosh, they got better but but now they're back at rock bottom, it's impossible to recover," right?

26:38  And so it doesn't really matter what this belief is; it's going to feed a negative belief, and it's going to dictate the action that you take. And the action that you take determines whether you succeed on this journey or whether you don't. It really truly does. Action is the most important thing on the recovery journey. Okay, this this is a journey that is a lot of hard work. It's extremely challenging; and it all depends on how much action that you put in. And now, you could be putting in action like we talked about before, like you know if I believe it's impossible to fully recover from PTSD, the actions that I take are going to be destructive; it's going to be... for me it was drinking right? It's going to be drinking and it's going to be ice cream and it's going to be TV, right, and it's going to be destructive action. And that's going to lead you further from your goal.

27:23  But if you believe that it's possible to fully recover, which all starts with your thoughts and your experiences; you know, you don't want to be reading those traumatic stories, because because why even get to this point. You don't want to be in those groups reading trigger warnings because why even have that experience, okay? Because it's really, really dangerous.

27:39  Okay, so we'll take the next one. which is venting: same kind of thing there. You know, you're read about someone venting, and maybe you feel even worse about yourself right? You read them venting, "Oh, this person was so mean to me at work and they yelled at me and blah blah blah blah blah..." and you're reading all this negative stuff again, and you think, man, I hate people right? I hate when they do that. And you start seeing all these negative things, and that feeds the belief that, you know, people are out to get you; and if you think people are out to get you, well yyou're not going to go out and socialize. You're not maybe going to meet the love of your life because you're not going out to socialize. So all these things... it doesn't... it's not specific to recovery. It's not specific to PTSD. This is how your life is ruled in all areas--your beliefs about everything from the kind of clothing that you wear, right? I believe that Nike makes good clothing; that's why I wear it. I feel like it fits me well, right, I like how it fits. So beliefs dictate everything from good clothing to where you order, you know takeout, to what kind of car you drive (I believe that Toyotas make the best car, so I always go with Toyota, right? Everything from that to if you can fully recover. So, if you believe it's possible to fully recover; and again, you can change your beliefs, but you really want to be careful how you're feeding them. So it's everything from your self-esteem to the takeout that you use to the... you know, the dreams and the aspirations that you have that you chase in life, and your beliefs about yourself, your beliefs about PTSD. Like I said, everything down to the smallest, smallest thing is your belief to the bigges,t biggest thing--the most important things in your life--the relationships that you choose or don't choose: it all comes down to this cycle.

29:18  And then the last thing: people with PTSD give the best advice. So let's say, you know, you get advice from someone in a PTSD community and they tell you, you know, before you go to bed have a scotch on the rocks. So that's what they tell you and you're like, "Okay, great, I'm going to have a scotch on the rocks because they said it was a good idea; it would help me sleep." And that feeds the belief that will say that people in the PTSD community give good advice, or that this will help me.

29:50  And so you take action, right? You have your scotch on the rocks, and you know, you're drinking, you're either drunk or you're just buzzed or whatever and you go to sleep. You're not going to sleep well, right? If you have that you maybe you you fall asleep faster, you're not gonna sleep well, maybe you wake up dehydrated or  you wake up hot or sweaty, or you kind of toss and turn all night. And then it's gonna come up here to the thoughts and interpretations and you're gonna think, "Oh my gosh, that didn't even work for me.  If that didn't work for me, it's impossible for me to recover from PTSD." And this all kind of feeds back around.

30:22  So you can have a thought about something and it feeds a belief, and you take action on it, and you have an experience and you have a thought and it feeds a totally different belief. So this really is I mean, it's a lot bigger than this, and I'm trying to talk about it in kind of this small area.When I, when I usually teach the belief cycle, it's almost two hours long, because it is such an in-depth thing and beliefs are so important.

