Do you struggle to just get through anxiety in your journey to recovery from trauma?
Here are 5 must-have tools (plus 2 bonus ones) to put into your recovery toolbox!
Knowing how to manage your anxiety and PTSD symptoms is essential for recovery, because without relaxation you won't be able to think clearly and process the past.
Here's what you'll learn about in this video:
If after watching this video you believe you are suffering from unresolved trauma from your past and have post traumatic stress disorder, reach out for help, we are here to provide you with help and resources.
Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!
To your recovery,
Kayleen & the team at OvercomingPTSD.com
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0:01 Hey, everybody! Brad here, and today I want to talk to you on this surprise, live video about five things to help you with PTSD anxiety. So this is going to be a little off-the-cuff training for you guys, about five things that you can do to help you calm the anxiety that you might be feeling because your PTSD; and this could be anxiety, you Like, for me, it was like a racing-heart kind of feeling or like the stress or the tension in my, in my chest along with kind of like the racing thoughts. Or it could be like the anxiety that you get before bed, you know, maybe like you can't fall asleep. Or maybe you wake up in the middle of night, and you can't get back to sleep. All of these things will help you with that.
0:51 So I'll just go through these things real quick. And if any of you guys... I'm doing this live, so if any of you guys have any questions about what I'm talking about today, or anything else, feel free to just put it in the comments box. And at the end, I'll just kind of do a Q&A. But hopefully the Q&A's too long, so I can grab some dinner.
1:11 But the first thing here is something I call PMR. So that stands for progressive muscle relaxation. And a lot of these things you guys might have heard of before, but it's worth kind of reiterating again, because these are very, very powerful things. So even if you've heard of these things, it can be helpful to hear them again. So, you kind of kind of build that muscle of knowing these tools, because you want to know these tools when you need the most when you have that anxiety when you are triggered, you want to know how to calm all those things down. So what is progressive muscle relaxation, PMR?Essentially, it's very basic form--and I'm keeping everything everything as simple as possible, because I found on my own recovery... (if you guys don't know me, I had PTSD. On my own recovery, I would not do things unless it was dead simple.)
2:05 So I'm going to keep things as simple as freaking possible for you guys. So when you are up in the middle of the night, you don't have to think about the 12 steps on how to do progressive muscle relaxation, you can just do it, because it's so freaking simple. So progressive muscle relaxation, essentially, in its essence, is when you go through each kind of muscle group in your body, you can go from like your toes up, or from like your head down. And like you tend to so you can think about like, maybe like tensing your fist, right, so you tense up for like 10 seconds, and you count to 10. Or you're like taking deep breaths, and then you release. So you you tense that muscle group and then you release it. So the idea is that, that tension, relaxation, just gets your muscles in this really super relaxed state. And that is one of the most physically relaxing things that you can do. So, if you feel like you are holding a lot of tension in your body, and the quick thing that you guys can do right now, as you're listening to this, something you can do is scan your body.
3:13 So another thing that kind of goes along with this progressive muscle relaxation is something that we call just the body scan, which you guys can do right now. So this is going to be an interactive, live Facebook Live that you guys... I want you guys to interact with me. And I'll try to do that throughout this whole kind of video is give you not only... I wish I could give you more visuals... I mean, I'll try to visually do it. But I'll try to give you the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic, so you actually are implementing these things as I'm teaching them. Because if you listen, you see me doing it, and you actually do it, it's gonna make it that much easier when you are triggere-- when you are hurting, when you do have the anxiety, to then perform and actually do these things.
4:05 So I'll just do a quick "Hi" to everybody here. So hey Scott, thank you for for joining us today. Hey, Christy. Amy Sue, Nancy. I see you guys have a few questions there. And I will get to those. If you have any questions about what I'm specifically talking about right now I'll answer them. Otherwise I'll answer as many questions as I can at the end. So again, I'm going to try to make this really interactive.
4:32 So where I was, is I was explaining the PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) and the body scan. And the body scan is something that you can do right now. So literally, it's just bringing awareness to your body. So, right now as you're sitting there, wherever you're sitting, you're sitting at home or you're sitting somewhere with your phone or your computer. So while you sit there I want you to relax, and then, you know, you can even close your eyes if you want. Then just scan, mentally scan from your toes all the way up. So like I said, progressive muscle relaxation is when you go through each muscle group, I want you to do the same thing, but I just want you to kind of mentally scan it. And I want you to scan for tension. So if there's tension in your feet, or your, your, whatever these bad boys are... your calves, I want you to release it. So the idea of the bias game is you just mentally think through every muscle group in your body, releasing the tension as you bring awareness to it.
4:45 So right now, as I'm talking, I want you to start scanning. You know, scan like your feet, and then you know if there's any tension, relax your feet, and then go up to your calves. And see if there's any tension there, and relax the tension there ;and then move up to your thighs and your hamstrings. And just keep moving up your body and releasing all the tension. Usually, there's not much tension in the leg, sometimes there is but usually as you get up to kind of like your chest, there's a lot of tension there, and the shoulders usually feel a lot of tension. Sometimes in your hands... like, I used to like clench my fists, and like my forearms right here, I'd be like clenched just because you're always like you're fight or flight mode. So you're always tense, ready for something to happen.
6:15 So that's where you hold a lot of tension: in your neck, in your forehead, and in your eyes, in your face; a lot of people hold tension there. So those are all things that are good to be aware of. And the body scan is just kind of a quick, dirty, easy way to do the progressive muscle relaxation anyway. Now, that's a really simple one. And like I said, I'm gonna make everything really, really simple. But now I'm gonna give you a really, really simple progressive muscle relaxation, so you don't have to spend 30 minutes going through every muscle group because that can actually be very, very daunting. I don't know if you've done progressive muscle relaxation before. But if you do it the way that most people tell you how to do it, it is daunting. And it works really, really freaking well... like, you do you get really, really relaxed.
