Focusing Tip #626 – When your trauma gets triggered by current events
Are you suffering PTSD symptoms just from watching the news? Read on…
What’s going on this past week, with the US Senate Judiciary Committee hearings last Thursday, and all the reactions in social media and by commentators, has got me feeling so triggered. My mind is foggy, my fingers are numb, my heart is beating too fast, I’m jumpy… it’s like I’m having PTSD symptoms. I’d like to sort out my own feelings and maybe take some kind of action, but I’m just feeling super-overwhelmed.
You are certainly not alone in all that. There seems to be a sort of collective triggering of trauma states going on. So let’s be there for each other in solidarity… and let’s put into practice what we know about what to do when triggered.
First of all it can be good to know that your reactions are normal and natural. These feelings don’t mean that you are a weak person or that you are going crazy. They are understandable. You can even say to yourself, “No wonder!”
Second, pause and turn toward the physical reactions you are having. Heart beating too fast? Let a gentle hand go to your heart, and say, “Yes, I know you are feeling scared.” (You are talking to something in you that is scared…)
Can you feel that something in you just wants to hide, just wants to escape? Pause and say to that part of you, “I sense you want to hide and escape, no wonder. I am here with you.”
The whole idea is to (1) notice how you feel (2) give your feelings company.
We’re not suggesting that you try to change your feelings directly. Sure, do activities that help you access your resources: meditating, yoga, walking in nature, and so on.
But don’t tell yourself not to feel how you are feeling. Not only does that not work, it’s actually a repetition of the “silencing and dismissing” of true feelings that so many of us are reacting to.
After you have given time and company to your feeling states… and they will eventually calm down in that safe environment you are giving them… you’ll have a clearer head and heart to sense if there is action that feels right to take. And when the action comes from your Self-in-Presence, it will attract allies, naturally.