Published On: May 30, 2024Categories: Articles, Blog832 words3.2 min read

CPTSD, Fight-or-flight Response, PTSD and Trauma: Practicing Meditation to Reconnect to Yourself (+8 Tips)

May 30, 2024

I’ve been practicing meditation for close to 20 years. A practice that has changed my life. A practice that I call a practice because that’s what you have to do. You have to practice. Every day. It’s a commitment. But one that I’ve happily made. Because nothing helps me connect back to myself as much as meditation. 

I started meditating when I was about 25 and living in LA. I was overwhelmed every day. Overstimulated. Depressed. Dissociating. I had PTSD and was living in a fight-or-flight response but didn’t know it. Every day was a struggle. To breathe. To exist. Then one day while I was out wandering the busy streets, someone handed me a book on yoga. And by reading it, I learned about meditation. The breathing. The stillness. The nothingness. 

Immediately, I was determined to learn how to do it. Every day, I sat on a pillow in a corner of my apartment bedroom (that I assumed faced east), I closed my eyes, and I tried to breathe. But the mere focus on my breath almost made my breathing worse. And my mind would race so much I would cry. But I stuck with it.

Every day, I would try something new. A new position. A new mantra. Then finally, I added music, which seemed to help me the most. It quieted my mind. Then I realized that if I meditated at the same time every day, it helped even more, and before I knew it, I had a meditation practice that was actually making me feel calm for the first time in longer than I could remember. A practice I was able to maintain for almost 20 years.

Meditation helps me on days when I cannot stop crying. When I feel erratic. Disconnected. On days when my thoughts get the best of me. On days when the darkness takes over, and I want it all to end. Meditation is what helps me breathe. Helps me hear myself. And helps me reconnect back to myself. It helps me reset so I feel centered and calm. 

Now that I have a four-month-old baby, I no longer have a daily self-care routine, and I am struggling to find time to meditate, but I find that when I do, it centers me instantly. It’s as if five minutes of meditating makes up for the lack of sleep. For the lack of time for self-care. And helps me find myself once again. 

So if you’d like to give meditation a try, or if you need to refresh your practice, here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Try to meditate around the same time every day. To set a routine. This will not only help you ensure to do it every day, but your muscle memory will kick in, and your body will begin to crave it. 
  2. Find a comfortable position sitting or lying down. I’ve also found it very soothing to meditate while taking a bath. If I meditate properly and am back in my body afterward, I usually find that I’m sore, so taking a bath relieves my muscles. Two birds, one stone. 
  3. Close your eyes and mouth and remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth. This helps you remain focused and allows the air to flow through your system without leaving your body.
  4. Focus on your breath. On inhaling and exhaling. I find this to be the simplest concept of meditation, and yet the most difficult to master. To get your mind to focus solely on your breath.
  5. Focus on letting your thoughts go. You can even think of the word “let” on an inhale and “go” on exhale to help quiet your mind. Instead of focusing on your thoughts, acknowledge them and let them pass by. And remain focused on your breath.
  6. If focusing on your breath is too difficult, try doing a body scan. During a body scan, you focus your inner eye on parts of your body from head to toe. Focus on releasing tension. On adding air. On letting go.
  7. Try incorporating music. Something instrumental is always good. I use brainwave activation music when I can. I find that when I listen to it, I slip right into meditation without even trying. 
  8. Meditate for as long as you can. Until you establish a practice, you may find that you need to meditate for a longer period of time. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that you meditate for the same amount of time each time without trying. And eventually, your body will learn to reset in minutes.

However you start or maintain your meditation practice, may it help you connect to yourself. May it help you feel calm and centered. May it help you travel safely to the center of your inner universe. 

Subscribe to my website | Like me on Facebook | Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Instagram

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Browse More Blog Posts