7:07 Now somebody else says, Nancy over here says, "Jaw"; so yeah, holding a lot of tension in your jaw, that's a really good one, like clenching your jaw. And I actually... I ground my teeth from clenching my jaw so much from this, but um, but like I was saying, progressive muscle relaxation usually takes a long time. And it works really well when you can spend the time, but it can be nothing. So a really simple way to do a progressive muscle relaxation in like, I don't know, a minute, two minutes (and it works really, really well) is just imagine like, all the muscles on the front side of your body, right. So like your your bicep, your maybe like you're clenching your hands, and like your hamstrings and all the way down to your toes.
7:54 So you want to clench like the front part of your body, and like your chest and your abs and everything, and you want to count down from Ten. So you want to count 10 seconds down. Really, really simple. And then you want to clench all the muscles in the back of your body, too. And don't forget your face, clench your face. And you can make a really funny, funny face--I'll do it, too. That is completely allowed and encouraged.
8:17 So that's something if... I mean, progressive muscle relaxation really works well before bed, and kind of like in the middle of the night to get relaxation. Because it's best done. sitting or laying down. And like I don't know, in public, it might be a little weird to like be scrunching your face and stuff. But if you want to, go for it! Like I'm not gonna stop you; and I don't think I could if I wanted to, anyways...
8:45 So, PMR is good. You know, it works really well before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, to kind of relax your body. And the body scan you can literally do anywhere; and you want to like do the body scan, at least, you want to start building that bodily awareness . Body awareness of the tension in your body is super important for recovery and healing and everything, because the body... I mean, the body stores a lot of emotions by itself, which I'm sure most you guys know. But the body also acts as a doorway to what's going on inside of your mind. So a lot of times... you know, we tell people all the time, like you have to be aware of your thoughts, you have to know--you have to be aware of the problem before you solve the problem. You know, like you can't solve the problem unless you're aware of it. But then people are like, "Well, how do I become aware of the problem?" Then we're like, "Well, you have to think... you have to be aware of your thoughts." They're like, "Oh, well how do I become aware of my thoughts? It's like, if I'm not aware of my thoughts, how am I supposed to identify what the problem is?"
9:48 And the first step in that chain comes down into your body; because you can sense tension in your body really, really easily. And then from there, it can act as a doorway to your mind to explore things that are going on inside of your mind. So building that body awareness through the body scan is super, super important to start building that awareness as you work through your recovery. So definitely something you want to keep top of mind.
10:14 Now, if you guys have any questions on this first thing, I'm kind of finished with that. Welcome, Emma, from the Facebook group. Welcome, Rick. Welcome, Alice. Great to have you guys. Welcome Heather. Welcome, Jennifer. Again, great to have you. I decided to do a second surprise live. Yeah, James is just a good friend. I just did a surprise live for our, our coaching client community and decided to do one here too. But um, but if you guys have any questions on this first one, let me know.
10:52 Because I'm gonna move on to the second one right now, which is deep breathing? Again, really, I'm gonna tell you, yes, yes, breathing helps you relieve your PTSD anxiety, all you have to do is breathe. Now you're cured, you're welcome. That's it, I don't know why I need to go through the rest of these, I don't even know I should just put that first just breathe, right? But seriously, breathing is really, really helpful when you do it right. And a very, very simple... like I said, I was gonna keep this very, very simple. A very simple way to use deep breathing is something that is called kind of like... I don't know if it's called this, this is what I call it: the three-six breathing. So you inhale. for three seconds, you exhale for six seconds. And it's kind of more like to proportion, it doesn't have to be exactly three and six, but it's kind of like exhaling twice as long as you inhale.
11:50 There's a lot of effects--positive effects--from deep breathing, like in your brain it just activates all the relaxation responses. But as you're breathing, you want to make sure that you're breathing correctly. I'm gonna teach you how to breathe, and you've been breathing your whole life, but who knew that there was a right way to breathe? I did not until, until I learned. But, um, so a lot of people, especially when you're tense, you know, like, a lot of times, like your abs are tense, like we were talking about before, and everything like that. You have these really, really shallow breaths. And when you're in fight-or-flight mode, when your brain is in fight-ro-flight mode, that's kind of just like the natural response of your body is to take these shallow breaths. Because like when you're scared, it's like your body just like is in that kind of high-alert mode; and you're just breathing really shallow and really quickly.
12:40 So this again, like I was saying, I want to make this interactive. So all y'all at home, I want you to do this with me. I want you guys to... Oh, I didn't explain how to breathe! You need to breathe... Like I said, if you do really shallow in your chest, you want to start breathing from your stomach. So you can literally do this by putting your hand on your chest and on your stomach. And you can do that right now. Because you should be breathing right now as you're watching this. And you can start to bring awareness on how you breathe on a regular level on a regular basis--on a regular basis on--how you breathe on a regular base basis.
13:19 So right now you can just kind of, you know, put your hand on your chest, on your stomach, and then you can physically feel whether or not you're breathing with your chest or with your stomach. And it's just a lot fuller, it's called diaphragmatic breathing. I always get that wrong. I always say that wrong. But it's about breathing with your diaphragm down in your stomach so you get a much fuller breath. So that is what you really want to do is that that kind of three-six deep breathing thing. And the other great thing about breathing--if you didn't know--is you can do it anywhere, anytime, 24/7. Maybe not when you're sleeping. I don't know if you can do three-six when you're sleeping/ If you could, I would love to hear about that. How you do that.
14:03 Oh, an interesting thing, though, about breathing and I'm kind of out there... I don't know if I'm the only person in the world who watches their significant other sleep. But actually I think there's a reason why I like watching my girlfriend sleep is because... She's actually the owner of this group and the page - Kayleen - and she had PTSD and she had nightmares every single night when I first met her. And that was really hard for me to go through. So I mean after she went through her healing, and I finally got to see her sleep, I was just like, I love watching you sleep! I just want to watch you sleep. It just makes me feel good to see you sleeping. But I noticed when I was watching her sleep that there was a specific switch, which--I didn't read about this anywhere--from when she wasn't sleeping to when she actually fell asleep, in her breathing. So like when she was awake, her breathing wasn't as deep. But like, as soon as she fell asleep, you could tell because her breathing just got deeper. And she was in a much more relaxed natural state. So I guess in a way... that was just kind of a, I don't know what that has to do with anything, it's just kind of an interesting observation I wanted to share with you.
