Rewire Your Mind: Meditate To Reprogram & Reduce Trauma

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  • Learn to Embrace Meditation: Discover why meditation can be challenging and gain insights on how to overcome the difficulties
  • Understand Your Thoughts: Develop a new relationship with your thoughts and learn techniques to navigate them effectively
  • Harness the Power of Meditation: Explore how meditation can help you break free from limiting narratives and gain control over your mental state
Aimie Apigian, MD, MS, MPH

Welcome to this interview on the Biology of Trauma Summit 3.0 where we are talking about the trauma disease connection. I am your host, Dr. Aimie, and in this interview we’re talking about the role of meditation. Now, everyone that I have talked to has found meditation difficult, which is why I wanted to have this interview on the summit. And what we talk about in this interview is how the meditation can actually help us control our state. So state control. What state are we talking about? What we’re talking about the emotional state. We’re talking about your autonomic nervous system state. And so let me share with you the three states of the autonomic nervous system in light of meditation as we go into this interview, because we have three states of our autonomic nervous system. In the middle here, we have parasympathetic, which is where we are, our best selves and our best health. And this is when meditation will actually be easy. And we want and actually what we’re going to learn about in this interview is that it actually meditation helps keep us in parasympathetic longer. So it will build your muscles to stay and be in parasympathetic. 

Now sympathetic. The Stress Response. This is when we will notice that our thoughts are just on that hamster wheel. And this is where meditation can be helpful to bring those thoughts. Notice them, become an observer of them, and then shift them to parasympathetic as we don’t give them the power to pull us back into story. And talk about more about story in just a second. Now, the trauma response is different, of course. And if you’ve been listening to the other talks, you know that the trauma response happens when our bodies get overwhelmed while they are in the stress response. And we go into this place and this is where meditation will be by far the most challenging. But one of the values of one of the values of meditation is that it helps us get out of the story. And of those who take the 21 day journey, that is what surprises them the most. They are used to talking about the story. They’re used to going into the story. I mean, that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Something happened in the past and we need to talk about it. And here they come into the 21 day journey and we don’t go into the story. We just go into noticing the sensations and helping the body move through those sensations, making the body feel safe enough, creating a felt sense of safety, and then creating a felt sense of support, and then creating a felt sense of being able to expand and open up safely in order to be more present for life. And in all of that, we stay so much in the present moment and just noticing what’s happening right now in my body, is there a knot in my stomach? Is there a constriction in my chest or my shoulders? Tighten up here? What is happening to my body? And when we put attention to that, guess where the story goes. It loses its power. It loses its relevance. The story is in the past, and I’m in the present moment and I’m noticing what’s happening to my sensations in the body. 

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