Meditation helps create more space between our thoughts and emotional experiences and we start to learn that we are not our thoughts, our thoughts are not facts or the truth about us, and we can learn to sit with our emotions. Over time, we can start to relate to our trauma in this same way, with less emotional reaction and negative judgment.
Research also supports the use of meditation for treating trauma and PTSD. Trauma increases stress on the brain. It is not uncommon to have trouble concentrating and thinking in a clear, coherent manner after experiencing trauma. Trauma makes our amygdala reactive, which is the lizard part of our brain that reacts into fight or flight response. Meditation helps to calm the amygdala as well as other higher order parts of the brain.
Traumatic energy remains in the body until it is lovingly acknowledged and released. Meditation can help Trauma survivors face sensations related to past discomfort. There are many different ways to meditate. Did you know you can meditate while moving your body by doing yoga or taking a walk? Yes you can.
4 Tips for a Trauma-Informed Meditation Practice
Work with a trauma-informed practitioner. They can offer techniques to use when meditation becomes overwhelming, so your practice feels safe.
Stay within your comfort zone of tolerance of emotions and give yourself permission to stop at any time.
Meditate in a place that feels safe
Be patient and kind to yourself. You are simply taking the time to check in with yourself and to nourish your body, but it may take time before the practice actually feels nourishing.