Ulf Zetterlund, Göteborg, Sweden
By Ulf Sandström and Gunilla Hamne, courtesy of The Peaceful Heart Network
- We believe world peace and stability depends on individual peace and stability, and that you can be a part of creating it.
- To develop and spread the worlds most efficient models and techniques, such as TTT, for minimizing symptoms of stress and trauma at a minimum cost.
- To make it globally scalable and available to everyone.
- To collaborate with every organisation and individual interested in the same goals.
- To provide all know-how as open source.
These are ten essentials for mental health that we find important. For more information visit our website.
1. Understanding mental health in relation to social context
Our capacity to handle stress is related to the present social context and situation – a new environment can trigger the nervous system in a “new” way. Stress is not like a broken leg that is just as broken regardless of where the person is – it is a reaction to a situation and social context that triggers a response there fore it is important to create a context where people feel safe and can relax.
2. Understanding stress and trauma
Stress is invisible and hard to identify. To know and be able to identify signs of stress is to be able to self calibrate. To understand the mechanics of stress and trauma is to be able to understand how to work with and help people suffering from this.
3.Avoiding transference of trauma – Secondary trauma
Both stress and trauma can be transferred from one person to another – similar to how a virus is spread. There are hygienic approaches to mental health – in effect there are precautions we all need to take take to prevent stress from building up and spreading or how we can avoid catching it from others.4. Flashbacks/ Flashbulb memories
When we experience a flashbulb memory, or flashback, it is like we are temporarily displaced from the reality of now and react through a filter of the past. A person in this state needs to be brought back into now and to a sense of safety. This can be done with grounding techniques.
5. The health care pyramid
There are many things that can be done without experts. If we turn the pyramid of health care up side down allowing everybody to be a part of the solution many more will be helped. Article>>
6. Physical and mental resilience
To have resilience is to be able to handle and bounce back from stressful situations. Resilience can be trained. One way is to know how to secure enough sleep, food , water and exercise. Already after a few days without sleep we risk poorer judgement, and in the long run psychosis. Knowing how to access a moment of deep relaxation by self regulation can be a vital help. Being prepared mentally for things that can happen creates empowerment and resilience.7. Social context
Human beings are social creatures. Creating a safe social context is a key component of preserving, healing and maintaining mental health. There are simple ways of integrating this into daily routines.
8.Adopting an attitude of empowerment
How we approach helping others will affect how we can handle our workload and difficulties. It is shown through research that we handle these situations better when we come from a position with
9. Culture and communication
Always take local culture and ways of communication into consideration, or as we say “ Take off your shoes and listen”. Listening and asking before imposing or offering help are key elements.
10. Practical techniques
A grounding technique is a way to quickly help an individual that is slipping into an extreme stress reaction.
B.Group exercises in the organization and partner organizations
C.Reaching out to others with First Aid for stress and trauma
By Ulf Sandström – This article first appeared in the Journal of Healing and Hypnotherapy (Volume 1, March 2017)
The Soul GPS is a hypnotic tool that I add at the end of almost every session to reinforce the positive transformations we have initiated and because it seems to be an incredibly healing and strengthening tool for any future challenges
If you are familiar with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) or if you want to google some of the components mentioned, you will recognize that this intervention contains elements of the Circle Of Excellence where you create and anchor a state of peak performance, Future Pacing – testing a new emotional state in imagined future situations, Time Line – where the new state is brought back to earlier challenges to see if the outcome is better and Perceptual Positions – where you get to see yourself and your life from different perspectives. It is in part based on research that your body can reverse engineer feel-good hormones if we smile (check the TED-talk on Power Posing by Amy Cuddy) allowing that very smile through an emotional spin to make it as large as possible and then condition it to become an anchor that re-triggers the state. It involves reframing your life into a positive although unknown outcome through this smile and then using this smile to make better decisions and face challenges with a state of resilience from this moment.
By the time I introduce this content there has already been an interview, a hypnotic induction a trance deepener and an intervention of some sort depending on the issues at hand. No two sessions are alike so try to observe the underlying patterns rather than regarding the text as a script. (My comments and reflections are in brackets).
“Now…. Imagine yourself arriving into the future, where you find yourself standing on a beach, looking out over the ocean, and you are over 100 years old, maybe even 117 – according to the Bible 120 years is fully possible for us to become already over 2000 years ago – imagine… if you have kids they are retired already… and you may feel the warm sand under the soles of your feet (kinesthetic), hearing the waves (auditive) and maybe smelling that special characteristic of a beach (olfactory) as the sun shines in a beautiful way, like a sunset or a sunrise (visual) and as in a dream a wonderful spaceship can be coming to take you to the next stage of existence… whatever that can be…
(My sessions are packed with metaphors and humor, and I find that framing our last moment as being picked up by a spaceship takes the edge of dying for most, and 117 years usually widens their perspectives. As an observation very few people have decided on a specific age they would like to reach, except in Sweden, where the song “Happy Birthday” repeats the line “may you live until 100 years of age” which I find depressing in many making all birthdays after 50 a downhill count. At least for me, singing 150 improves the mood of any birthday.)
As you imagine standing there on the beach you may realize what life was truly all about, and that so many things you thought were important at the time are completely irrelevant now, in the future, as you are summing it up…. and the only way you will know for sure that you did the right things, made te right desicions, are content with your long life, is by the smile you can find on your face, as you think of everything, what kind of smile you want to have on your face, summing up a lifetime of good and bad, ups and downs, grief, joy, disease, love, disaster, work, darkness, light and extatic moments… the kind of smile you would like to have when everything is over…
(here, that exact smile usually appears on the clients face) yes, that’s it, your body knows, because if you remember, before you ever knew anything, before you knew your name, as an infant, that looks into the eyes of a friendly person, that is safe and warm and fed, and somebody says “peek a boo” and you may giggle…. and that is the same smile, of pure simple happiness… as a red thread you may wish for throughout your life… into that future… and now spin it and make it stronger, and bigger… warmer – this is your smile, your desicion, how you want to feel about life then, looking back…
(here I put an anchor on their knee if the smile is great, which is usually is)
And now… allow that smile to enter every cell of your body and mind… this is your soul smiling through your face… allow every door to open that has to do with that smile… and let it through… like a surprise birthday party in a great story…
And in this future… back in the past, when you move forward from now… every decision you make, from what sock to put on first, what to eat, when to sleep, who to call, what career to pursue and what relations you will work for… will be led by this smile, it is the GPS of your soul.. . simply think about any decision in the past or future and try this smile, if it fits, it is the right decision, to look back on, when you are on that spaceship, 117 years old…. going back to start over…. now, letting a part of you move forward, and another part moves in the other direction, flying curiously back past 112, 105, 99… celebrating 90 line dancing on the Chinese Wall… 87, 84, 83, 72… flowing back through the future, smiling… (reinforcing with the anchor point) 68, 62… (counting backwards until we are getting close to your current age, that I always check at the interview) and now, as you are floating over the city (where we are during the session) you find that you can recognize the road you took to get here earlier today, you see a window (if there is one) and behind it you can see yourself sitting with your eyes closed in a leather chair (if you are with me that’s what you will be sitting in), with that very same smile. Imagine… floating in over you and then landing in yourself in the same way you might step into a pair of well worn shoes that fit so perfectly… and when you are completely in yourself now and here and you can feel that smile, you can 1, take a moment, 2, as I count to five and you will emerge on the other side of this experience, 3, feeling the changes, 4, noticing, and remember some time if you as a child ran down to water and jumped in, or saw somebody do it, that feeling when you take a leap of faith and smile 5, now!”