Reduce PTSD Symptoms With Mindfulness

November 29, 2013 Michele Rosenthal

Ever been caught off guard with quick and shallow breathing, increased heartbeat, foggy thinking or sweaty palms? Most likely that's because an unconscious thought has gotten loose and is wreaking havoc in your body. Your PTSD symptoms were triggered, and you couldn't stop your body's response, and none of that is your fault. But you can reduce these bodily responses by becoming more mindful of your thoughts.


How Unconscious Thoughts Trigger PTSD Symptoms

How you can reduce those unexpected increased symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder with the simple practice of mindfulness.A thought creates a physical reaction. Literally, every time you have a thought your brain releases chemicals that affect you physically in the form of a feeling. In PTSD, the process of turning thoughts into feelings can trigger the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. In essence, the process turns PTSD-manufactured anxious thoughts into faulty anxious emotion. You feel powerless and out of control all of a sudden and for no logical reason.

Mindfulness Reduces PTSD Symptoms Slowly and Over Time

In my recent interview with Dr. Ron Siegel, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School (where he has taught for over 30 years), he explained,

Once people start paying attention to what’s happening moment to moment in their mind and body they notice that it’s something of a challenge to be aware of present experience with acceptance because the mind tends to go off into this stream of all kinds of memories of the past and fantasies of the future.

Many of the places the mind goes are distressing or painful, so it becomes important to gently and over time train the mind to come back to the present.

More PTSD and Mindfulness Articles

Unfortunately, the interview with Dr. Ron Siegel is no longer available. However, there are other PTSD and mindfulness articles on HealthyPlace, including the ones listed below.

APA Reference
Rosenthal, M. (2013, November 29). Reduce PTSD Symptoms With Mindfulness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Michele Rosenthal

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