I have a technique to alleviate your PTSD trauma movie, that worked for me and might work for you. The only way to find out if it works for you is to try it. This technique, if used properly, can reduce the intensity of your trauma movie.
Anybody can be traumatized, a child or an adult. Some people, the smallest of things can traumatize you. Other people, it might be the atrocities of war to traumatize you. This technique I will teach you does not care what your trauma is. It will work on your personal trauma experience, regardless of what traumatized you.
It’s pretty simple, you just say a statement when you are recalling your trauma. I’ll tell you what the statement is later. But first, you will need to understand a few things.
From school, I learned there are two types of memory, short and long term. Short term memory is used for in the moment needs, it is fleeting and volatile. It allows you to recall where you left the keys or where your pen is located, on the table or behind the ear. It doesn’t last very long and fades quickly. Long term memory can be used when you want to remember events, names or material for a test. Although, it takes a little work to put information into long term memory. But does fade over time if not recalled occasionally for retention. Repetition of memory is the best method for long term memory retention.
I am not a doctor or researcher, but I suggest there is another type of memory, trauma memory. It is a survival mechanism or tool designed to keep humans alive. Your mind determines this event is a traumatic event and proceeds to burn it into long term memory. Trauma memory is easy to recall and does not fade easily. It is used as a warning. Do not put yourself into that situation again, that what is says.
Short term memory is easy to recall but fades quickly and eventually disappears. Long term memory is a little more difficult to establish but can last a long time. It’s easy for trauma to be burned into long term memory, is easy to recall, hard to stop, and difficult to remove.
A video recorder is used to record images and sound. Ready to be played back at any time without loss of image or sound quality. Our mind records visual and sound also and much more. Your mind is a multi-sensory recorder. Recording all the senses like sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, feelings, and emotions. If trauma occurs, your mind records all these senses into long term memory. Ready to be played back over and over again, emotions and all, call it a trauma movie. This can be why PTSD can be debilitating. When a trauma movie is triggered you essentially relive the trauma, with all the bad emotions and feelings included. It can be debilitating.
The ability to summon memories in the mind depends on how often you recall them. Long term memories can fade if you don’t recall them periodically. For the trauma movie to fade from memory, you must not recall it often. Unfortunately, trauma movies are easy to start and hard to stop. So, getting the trauma movie to fade and not be as debilitation, is done by not viewing the trama movie.
I had a friend who hated the smell of Budweiser beer. Budweiser is aged with beechwood, and he had a really bad experience working as a carpenter in a factory that used a lot of beechwood. Every time he smells beechwood his trauma movie would start. It turns out, the sense of smell is great for recalling memories like pine can recall experiences with Christmas celebrations. All the senses and emotions can trigger your trauma movie.
The technique to alleviate your trauma movie is simple but must be executed properly for it to work. Once your trauma movie starts, please follow these steps, in this order
- Breathe in to begin calming.
- Breathe out slowly
- Say the statement — “Not now, I’ll deal with it later” with no emotion.
- Let go and move on with what you are doing.
Why say it with no emotion? That’s how you get the statement to be heard by your subconscious. It’s the subconscious that will stop the trauma movie, this is the key to it. If you say the statement with an emotion, like fear or frustration, it will not be passed to the subconscious and will stay in the conscious and the movie will not stop. It takes a little practice, like an antibiotic. If you just take one antibiotic pill nothing happens, but if you take a pill three times a day for ten days, it will cure your infection.
For the first two weeks, it is best to say the statement out loud. Then after that, you can say it in your mind. By stopping your trauma movie after you have been triggered, you will help to dull the trauma memories. Like long term memory that doesn’t get reviewed often, eventually fades away. This is how you can alleviate your trauma movie.
I’m not a doctor or psychologist. I don’t know what they would say about this. But this method works for me. If you try it, which I hope you do, it may work for you. I can’t guarantee this, but I think you should give it a try. Good luck.