15:20 But deep breathing is a great thing, because you can do it, like I said, 24/7 (but maybe not 24/7); but your body's automatically doing it 24/7, so you are doing it 24/7. And you can combine it with a lot of other things because you can breathe... you can do deep breathing, and you know, do the body scan; and you can deep breathe while you do some of these other exercises. So that's deep breathing. If you guys have any other questions, let me know (on this or on progressive muscle relaxation) and we'll go through it, because we'll move on from there.
15:53 But let's see who else has shown up, see if there's any other questions on here. So welcome, Heather, if I haven't said hello to you yet. Cassie says, "I found that a service animal helps especially for going out and yes, yes. I need a dog. I want a dog." Their unconditional love, it can just make you feel safe. Especially like I mean, I always say like you should be able to give a dog like a safe home, or like a you can give them a good life. Right? Which I think most people can. And there's a lot of dogs that need help. But a dog just, like, especially if you're somebody who is lacking that connection and that love in your life: a dog can be like a freakin godsend, because it's just a ball of unconditional love. And I guess there's there's a lot of different service animals. I mean, when I think service animal I just think service dog because Kayleen my girlfriend had a service dog, but just a ball of unconditional love that will just love you, and love you, and love you, and love you. And nothing more. So I think that's a great suggestion. Aservice animal just brings that calm that love.
17:12 But welcome, Kathleen, welcome. Portia. Nancy asks, "Should I inhale through my mouth or my nose?" And my answer is, whatever is most comfortable for you. Some people like breathing in through their nose and exhaling through their mouth. When you're doing like a three-six kind of breathing, it can be easier to exhale through your mouth. Because you can like close your mouth and like almost like like blow it out instead of like having to like hold it in with your lungs, you can like depressurize it with your mouth. And that can make it a little bit easier. Like people... so I've seen online people sell like this machine, it's like, it almost looks like an inhaler. But it just like, limits your breathing. So you breathe at a certain rate. And I think that's great, but I think you can just breathe. Period. So yeah, whatever is most comfortable for you, Nancy, would work well.
18:16 I'll see what's going on over here. Welcome, Cassandra, great to have you. Rick, my man loves watching people sleep too. When they don't notice. Welcome Nikki--I don't know if I said hi--and welcome, I'm so sorry, Minigan. "How'd you get a service animal?" Oh, that's a great, that's a great question too. And Rick says, "buy one." and that... what's the word? I can't think of the right word. As simple as as simple of an answer as that is like buy, just buy one-like that's pretty much what it is you can go online and you can register your animal as a service animal. I don't know the exact website and I'm not an expert in this but from what I know about service animals like you get one, you register online. I don't know if there's like a small fee or something and then that's basically it. And then no one can really ask you about it; like you can just bring your service animal wherever you go. And no one really asks about it. I think they might be tightening down on like the regulations and stuff. But worth a Google search. Kayleen would know more about this than I do. I never actually had a service animal.
19:45 Chassie says, "When I get stuck in a big rut I use the grounding techniques. Sometimesit's all that will pull me out." Yeah, yeah, that's a great one. That's a great one. I didn't have it listed on here for anxiety; but when you have a panic attack, flashback or, you know, just woke up from a nightmare or something in the middle of the night and you just have all these like overwhelming, out-of-control emotions, grounding tools are amazing for that. And I wasn't gonna cover that.
20:11 But a grounding tool for those who don't know what it is, it's basically any, anything that you do any activity that brings your attention into the present moment, almost kind of in like a shocking way. So a lot of people use like ice cubes, like holding ice cubes, maybe maybe Chassie you can share a technique or a few techniques that work well for you. Ice cubes, something with water, splashing water on your face or taking a shower. I mean, some people even go up, go for runs. I mean, it's really just any kind of behavior or action that brings your awareness out of your mind into your, into your present moment. So something that you have to like, I don't know, just kind of like jolt your senses forward.
20:56 And, and the best ones, again, for grounding is... go online, find like different ideas, but then test different ones out. And you can think of like, grounding through like the five senses as well. So, like some people like that, they say, like, biting into a lemon really helps me because that brings their senses forward... lemons. Nancy just said lemons. Yeah. So... or drinking something cold or... so you can go online, you can just search grounding techniques and find a bunch. And then also another... I mean, just keep an open mind. Think independently. Be like, "What would work well for me, you know what would help bring me forward? and then you can discover ones that maybe others haven't thought of that would work really, really well in your situation. But you want to experiment from there, keep a lot kind of in your toolbox per se. So you can then pull them out and test them from there. So that looks like those are questions for that.
21:52 Now this next one here is by far the most powerful and the best relief tool recovery tool for PTSD that I have ever seen, ever used, ever taught. And everybody else that I've ever taught has consistently always said this was the best tool that ever existed. Maybe not in those words, but BH stands for butterfly hug. So the butterfly hug is the most... it's not just for anxiety, it's really for any, any emotion. Any overwhelming emotion, the butterfly hug helps calm down. And that might seem like a bold claim. And it's gonna seem really wacky. For those of you who don't know what it is, this can seem really wacky, really crazy. And kind of like, like I'm in Harry Potter land. And I'm just using magic, because how the heck does that work, but I'm explaining kind of the logic or the science behind it, so you guys can kind of understand it. Because it doesn't really make sense. And if you don't think it makes sense, you probably won't try it. And if you don't try it, it's not going to work.
