• Ava Ross

Mind Matters

And sometimes that is exactly what we need to do!

I remember watching the episode of Grey’s Anatomy when Meredith lost her husband and the narrator spoke these words:

“When exposed to trauma the body deploys its own defense system…from the first second that the brain receives the signal that a catastrophe has happened, the blood rushes to the organs that need help the most. The blood floods into the muscles, the lungs, and the heart, the brain. The brain makes the decision for the rest of the body. Either face the danger or run away. Its mechanism is designed to protect the body from harm. Then From knowing that what has happened might be irreparable. Called SHOCK”…...Grey’s Anatomy

Take care of your mind before your mind takes care of you. ~Ava Ross

This was so profound and true to my quote. Within a matter of seconds that those words were spoken they were etched into my mind. While I was working on a workshop for domestic violence survivors, they resurfaced. It is important to take time out with ourselves to allow healing. Reality is that many people operate in a Dysfunctional state of mind on a daily basis and don't realize it.

Emotional trauma shock – a person may talk or act rather normal, even when you would expect them to cry or scream or fall apart. They might eventually do all those things-but it may be weeks or months later. The mind has the ability to stay “in shock” much longer than the body and it will usually only allow the person to really feel and experience the deepest levels of grief when it’s safe."....published by Carol D. O'Dell a family adviser at

Many may understand the issues resulting to a diagnosis but are unaware of the signs of stress and lack the knowledge of Coping skills. Our minds take care of us by building safety mechanisms like (Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) which is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in order to deal with extreme severe, emotional, or repetitive trauma. By building other personalities to handle what that individual can not at that time. Each personality may have a unique name, personal history, and characteristics.

Our bodies are signaling everyday but the warning signs are ignored. Here are some signs of stress:

  1. Having trouble functioning at home or work 9. Clenched jaw

  2. Suffering from severe fear, anxiety, or depression 10. Loss of appetite

  3. Unable to form close, satisfying relationships 11. Upset stomach

  4. Experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks 12. Headaches

  5. Avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma 13. Digestive problems

  6. Emotionally numb and disconnected from others 14. Fatigue

  7. Using alcohol or drugs to feel better 15. Muscle tension

  8. Stuttering 16. Rapid, shallow breathing

Some common reactions to emotional and psychological trauma:

  • Regression. Many children need to return to an earlier stage when they felt safer. Younger children may wet the bed or want a bottle; older children may fear being alone. It's important to be understanding, patient and comforting if your child responds this way.

  • Thinking the event is their fault. Children younger than 8 tend to think that if something goes wrong, it must be their fault. Be sure your child understands that he or she did not cause the event.

  • Sleep disorders. Some children have difficulty falling to sleep; others wake frequently or have troubling dreams. Give your child a stuffed animal, soft blanket, or flashlight to take to bed. Try spending extra time together in the evening, doing quiet activities or reading. Be patient. It may take a while before your child can sleep through the night again.

  • Feeling helpless. Being active in a campaign to prevent an event from happening again, writing thank you letters to people who have helped, and caring for others can bring a sense of hope and control to everyone in the family.

Source: Sidran Institute

Keeping A Healthy Mind - What To Do

When you're feeling anxious or stressed, these strategies will help you cope:

  • Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.

  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.

  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.

  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.

  • Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.

  • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.

  • Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.

  • Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.

  • Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?

  • Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.

  • Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

  • Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.

  • Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.

  • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

  • Get help online. Lantern offers online programs guided by professional coaches to help you turn healthy anxiety management into a habit. (Sponsored)

  • Listen to podcasts on a wide range of topics

  • Watch recorded webinars on topics ranging from how to worry less, coping with panic attacks, treatments for children, and helping suicidal families...and many more.

Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America


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