30:45  But I wanted to get this content in your hands, because I wanted to really kind of get rid of those three delusions, because that is what I see so often in the PTSD communities on social media. And it's extremely, extremely dangerous. And it can literally take you to rock bottom and below, unfortunately; but it can also bring you up as well.

31:04  So now let's talk about four rules to live by to ensure that you don't get worse, and that you don't feed this cycle in the negative direction. And this will help you start feeding the cycle in the positive direction. Again, there's a lot more that goes into it. And hopefully in other videos, I'll dive even further into this belief cycle if you want. But let's talk about those four rules to live by to ensure that you're not feeding this, at the very least in the negative direction.

31:29  Here are four rules to live by. So you don't make your PTSD and your life ultimately worse, while trying to kind of help yourself and get support on social media. So rule number one is to avoid stories. If you're in any Facebook groups that allow people to share stories or say, you know, you can share your story but put trigger warning before it.

31:52  Get yourself out of that environment, because you're going to be feeding that belief cycle in a really negative way. And if you feed that in a negative way, it can spiral you down to rock bottom. And again, sometimes further. I know I'm saying that a lot. But it's really important because every single day, people lose their lives to this battle, and they don't have to, and things like this can make it that much harder and make it that much worse. So first and foremost, avoid stories! Avoid, you know, sharing your story, hearing other people's stories, avoid stories of trauma, okay?

32:27  Rule number two: positive beliefs only. So it's so, so, so important to have the positivity; and that doesn't necessarily mean, "Oh happy go lucky, our lives are great. And we're super blessed." You don't have to kind of fake it, so to speak, but you want to always be feeding the belief that it is possible to fully recover. And it is. And you don't have to take my word for that.

32:50  But it is possible to fully recover; and feeding that belief, will feed it in the positive direction. And the more you believe that, the more you give yourself references of that, the more experiences you have and you see that, the the better you're going to do; because you're going to take more action that is going to give you better and better experiences.

33:09  So, positive beliefs about recovery only. And again, that doesn't mean happy-go-lucky. You know, saying you feel good when you don't feel good. What it means is just not allowing people in your life or in PTSD communities to say, "It's impossible, you just have to live with this forever." Okay, you want to cut that out of your life--out of your newsfeed--forever, because it's not helpful. It's only harmful. So you want positive beliefs only.

33:36  Now when you go to seek help, you want to say, "Hey, I'm having this issue. How can I get better?" Right? And so, you want to feed the belief in yourself too; not say, "Oh my gosh, these nightmares suck," right? That's just complaining. You want to say, "I'm having nightmares? Has anyone overcome nightmares? And what can I do to make them better?" Right?

33:53  So you want to be seeking that help in a positive way and saying, Here's my problem; where is the solution?" And kind of opening your arms to where is the solution rather than just saying, "Oh, nightmares are the worst and I can't believe it, I can't sleep and I'm so tired and I lost my job." Right? You're not asking for the solution. You're not leaving your arms open for where is the solution, who has my solution?

34:16  Okay, and that leads us to number three here, which is good advice exclusively. Now again, this might seem obvious, but do not take--please for your sake, for my sake. for everyone's sake--do not take advice from people at rock bottom. Okay, we want to help them we want to give them resources. We want to give you resources. We want to put the power in your hands, but do not take advice from people who are on your side or on your bottom, right? Do not reach down or sideways. Always reach up. \So only get advice from people who have done what you want to achieve, or who have helped others do what you want to achieve. So specifically for PTSD or C-PTSD: only get advice from people who have overcome PTSD or C-PTSD and/or from people who have helped other people overcome PTSD or C-PTSD successfully, right? Or ideally, both of those things.

35:10  So be really careful about where you get your advice; and always ask yourself, do I want to trade places with this person? You know, let's say you're like, you're still struggling, you're still suffering with PTSD. But you know, you're okay, you're not at rock bottom, you're past rock bottom, you've been kind of climbing your way out and you're in a good-ish spot relatively.

