Relax the Body

            Another benefit of the deep breathing is relaxing the body. When you breathe into the lower lobes, the air comes in contact with receptors that activate the part of the nervous system designed to relax your body. The benefit of relaxing the body is very important. Many symptoms of PTSD have a physical component. How helpful would it be if you could reach a skill level with the breathing where when you felt anxious, nervous, tension in your chest and had problems breathing, you could interrupt those symptoms and feel your body relaxing?

            Some of you may have already tried to calm anxiety or panic attacks with deep breathing and it didn’t help. Others may express frustration with being able to stay focused. This reinforces the importance of practice and training to become skilled in deep breathing. I will be asking you over and over to be aware of physical symptoms like, “where do you feel that in your body?” Practice, training, hard work, determination, patience and commitment are essential along with a belief in your ability to get the job done. I heard a phrase years ago which has always meant a lot to me. “Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.” If you think or say, “I don’t think I can do this,” you won’t be able to do it. So the optimum attitude is, “I can do this!”

            In a few minutes, we’re going to do an exercise that can help you become more aware of your body. I’m going to ask you to shift awareness to different parts of your body, take a breath in, tense that part of your body for a few seconds and then let the breath out and release the tension. When you breathe out, make an audible sigh as you let the tension go and feel that part of your body relax.

           Listen to CM3


             Get into groups of threes and take about five minutes to discuss the exercise and your response to it and then we’ll discuss it in the group. Remember the goal is to help you become more aware of your body. The important reason for this will be more clear as the training progresses. (Group discussion after small groups)

             The primary goal of this group; to learn how to create something different in all situations. So how do we get started? By practicing the breathing and learning to be attentive, alert, and focused.

                       Listen to CM4


             I have a question. What was, is, or will be the most important moment in your life? You may be unsure what I mean, but I want you to think about it. Most people think about something that has already happened or something they hope will happen in the future. I’ll give you a hint. It can’t be in the past and it can’t be in the future. (Group discussion)

            Yes. That only leaves right now. Most of you were thinking about the past or future. Am I right? A lady once told me she always wanted children and the most important moment in her life would be giving birth to her first child. So why would now be the most important moment in our lives? Because it’s all we have. Where is the past? Can you see it? Is it in this room? Can you touch it? Where does it exist? Only in our brain, in our memory. Where is the future? It doesn’t exist yet. So the past is somewhere in our brain and the future doesn’t exist yet. How many of you feel you spend way too much time living in the past and anticipating the future? (Group Discussion)