Passenger on a Train (At Home Therapy Exercises EMDR) Part 7

When you suffer from betrayal trauma and/or PTSD it can be very overwhelming to be in public places.  There could be a million different things that can cause triggers that send you into a downward spiral that is hard to get out of. For a better description of what it is like click here. Below is another tool I use when I am at home or in a public place.

When I am out in a public place I can and will get triggered by lots of things. There are over a million things that can trigger me  I learned to be a “Passenger on a Train”.  I visualize my train down to every little detail. It is good to get a good visualization of your train before you are in a public place.  Make sure your train has a window you can open so you can hear the noises too.  It is also important to smell the smells as you travel on this train. When you are getting triggered you can put yourself as a “Passenger on a Train”.  Watch the trigger go by from right to left or left to right.  Smell the smells, hear the noises and feel them go by as you travel on your train. The idea is to train your brain to take your triggers and process them in a way where you acknowledge them but do not let the feelings send you into that dreadful downward spiral.

The hardest part about this tool and other tools is to remember you have them available. Make sure you keep a list of different tools and exercises that work for you. This list should always be handy.

“You will never be the same, but you can be better.” -Lauren Beth

EMDR & Home Therapy Exercises Part 5 “Chores”

I have learned a lot over the last 3 ½ years when it comes to what works when I am overwhelmed with triggers and heavy emotions. Some of the worse times for triggers are when I am doing household chores. A good example is when I do the dishes. I go on auto pilot when doing them and that is when the thoughts, triggers and emotions sneak in.  All the everyday chores a Mom must do are the type of chores I would have the hardest time with all the thoughts coming up. At any given moment of any day you could catch me balling my eyes out, frozen from the hurt, paused in time, in the middle of doing a chore.   

A little over a year and half ago during an appointment with my EMDR therapist I learned what to do when I was doing household chores to help process all the triggers I was having.  At the time I was having a hard time at work.  I was having to open boxes upon boxes of wood flooring.  My therapist brought up using a cross body motion to slice the boxes open.  The next day I sliced those boxes open with passion.  After the relief I received from this I started to implement the same thing to all chores I did.  After this second D-DayI am using this same therapy tool again. 

The way to do this exercise is simple.  When you are doing everyday household chores turn them into a chore where you use your body in a left to right rhythm. This is very similar to when Daniel in The Karate Kid does the “Wax on and wax off.” If you are unable to do the whole-body rhythm use your left hand, then switch to your right hand. A good example is when I vacuum, I push the vacuum with my left arm and pull back with my right. When I do dishes, I make sure I am passing the dish from one hand to the other. When cleaning counter tops I do the same thing.   I try to get the largest left to right motion and keep at a good fast paced rhythm. I allow all the triggers to come at me. I don’t try to control my thoughts or emotions. They tend to go as fast as they come when I would normally go on a roller coaster ride with my thoughts. As long as I keep a good pace, the thoughts are getting processed the way my brain can handle it best and in turn keeping myself from suffering anymore physical ailments.

This is a great way to process your thoughts and get them “filed away neatly” in your brain. I have noticed while going through this second recovery round I am having an easier time processing my triggers and find myself naturally doing the exercises and tools I learned from before.  When you practice all the different at home therapy exercises and tools you develop a second nature to processing your triggers that can provide some relief.    

Link to all At Home Therapy Tools