Paris Keep Breathing
I am watching in shock the atrocities that took place in Paris last evening. It takes courage to be able to step out your front door and live your life without fear, after experiencing such an attack. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a form of extreme stress that prevents people from being able to live their life in a normal manner. War veterans have experienced it in the worst manner after returning from duty. Unfortunately we live in a world today where people are now suffering PTSD due to events such as these at the extremity, as well as from every day living situations. When 9/11 happened, groups were set up to help New Yorkers. They were taught simple breathing techniques to allow themselves to release fear and help their bodies recover from shock. The first part of us that shuts down when we are afraid is allowing our body to receive oxygen.
The first thing you can do for yourself is to concentrating on your breathing and to ground yourself. Try this right now:
Start by doing a body inventory to see where you are holding tension the most:
- Check, head, face, jaw, mouth forehead
- Check chest, back, stomach, hips, legs, feet, arms, and hands.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose and slowly out through mouth (as if blowing through a straw).
- Repeat a few times just to re-center your body and release any tensions you might be holding in your body.
- Notice any parts of your body that hold tension and when you breathe in focus on these parts to breathe in oxygen to these parts of your body.
- Finally Breathe in, Hold your breath for a few seconds
- While holding your breath, stretch your body: including arms & legs (as if you are waking up from a sleep)… and then breathe out, allowing your arms and legs and body to relax, releasing tension.
- Repeat two more times.
Take your time to slowly wake up your body opening your eyes and take a short moment before you stand up. It is important to wake up slowly so you avoid falling over. Deep breathing exercises can cause dizziness, so please be careful to slowly wake up and not jump up afterwards.
This exercise helps you take focus away from your mind, and focus on your body. There are more sophrology exercises that can help but this exercise can be done anywhere (as long as you are not operating equipment or driving a vehicle). Please share this article with your friends and family. We all need to help each other in times of stress and shock.
Keep Breathing Paris. We Love you and send our love to you. Paris, on vous aime, soyez forte.