35:30  You know, would you want to trade places with someone at rock bottom and take their advice? Because that's what you're going to do when you take their advice. If you take your their advice, and you kind of take it to heart and you start to implement it, you're going to get their results, which is rock bottom. So advice is free to give, but very costly to take. So good advice exclusively.

35:51  And rule number four, is that action conquers all. So the rule is to always, always be taking action. So the more action you take, the more experiences you're going to have, the more opportunities you have to interpret those experiences and feed positive beliefs. Action is the most important thing on the recovery journey, and it truly does conquer all! If you're feeling depressed, I mean, I run a depression masterclass. And it can all be summed up in one word - or two words: take action, take action, take action, take action.

36:28  If you're not where you want to be, take action because you're you're either going to get there, you're going to get there faster, or you're going to find ways that don't get you there. And the more times you find ways that don't get you there, the closer you get to getting the right answer. So taking action is super, super important, and will keep you away from those negative inputs. It will keep you feeding that cycle in a positive manner. So it's super, super important.

36:55  Avoid stories; positive beliefs, only about the recovery journey, good advice exclusively, only reaching up and taking action conquers all; it will conquer the negativity. If you stay focused on your journey; you take action; you do what you need to do day in and day out. That is the most important thing.

37:16  So they're the kind of four rules to live by. And specifically as it applies to your recovery journey. And specifically, as it applies to not getting worse on social media. Like I said, people, now more than ever, are on social media all the time. So if you're in Facebook groups, or on forums, where any of these things are happening, where people are passive, where people are giving out advice, that is not good advice, that is not qualified advice; and it doesn't have to be necessarily a PhD, all it has to be is someone who's gotten the results, or gotten the results for someone  that's in your position.

37:53  So, if people are passive about their recovery journey, and just "Well, you know, it's impossible to recover," but they're not taking action, right--they're not trying to heal, they're not doing the skills, doing the tools, they're not mastering their mindset, building the routines processing their past--if you're in a place where people are saying, "It's impossible to recover, whatever, here's my story, you know, I went through this, this, this and this, and this," and people are just sharing stories and complaining and commiserating, get yourself out of that environment. That is an environment where you will fail. You will get sucked into that environment until you get the results that everyone in there has. So you have to get yourself in an environment.

38:32  Have you ever heard the saying like, you're the sum of the five people you spend the most time around? That doesn't apply to physical space, right? Right now we're in quarantine all over the world, or we have stay at home orders. So you know, you're not you're not really spending time around anyone. But you are the sum of the five people that you spend the most time around. If you spend the most time around (around meaning online, or in-person, or whatever it is; online counts--if you spend time around people who are at rock bottom; who are super negative; who aren't taking action, who are giving out bad advice, guess what that's going to get you? You're going to become those people.

39:13  So you have to seek positive input. Spend time around people who have recovered! Like you're here, you're listening to this; that's an amazing start. We're spending time together. I'm an input for you, that's really good. That's one. Now find more people--doesn't have to be PTSD related--that are achieving; that are, you know, living their life at a high level. If it's someone spiritually you look up to, look for these inputs. Look for the five people... look for five people that you'd like to be the sum of, and actively make sure that you get them into your life.

39:44  So those are the four rules there. That's what I have for you today. Be careful on social media, take yourself out of environments that are negative, that are bad for you; because they can really, truly cost you everything.

39:56  So I hope you enjoyed today's training. If you did, please subscribe. Hit the notification bell. Leave a comment below. Let me know if you liked it. Let me know what you want to hear more of, what you want to hear less of, and if it was helpful to you. So I believe in you; I love you; I'm here for you at the very highest level. You know, make sure you take action, make sure you're taking what I teach you, and you're saying, "How can I apply it to my life," because action conquers all; and action is the most important thing on the recovery journey. So like I said, I love you, I believe in you. I'm here for you, and I will see you in the next training.

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