23:04 But the butterfly hug is basically this. It's basically when you take your hands, and I want everybody here to do it with me. When you put one hand underneath your collarbone. and the other one right here. So you're just looks like a looks like a butterfly, I guess. You just put your hands underneath your collarbone, and you just start tapping like this. That's it. Pretty crazy, right? But that's I mean, you just tap left and right. And you can vary the speed. And kind of like don't beat yourself too hard. But you know, you can change the intensity of it to whatever is most comfortable for you. Now what that does... now that, if I just told you that, you'd be like, no freakin way, why would I ever do that? And why does that work. And that's what I thought too.
24:01 Because I learned that from Francine Shapiro, who is the founder of EMDR. And she's the one who... actually, she didn't come up with this technique, but someone who, one of her technicians used this technique to help children in some natural disaster area. That's kind of the origin of it. The origin kind of is pulled from like EMDR, which is a very, very successful PTSD therapy for those who don't know it.
24:32 But that's the essence of it. And the reason why it works is that when you tap on either side of your chest right here underneath your collarbone, it stimulates the left and right sides of your brain. And people don't really know exactly what's going on in your mind and how this works, because like a lot of the mind is still, like, there's a lot of new... there's a lot of new science and new research, and a lot of new things happening on the mind. So we don't know exactly what it is, but we know that it simulates REM sleep, the REM sleep cycle.
25:06 So, when you sleep, you go through these different sleep stages, right? You go through like light sleep, deep sleep, and one is REM, which stands for rapid eye movement. And that's literally when you're asleep. It's when you're dreaming. And it's when your brain is processing events, it's making connections. It's just, it's growing. But what happens in the REM sleep is literally that your eyes are moving really, really fast underneath your eyelids. So when you're doing this butterfly hug, it's not just you're tapping randomly, I mean it kind of is randomly but like, it's not like some type of placebo thing. It's simulating a natural process that you already go through during your sleep.
25:06 So the butterfly hug is magnificent! Like I said, it is the most powerful, hands-down-best tool for anxiety, PTSD. Hands down. If you if you leave here and forget everything else. And you just remember butterfly hug, you'll want to send me checks in the mail. Because Oh my God. So amazing, this thing. And it's so simple. And if you guys have not tried this right now, like I said, you should be trying this, like, just keep doing this. As you're watching this...as as you're, as you're listening, just start tapping like this. And this isn't like EFT or anything like that. It's just literally bilateral stimulation of your body.
Now to take the butterfly to the next level, maybe you guys have heard of the butterfly hug. But there's different ways that you can apply the same process and the same concept, to different things. So you can use it in different scenarios. So like, one thing you can do, let's say you are in public, right? And you don't want to be like this. In public or like, I guess like nowadays, you're not really in public. But I guess if you're in public, or you're around other people, whatever. Maybe you don't want to do this, but there's different alternatives that you can do. So you can just take one hand, put it on your chest, like this. And tap, you can just like, just relax. And you look like you just everything's like natural, like I'm just playing drums on my chest. That's one.
27:28 Another one is... it's my attempt at humor. So another one is you could take your feet, and just like stomp your feet. Let's see if I can pull this down, not that it really matter really matters. you can just like stomp your feet like this. And just be like, people might just think you have a weird tick, which is okay. And the other thing is, you could tap like this, left and right. So those are different alternatives.
27:54 And there's one other kind of alternative here that I want to talk you through, which is visualizing yourself doing the butterfly hug actually has the same impact as actually doing the butterfly hug. So if you can close your eyes and visualize yourself either going like this, or literally another way, just visualizing like energy kind of falling from like one side of your body to the other. It has that same kind of calming effect.
28:30 And one last thing: if you're doing this and you're alone and you're laying down--and you can also combine the deep breathing--and if you're doing that you can also close your eyes and move your eyes underneath your eyelids to kind of strengthen that further. So that's the butterfly hug. If you leave this video... if you've been watching this video so far, I want you to hold on to the butterfly hug at all costs. That is the one that you want to remember when you are triggered; when you are anxious; when you don't know what to do. When your mind is going crazy, and you're just overwhelmed with all these emotions, all of these thoughts that you don't know what to do with: this is your go to. When you don't know what to do when you are just triggered beyond belief, and you'd have no freaking clue what to do. You can't think straight; you can't do anything. Come to this.
29:21 Now this is this is a really, really powerful tool. We've had people who've literally been able to, you know, calm themselves down (actually combination of tools) enough to not only like manage their symptoms, but enough to go back to work. Now this isn't none of these things are like healing. They're just like coping and managing and allowing yourself to freaking relax, which is like a really valuable thing; and think clearly and think straight. But someone was able to use a butterfly hug enough to calm themselves down and get enough control so they can go back to work, and they could go--and this was before COVID--they could go out and they could go to the movies, and they could go out into all these public places where before they'd be too scared to do it.
30:07 So when you really learn these skills and you're able to manage your PTSD, you can start to see, to take those steps at least, to a more "normal" life. Now, again, it's not healing per se, but it does help you along your healing journey; it helps you manage things as you move along. So that's it for the butterfly hug. If you have any questions on that, let me know. I'm gonna read the comments; see what you guys have to say right here. And then we'll move on to the to the other ones. So...
30:54 So Tammy says, EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique. Yep, that really helped her. That's awesome. Patti says, um, what's the butterfly hug. So I just covered the butterfly hug. Either right now or at the end of this video, you should be able to rewind. I covered that for probably... I don't know how long to cover that. Five or 10 minutes, so I'm not going to go through it right now. But you can rewind and see what we just covered. Nancy says, I think butterfly hug helps dopamine release. That's awesome. I didn't know that. And then over here, Rick thinks I'm hilarious. Glad someone does. Oh, and Chassie! Chassie is is explaining her grounding techniques.
31:42 So I love I love doing these lives, because you get to see all these different perspectives of what is working for people; it's a very, very constructive activity. So Chassie says the grounding technique that she uses when she is very triggered, you know, I think she said...what did you say before? Yeah, when you're, when you're stuck in a big rut, she uses this grounding techniques and says that it's sometimes the only thing that pulls her out of it. So, if you ever have trouble, like with those overwhelming feelings, or thoughts, this is what helps Chassie with it. And I'll read it really quick.
