The Calming Breath
Psycho-neurobiology tells us that traumatic stress from an incident or chronic high stress conditions puts our bodies into survival – fight, flee, run like crazy or hide. Most of us know this. When Fight or Flee is the constant, the parasympathetic nervous system that stimulates self soothing hormones is weakened and we lose the ability to sooth and comfort ourselves.
The next go-to place for self-soothing becomes drugs, alcohol and high risk behavior. High risk behavior stresses the body so severely that the exhausted self soothing hormones will give what it can to the cause. Now that is the most simple way of understanding this dynamic and should explain why some of our PTSD combat veterans get hooked on the cycle of sever stress - relax. We can become addicted to our own bodies chemistry. So how do we take care of one half of the problem: One of the first and best ways to strengthen the self soothing system is by consciously slowing the breath to about six breaths a minute– this easy method is used in disaster areas and war zones with great success. A great way to learn the Calming Breath is by blowing bubbles -- children can be directly helped this way. Keep Bubbles in your Emergency Art Kit. The Emergency Art Kit.