Sarah Sultan – Muslim Mental Health – Wired For Danger – Effects of Trauma on Brain

Sarah Sultan
AI: Summary © The speaker discusses the process of changing one's mindset and body to focus on the present moment, rather than focusing on past experiences. They suggest focusing on the present moment and avoiding panic, as it can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety. The speaker also emphasizes the importance of exploring the worst-case scenario and avoiding anxiety and fear.
AI: Transcript ©
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You remember, we were talking about trauma, right? What happens to your brain on trauma? This this fear center is on the decision making process is off. Right? You're living in constant fear. Our decisions are not even our own at that point, right? If somebody then takes her life because she can't handle, who are we to judge, it's up to Alice has data to judge that situation where he knows her better than she even knows herself to bring your prefrontal cortex the decision making part of your brain back online, out of the trauma, fear center, danger mode, survival mode part of your brain, how would we do that for ourselves? Right? And so part of the the way that I find to be most

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beneficial, because if if we're trying to like change, like some people might say, will change your thought process, right? Change. But you can't think right, you can't think straight, to be able to change your thought process to think, Oh, this is not a rational thought. And this is a rational thought, this is unhealthy. And this is healthy, you can't do that. And so you have to do it from an approach that doesn't require thinking. And that approach is through your body, physically, right. And so that's either through mindfulness that's surrounding that through reclaiming the fact that you you were traumatized, then, and you were unsafe, then but you're safe now. And your body can

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tell that to your brain. Because your brain is not going to believe it. If you say it. If you say oh, hey, I'm safe. Now.

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Does that make a difference? No. But if you can control your breathing enough, right, so that your body is saying, If I really was in danger, I would be out of breath. But the fact that I can take in a deep breath, the fact that I can sit here, relax, the fact that I can take the tension out of my body, the fact that I can feel the ground beneath my feet and focus in on that sensation, the fact that I can focus on water on my hands, the fact that I can focus on these things, tells me that I am no longer in that unsafe situation. I am currently in a different moment. And I can focus on this moment. And that helps to bring your brain back online. If you think about it in terms of jujitsu,

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Is you is not just breathe, right? But you you focus in, okay, I'm like, I have this person who's 50 pounds heavier than me. They're blocking my airway. Right? And, and I'm feeling panicked, right? Because I have to get out of this. The more you panic, the less capable you'll be. But if you focus on, okay, because what, what, what causes panic and what causes fear? What if this and this and this happens? It's a fear about the future. That's what causes that panic and fear, right? And so and so as soon as you can get out of the what ifs, and you focus in on what is the present moment, you think, okay, this person has their hand over here, their leg is here, you focus in on the pressure

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points, you focus in on what you are feeling in the present moment. And that focus calms you down enough to be able to get out of it. Right. But if you're focusing in on Well, what's going to happen if I don't get out of it, then you won't get out of it. Because you're too busy focusing on something you have no control over, versus focusing in on what is in your control at that moment. That's one of the techniques that I use in therapy a lot. Yep, is when you when you can identify the worst case scenario, say it out loud, and how you would deal with that worst case scenario, it loses its power, right? And you're not as scared anymore. And you can go into that situation. You know,

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like I had several clients who were taking, like, really big exams, whether it's the MCAT, or whether it's like some big exam and their graduate school program and everything and there's so much fear, right? So much fear in terms of like, well, what if I fail? What if this happens and everything I'm like, Okay, well, what if? Let's talk about it? What if you do fail? What if you spent all these years working toward this goal, and it doesn't happen?

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Then what, what what now? What would you do? You're like, Okay, well, I guess I can still do this and that and everything like, exactly, it's not the end all be all. It's not the end of the world, as you say that now how do you feel about it? You're still nervous, but you're not terrified anymore. And so you're not going into the you're going into the exam with typical anxiety and nerves, not in like survival mode of like, if I fail, my life is over. Right? And so it really helps to explore the worst case scenario.

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