32:20 So Jessie says that she uses the five-step sensory steps. So first, locate your breathing, then name--either out loud or in your head--five things you see; four things you can touch; three things you can hear; two things you can smell; and one thing that you can taste. Depending on how bad depends on if I speak the words out loud, or in my head. That's awesome. And, and that is, that's an amazing one. And for you...and the reason why I read it out loud is because I'm doing live on the page and in the group. So there's people on the page who can't see that. And kind of like a simplified version, if you guys don't know, you can just literally do three things, you could do three things in each. If you want to simplify, if you couldn't remember, like, "Oh, well, five things is this. Two things is this." Just for those of you who are listening and can't exactly see the list, you can just, say, come up with three things for each sense, each of the five senses, to help ground you. So um, that's it for for for that, I think that's all the questions.
33:30 So Rick says, "Thanks, I'm gonna give it a go," which I think is the butterfly hug, which is great. And loves the alternatives. Yeah, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it in public either. Just walk around my entire life doing this. But um, yeah, the alternatives are very, very helpful. And you like, if you're just having your feet like this, who's gonna be like, Who's gonna notice that? I do that all the time anyways. But yeah, so those are the first three tools that we covered: PMR body scan; deep breathing, doing that three-six; and the butterfly hug.
34:05 And this fourth one is another really simple one, which is journal. But there's a very important aspect that I want to talk to you guys about, about journaling. Because journaling isn't just venting and complaining. I think there is an element... if you have no one to talk to... I mean, if you have all these emotions inside of you, all these thoughts and you don't know what to do with them, vent it out. Vent it out on paper, get it all out of you. Write it all down, write all of your emotions, write all of your feelings, you get it all out of you. And then, you know, tear it up, throw it away, and then really start journaling constructively, because... I mean, that is a constructive thing to do to, let all the emotions out; that is a constructive thing. But you want to make sure you take it a step further. So you find out the solutions to your challenges. You know, maybe set new goals and overcome the obstacles that you're currently facing.
35:04 So you can vent. If you're just feeling all the emotions you need to just vent on on your journal, just get all the emotions out that way like you don't let it out on people that you love, which was a problem for me. You know, like you get angry at the people around you; like, you don't have to do that, you can just get it out on paper. And you know, I broke... I mean, I 've broken... I mean, I think everybody here probably understands the frustration of PTSD and the anger, and just all of those emotions that you can feel. I've broken many pens journaling and doing this exercise. So if you do this, you might need a supply of pens (or non-breakable pens) to help you through this. But you can vent; you can get the emotions out in a safe, controlled environment that doesn't hurt anybody, which is amazing.
35:54 But then you can also journal to help you build awareness through your thoughts. And whenever I journal, I always have a goal in mind to identify my obstacles and overcome them. I keep it like very simple, like how can I get better? Essentially, like, how can I fix this? "How can I fix this" is essentially the simple prompt I am always asking myself as I'm journaling. So I'm just like, you just write down what you're, what you're feeling, what you're thinking, everything that you're going through, all the thoughts that are in your head. And it brings clarity to your mind too, because when you when you have all these jumbled thoughts in your head, and you just... I mean, you can only write one word at a time.
36:32 So it forces you to focus your thoughts down into a single letter at a time. So it focuses your mind. It clarifies your mind. And then you can also read back and be aware of what was in your mind. So like we were talking about PMR, and like your body is the doorway to your thoughts and helps you build awareness around your thoughts. But journaling is another great way to help you build awareness around your thoughts. So when you journal, you can you can literally read back what you were thinking and analyze what you were thinking, and help come up with solutions to the challenges that you had.
37:09 So journaling should always be a constructive thing; it should always help you, in my opinion. In my opinion. There's a lot of ways to journal, there's a lot of different ways to do it. Sometimes I say like, "it should always..." or absolutes. For me, I always try to find, that's what I should say... I always try to find the challenges and the solutions. I always try to make it constructive for myself. And I find that that's one of the most beneficial ways to journal, is to just keep it constructive, and build awareness around your thoughts, around your problems, around your challenges. So you can then start to solve them. And you don't need to solve them on paper, sometimes just bringing awareness to the problem allows your mind to start working on that problem subconsciously. So like before bed, you could write down, like all the problems that are going through and then like your brain in the middle of the night is like working on a problem in the background. And sometimes like you'llwake up in the moment in the middle of the night with like this epiphany, or in the morning. So that's journaling. It's really great to get your thoughts out--your emotions out--in a safe, controlled way. And also helps you build awareness around your mind and your thoughts. And also helps you identify the problem so you can then identify the solution. So that's that one. It's very simple. Just write, just write, just write. It's really easy. And super helpful.
38:31 Again, we're going to keep it keep it try to keep it as simple as possible. If I'm making it too complicated, make it simpler. Ask yourself, "How can I make this simpler, so I actually do it?" Because so often like you get these tools. And they're like so freaking complicated, or they have so many steps, or you have to jump through all these hoops to actually go and do it. So when you actually like need to do it, you're like, I don't want to freaking do all that work. I don't want to go through all those steps. That's so much work. And then you just end up doing nothing-- or binge watching another TV show with a tub of ice cream.
39:08 So, a job for you guys is to always identify the tool and try to simplify it down into its core base principle so you can apply it in the easiest way possible. So that's journaling. Again, very easy. Now if you guys have any questions, I'll check now to see if you guys have any questions on journaling or anything else. Or any other comments or any things that helped you.
39:36 So, Nancy begins each day with gratuity journal--which kind of threw me off; I couldn't think of the word--a gratitude journal. So writing down your gratitudes every day. Every day, and actually, if you guys will hang here for just a second, I'm going to grab a book that we actually have our clients go through every day. I'm seeing if I have it anywhere, actually don't. I'm gonna run to the other room real quick, I'm gonna show you. And it's just a really quick exercise I'll also give... you can have a free handout that you can print and use that Nancy over here, reminded me of, so I'm just gonna grab that real quick.
