Treating PTSD: How Do You Talk To Yourself?
Friday, July 24th, 2009 • Uncategorized •
In order to heal we have to create the right environment for healing to occur. This means our minds must be filled with our belief in the healing process and our ability to navigate it.
One of the major negative influences we have on ourselves is our internal dialogue. In order to be aware of the mental environment you’re creating – and how that may be negatively impacting your healing -
It’s incredibly necessary to listen to how you talk to yourself.
What sounds are you using in your mind? Are they harsh or comforting? High or low? Loud or soft? What’s the tone of the voice?
80% of the meaning we find in language comes from the tone in which it’s spoken. Are you speaking in a way that makes you feel unhappy? Are you saying things that are unkind and demeaning?
If the answer is Yes! it’s time to make some changes!
Here’s the fact: You are responsible for the environment in your head. No one helping you heal can do anything about that space but you. And no one can help you heal if that space is poisoned by the way you speak to yourself and the things you allow yourself to continually say.
It’s up to you to create the internal environment in which you live. It’s up to you to make your self-talk champion and cheerlead not accuse, denigrate or destroy your sense of self, worth and possibility. The environment you create informs everything you feel and do.
Take a second. Be quiet. Close your eyes and think, “I want to heal my PTSD.”
And then listen to the chatter that ensues.
What are you saying? How do you treat yourself? Do you offer support, faith, hope and belief? Or do you speak to yourself in a slew of negatives that further stress out your already stressed PTSD mind?
My mother used to always tell me, “Michele, your mind knows only what you tell it. Stop telling it bad things.”
And I would snarl something about my mind having a mind of its own and what did she know about it anyway?
But the truth is she knew a lot. Thoughts only spring to mind because we create them and allow them to live and breathe.
As Richard Bandler says, “All the things that come into our minds are there because we can, NOT because we have to.”
Neurologically speaking all thoughts – the good, the bad and the ugly - occur by the same voluntary processes. Fortunately, this means you have the ultimate control. Unfortunately this means you have to stand up and take that control and make it work for you.
No emotion exists without a preceding thought. Thoughts arise from the environment you create in your mind. It’s a simple equation. Memorize it. Act on it. Get on with the business of healing.
BRIDGE THE GAP EXERCISE
Remember the earlier BTG exercises when you made lists after listening to your internal dialogue? Time to take them out again. Today, go over each statement you wrote down and rewrite it in the positive. As you go through the next few days monitor your thoughts; each time you hear negative self-talk revise the statement in the positive. For example, “Healing won’t happen for me,” becomes, “Healing is happening for me.”
Changing your state of mind means changing how you build that state. Vocabulary is key!