4/18/21: What Else Are We Filling Our Brains With After Self Care?

No doubt I love analogies. Pics comparing one “thing” to the next, help me better understand new concepts. This one might be a little out there, but it came up in a convo w @mindful_michael last night, discussing common symptoms, & why some may be hard to shake.

I’ve shared that the last 3wks now, I’ve been diligent abt my STARR exercise routines (for those new here, these are Stress & Trauma Active Release & Rewiring exercises). These routines are maybe a step beyond the concept of “self-care” in holding ourselves to a “gym for our brain” just like we have physical gyms w treadmills/ellipticals.

In the past, when I’ve been diligent abt my STARR routines (for 3yrs now after my major crash), I’ve been able to work my way out of difficult stretches/relapses, in abt 2 wks. This is why I was chatting w Michael. He too has a rich trauma history, & can relate to many symptoms (& frustrations) I feel, when I/we stay diligent w routines, & still don’t see improvements.

As we were taking, I realized: we can do all the self-care &/or STARR exercises in the world…but if we’re throwing out garbage in our garbage cans, at the SAME time we’re taking out the trash to clean the house…the house never feels clean. Right? We don’t put in a new bag & start throwing away more garbage in large quantities, as we take the trash the curb. Instead we have a stretch where the cans feel empty & the house feels cleaner.

So why does this analogy fit? If we’re practicing STARR, & “taking out the trash” of the build up of stress/trauma…but, we aren’t practicing something that “ACT” therapy calls “Defusion” w pieces of “Acceptance,” then we’re filling our garbage cans, as we are taking out the trash.

More specifically: if as we’re doing releasing/rewiring exercises, we’re also letting thoughts of “why do I feel weird/why don’t I feel better,” UPSET us, we are FILLING our stress buckets or “garbage cans,” for many hrs each day while we’re trying to clean/take out the trash.

If we don’t accept just “feeling what we feel” even in a dip/as we “work out,” it’s very hard to get better. The “garbage” stays full. More on defusion soon.

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