40:37 So, Nancy was talking about a gratitude journal in the morning, and that really helps her. And there's actually been research done on gratitudes. And that they're like... doing three or five gratitudes a day is just as powerful as like depression medication in some studies that they did. But it forces... when you write gratitudes, it forces you to think about the positive. And if you're like most people (or most people that I know) who have PTSD, or just most people in general, you're stuck in this negative thought cycle, and you never pull yourself out to think about the positive things in your life. So what this does - a gratitude journal - writing down gratitude every day, is a really, really powerful exercise because it forces you to go to that positive space.
41:23 And like I've talked to people who, you know... some of what we do, when we coach people is like trying to just we try to change their mindset, we're trying to try to change their beliefs, we try to make them less of a fixed thinker into more adaptive thinkers. So you think in different ways and explore different ideas. So they're not stuck in the same old negative patterns. So they start to branch out, trying to find the positives in seemingly negative situations, which is kind of a different step. And getting a little off topic here.
41:55 But gratitudes are amazing. And it just got me thinking about this, which is a workbook that we send to all of our clients. It's just a it's a daily planner, we call it the Unbreakable Planner, and it's a it's just a simple daily planner. Every everyday is the same thing, same same two pages, if you guys can see that where at the top, here, we have them, right? See if I can get on both screens, because I have two laptops going there, we have them write 'five things I'm grateful for,' right, we have them write a daily to do list. And we have people do this every night.
42:35 So, every night before you go to bed, you write five things you're grateful for, and your daily to-do list (so you know what you're going to be doing the next day). And a big problem for a lot of people is not getting out of bed or not being motivated enough to get out of bed. And we're actually... I'm going to talk talk to you about that in the fifth thing right here. But a lot of that stems from not knowing what you're doing.
42:59 So we have them write a to-do list here. And then three things that would make tomorrow great--so again, going back to the positive--and then we have an end-of-day review right here, where we have them write three other wins and three ways that they'll improve. So we have them reflect and be like "Oh, these are three things I did really well today, or even somewhat well, or I just got out of bed, and that's a win for me today!"And then, "How will I get a little bit better tomorrow?" So we have this reflection process, and then just kind of like a daily tracking sheet down here.
43:29 Then on this other side we have kind of this blank space where at the top we just say you can write your goals, your affirmations about health, personal wealth, relationship business etc. Or you can write anything else that you're kind of working on right here. So it's kind of a daily system, and this is why this is... like, what we're all about is keeping things freaking dead simple, so you can implement on it. You want to have something that every night, you don't have to think about; you just do it. Like it is so freaking simple to do this thing every day, and it makes you... when I don't do this... I still do this because it makes my life that much better. When I don't do this, like I notice that I'm not as productive, I'm not as happy, I'm not as positive, I'm not as energetic, just because I didn't force myself to see the positive things in my life.
43:50 So that's that's a really, really powerful thing, the gratitude journal, Nancy. And you don't need something like this but I can find a free kind of PDF of this if you guys want to print it out. Also we're going to be making... I don't know if you guys would want this,we're gonna make this available, too for people. We actually, we just got this the sample so we're gonna be working on making this available to you guys as well. So that's that's the Unbreakable Planner. something that you guys can kind of model if you want to. And also at the end of this I'll find a link because I don't have it right now. I wasn't planning on doing, I wasn't planning on doing any of this. But um, let's see what else we have here.
45:08 Oh, Tiff says if you're not wanting or capable of writing, do you have another solution? That's a really good, that's a really good question. I've actually never gotten that question before. But we can kind of problem solve that right now if you want. So like, from there, we have to ask, what is it similar activity to journaling? What would have the same effect; what would help you build that awareness and allow you to get things out?
45:35 And the first thing that came to my mind was, maybe you could you could keep a, you could keep a video journal, or a voice journal just on your phone. I don't have my phone on me right now. But just like that audio recorder thing, you could just record the audio, and just speak it because like, when you're talking, you have to say one word at a time, it's a similar thing. So, if you don't like writing, try that, see if that helps you get your thoughts out, helps you get clarity to everything, and then you can also go back and listen to it again.
46:09 And I think the iPhone automatically transcribes so you could read it. If not, I think there's other transcription software's where you could like, actually transcribe what you recorded. So you can literally, literally read it back and be like, "Okay, this is what I said, this was what I was thinking, and these, these are the problems." Because a lot of times when you're filled with that emotion, you can't...almost like a vent, but it's just like your, stream of consciousness, you're just kind of like going through these ideas, and not really paying much thought. And you're you're very emotional about it, too. So when you can go back at a different time, when you're less emotional and can look at it more logically, you can identify the problems. They just become a lot clearer when you can look at it when you're not in the heat of the moment. So that's a possibility. Oh, Nancy said that. I missed that. Nancy already did the voice recorder. So there you go, Nancy, beat me to it. But let's see what's going on over here in the group.
47:18 So, that looks like that's all the questions we have here for this. And this last one here is something that nobody wants to do. But it's what all doctors, it's literally what everybody says everybody should be doing. Because it literally helps everything: your mental health, your physical health, your longevity, your energy, your mood, it just helps everything, which is exercise. And this is another piece--exercise. And it really helps when you can get into an exercise routine where you're sweating regularly, because that I mean that... there's a lot of like releasing of chemicals and toxins from from your body.
48:00 I found that when I sweat--this is just a personal thing--that I have a lot more energy, like that's the threshold where, you know, if I just run a mile, I don't really feel it. But if I run two miles, that's like the perfect level where I'm not tired, but it wakes me up. And I'm energized, but I'm not tired. Whereas like a mile is just like, I'm still sleeping after a mile. So finding an exercise routine that works for you will really, really help with your anxiet;y will really, really help you with getting out of bed in the morning.
48:35 And one point with the exercise routine is again--this is kind of the the whole theme of this video--you want to keep it freaking dead simple. All of these things, you want to keep it so simple, that on your worst day, you will still wake up and do that exercise. If it's walking around your block one time, and that's where you start. That's where you should start. If you can imagine yourself on your worst day getting up and exercising; if you're stuck in bed, your exercise can literally be "I am going to stretch in bed. I'm going to do what is that thing called the yoga pose. The downward dog, something. I don't know. But I used to do that--whatever that was--in bed, when I felt like I didn't want to get out of bed.
49:27 You can always... no matter what your situation is, you can find something.The only way that you will not find something is if you resign yourself to a mindset where you believe you can't do anything. So, you can do anything in any situation that you are in. You want to get freakin' simple. It doesn't matter what the exercise is, but you want to start at something that's manageable, that you can see yourself doing even on your worst day. So, exercise: something nobody wants to do. But if you keep it simple and you imagine yourself on your worst day, and you're like, "Okay, I can still imagine myself doing this on my worst day," then it's gonna be a lot easier to follow through. And then if you're consistent with that very simple exercise over time, you can increase it and increase it, just gradually over time.
50:14 And that's kind of the secret, you make something really simple, really easy; you lock that in as a habit. Then you just make it a little bit harder and harder, or more and more challenging as you grow, because you will personally grow as you go through this. And this second part of this, I put it with this I mean, it could be its own thing is something that I call relaxed action.
50:34 And like I said, we have all of our clients write down their to do list right here every night in the Unbreakable Planner. And you always want to be planning. Regardless of whether or not you have this, you want to plan your night. You want to plan tomorrow today, you want to plan your tomorrow today, you want to know what you're doing tomorrow, today. Every night you want to write down what you're going to do tomorrow, so you can then imagine and visualize what that day will look like the day before. So you can then implement on the things that you need to implement on. So you can actually do the things that you want to do.
51:08 When you don't have a plan when you wake up. What's your plan? wWhat's gonna happen? You're gonna convince yourself, "Hey, man, I'm too tired. You know, I'm really not... I have a lot of emotions right now." And I mean, which is like...okay, I'm not like trying to put that down and I've had days, and there are days, where you need to rest; and like, there are days that we're not going to get anything done.
51:31 But if you don't have a plan, a lot more of those days are going to happen, especially days that you do not want to have. But when you plan the day before, the night before, and you visualize it, that's a key piece, too. Like if you plan it and then you actually imagine yourself going through the steps; you know exactly what you're going to do, and you make it dead simple, so even on your worst day, you can implement it.
51:59 You are going to be that much more likely to actually go and do that thing. So to help you implement on that to-do list, I've come up with this thing called 'relaxed action' which really is just a mindset. It's just a way away of taking action which is... and this is something I would literally tell myself you know, relaxed action, relaxed action, just take relaxed action! It doesn't matter how much you get done, or how long it takes. All that matters is that I'm moving, that I'm just like, I'm just moving man, and it doesn't matter what I get done. You know, it doesn't matter if I just I get 1% of my to-do list done. It doesn't matter. The to-do list there is really just like to give you something to aim for; it's not like this "something that you need to finish each and every day"... and you can work your way up to the point where like you are finishing everything.
52:49 But relaxed action. Having that mindset of, "It doesn't matter how long it takes or how much I do, I'm just going to get myself up, I'm just going to keep going. And when you remove all the pressure of getting things done; when you remove all the pressure of being like, "I have to do this and I have to do this, I have to do this--and wow, I'm a piece of crap because I didn't do this, and I haven't done this for so long. And it's all just worthless anyways, and it's all just pointless, and why do I even try?" When you remove all that pressure, life gets a lot easier, a lot more fun.
53:23 So those really are my five things here. It's really kind of six--it's really kind of seven because I did the body scan to help you with PTSD and anxiety, but it's kind of just PTSD in general--I just erased anxiety--but it will help with anxiety. I think that's gonna fall on me... but um that's i.t I hope you guys enjoyed this video!
53:45 I will read again if there's any other comments that you guys have about this I'll stay as long as I need to to answer your questions. I think we lost the Facebook page because I can't see anything over there but I still have the Facebook group. So, I don't see any other comments, and also Facebook gets wacky, too; so like it doesn't always show the comments here. But I'll try to open up things in a new tab to see if I can see if there's any other comments that are missing here, if it will let me.
54:20 Otherwis,e we will just end things here, and I will get you that worksheet. So yeah, it looks like that's it over here. So I hope you guys enjoyed this surprise live, off-the-cuff training. If you did, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your feedback on it to see if this is something that maybe I should do more often. But yeah, I hope you enjoyed it. This 'B' was for bonus, but I didn't end up having a bonus... you know what the bonus is? The bonus is the Unbreakable Planner, and the PDF that I'm going to put in the description below.
55:10 So ,hope you guys enjoyed this. I appreciate all you guys for showing up. I hope that this will help you. Actually it looks like the Facebook page just kind of caught up for a little bit. Catherine said, "I do sit ups in bed all the time." So I guess you guys can see me and hear me.
55:41 Habiba says, "Much respect and love for coming and sharing 100! You know the struggle, and that makes you that much more effective. Peace and love for your journey." Thank you. Thank you. My voice is really dry. I need some water. Nancy says she's gonna try the relaxed action thing. That's awesome. That's really, really gonna help you. Catherine says she's "terrible at planning and sticking to a plan, when I do make one." It's good to have someone to help keep you accountable. If you do this, have a friend who asks, you have a friend who asks... I don't know why I'm doing this. I have a good friend who asks me every day, 'What did you do today?' Having an accountability partner helps. I know she's gonna ask, so it gets me out of bed." That is awesome. And that is super helpful.
56:31 If you guys have partners, or friends that know about, like, your PTSD and know about the journey that you're on to heal and become the best version of yourself, they are great, great people, the best people to get on board with your journey with everything that you are doing. So if you have a significant other, this is something Kayleen and I did. She was my accountability partner, she likes to call me... or she likes to call us "accountabilibuddies." But um, we were accountable for each other, and we would sit down--and we still do this--sit down. Every week, we used to go out for breakfast, but now we can't really go out for breakfast. And we would review our goals, what we did, and how we could improve from there; again, keeping it very simple goals, how can we improve, challenges. But um, but that's great.
56:50 Having an accountability partner is great. I know for some people, that adds more pressure to the situation, whereas other people, it helps motivate them. So you should know what you are, you don't need to have an accountability partner. It can be it can be very helpful in certain situations for certain people. But it's not necessarily necessary, at least right in the beginning. Because I know I know for like mysel,f like, I would have been kind of... I was I was in a state where I would have been ashamed of, you know, asking somebody to help me. I had such a low belief in myself that I felt that if somebody was there to help keep me accountable, that I would just let them down, and let me down even more.
58:15 So, know where you're at kind of in the journey and what would work best for you. I do believe an accountability partner is great for everybody at certain points in the journey. And maybe your accountability partner... Maybe it's just having the right accountability partner, if there's somebody you trust, who you know will lift you up instead of, you know, I don't know if... not push you down. I mean, no accountability partner should really do that. But whatever... accountability partners are great. That's the end of that sentence.
58:59 Catherine says "Yes, please do do this more often. Thank you." Awesome. Cool. And Nancy said that it was awesome. And Portia says, "This was awesome!" And Laura says Yay, I don't know if that's for me. So, great. I'm glad this was awesome. And I will... I will do this again. So we're working on on putting out more content on our YouTube channel. Which I think if you just search overcoming PTSD you can find more content there, there's a lot more really in-depth trainings just like this one on YouTube if you enjoyed this one; but yeah, this has been a lot of fun, and I appreciate all you guys so much for showing up. You guys should be really proud of yourself for for being here, for watching this, for learning. Because those are the things--learning, and then I want you guys to take that next step which actually implementing what you learn. Again, even if it's just one thing, even it it's just the frickin' butterfly hug, that could change everything for you! That could just like start the positive snowball effect in the right direction, maybe that gives you just enough relief, so you can start learning the next thing, and give you enough mental bandwidth and enough mental space so you can start learning the next thing.
1:00:16 So I want all you guys right now to give yourself a huge pat on the back for being here today, for showing up, for learning! And an advance, pat on the back for then implementing these things in the future. And I hope that I kept these things simple. If there's anything I can do to improve my teaching in the in the future, please let me know.
1:00:33 Let me spend this last moment just reviewing everything. So we covered the PMR--just so I'm ingraining this into your mind, because I want all of these things, all of these tools to be second nature to everybody. So when you need it, it's there and you can call on it. We covered the progressive muscle relaxation, right, which is just tensing and releasing different parts of your body. And we talked about the relaxed one, or the the fast one, the quick, five-minute progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense all the muscles on the front of your body, and then all the muscles on the back your body for 10 seconds each.
1:01:10 And then we talked about the body scan, which is just you mentally scanning every part of your body and releasing the tension in your body as you go through it. And you learned that all of these - the progressive muscle relaxation and the body scan - help you build awareness around your body. And your body is also the doorway to your mind, so helps you in multiple ways there.
1:01:29 The second thing we covered was deep breathing' and we we talked about like that diaphragmatic breathing; so breathing, not from your chest, chest, but from your your stomach. And you can help yourself by putting your hand on your chest and hand on your stomach. So you become aware of whether you're breathing through your chest or your stomach. And I talked about the three-six breathing. So, breathing in for three seconds, and then exhaling for six seconds.
1:01:29 And then we also covered the butterfly hug, which is the bilateral stimulation, which is the left and right tapping below your collarbones which simulates the REM sleep cycle. It helps you process whatever's going on in your mind at the moment. And then we talked about journaling, which can be helpful to vent. We talked about gratitude journaling. And always keeping like a goal in mind, always looking to identify the challenge, the problem, and then always having the intention--maybe not always overcoming the challenge while you journal, but having the intention of overcoming it so that even if you don't solve it there in that journal session, your mind is working in the background on that problem.
1:02:35 And then the last thing we talked about was exercise and relaxed action. So exercise: finding something simple. Theme: finding everything that's simple, making everything dead freakin simple, so you can do it on your worst day. So when you are the most triggered, you can remember these things and do these things we talked about. Exercise, best thing you can do is keep it as simple as possible. Simple routine, put it down on paper, make it very, very simple. If it's stretching for five minutes, if it's walking around the block, if it's a more advanced workout routine; but you want to know what you're doing. And keeping it very simple. So it doesn't change. So it's consistent. And so you can do it on your worst day.
1:03:14 And we talked about relaxed action, we talked about planning tomorrow today. And then taking relaxed action on those things, removing pressure on it. Being like, "It doesn't matter how much I get done, it doesn't matter, I don't have to be this super productive person. All that matters is that I just, I just keep moving." So when you remove that pressure, you're going to get a lot more done than putting all that pressure on you to be this super-productive, amazing person. Because I want to be this super-productive, amazing person. I want to make a big impact. I want to do all these great things with my life. I want to go really far my life' I want to become a really great person. I believe that everybody here wants that too. And I believe that if you've been here watching this thing, you want that; and that you are going to accomplish that because you are the type of person who is searching, who is seeking more information to solve their problem. And honestly that's amazing. And that's inspiring to me, so I'm proud of you. But yeah, that's that. Hope you enjoyed it. Um I'm gonna leave, man I was supposed to have dinner like three hours ago...
1:04:24 But I hope you guys enjoyed this. Have a fantastic rest of your night (if it's night for you; It's night for me). And I will do this again. Because it seems like people enjoyed it. But yeah, see you Nancy, see you Katherine, see you everybody else who showed up. Portia. Thank you guys so much. Thank you, Rick. Thank you Chassie for sharing everything that's been helpful for you, because when we can share what we all learn, we can all get better together; and I think that's what this is all about. So, thank you again, and I will see you at some unknown time in the future. We might make this a regular scheduled thing. But for now, until whenever the next time is.