EMDR – EYE MOVEMENTS WHICH REDUCE STRESS AND LET US FEEL DISTANT
EMDR means Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a very simple therapeutic method which simulates the state of mind when we sleep and we have intense dreams. This phase of sleep is called the REM and it is crucial for our mental health and our mood during a day. It serves us to process all the pieces of information from our lives – it deletes the ones we don’t need anymore, it saves the new ones and according to those, it changes the ways our subconsciousness functions and we consciously think. And what is the most important – it reduces stress and let us feel distant to what happened in our life. Thanks to REM we can change the perspective of how we look at things.
It is like the human brain, the biggest and the most incredible computer of all time has an update every time when we are in the REM phase. And this phase is characterized by rapid eye movements. So what a great idea to have more updates when we feel depressed, we have PTSD, C-PTSD, panic attacks, depression, anxiety or we are under the influence of huge stress, don’t you think? The point of EMDR is exactly to move your eyes very fast from one side to another so it just repeats the simple pattern from the REM phase of sleep. In my opinion, it is totally genius! And it is logical when we survived something traumatic, we need more REM to integrate that. But unfortunately, after trauma, it is typical to have problems with sleeping. EMDR is a smart solution for that, isn’t it?
So how and where to do EMDR? First of all, you can do it with a therapist. During a session, you recall your emotions or memories and then your eyes just follow your therapist’s finger. It sounds simple and weird, doesn’t it? But believe me, this method of therapeutic work is very effective. It is worth trying. And you can also use EMDR yourself when you are overwhelmed by strong emotions, you have a flashback or a panic attack or you wake up at night from a nightmare. I will share with you my way to do that in these kinds of situations.
So I sit in the middle of the room I am in to have walls on both sides and I move my sight as fast as possible from left wall to the right and right wall to the left till I can’t focus on that anymore. What is important, it is necessary to not move your head then so I put my index finger at the height of my nose and somehow it helps me to have my head immobile when I know where is the center. So after some time when I can’t do eye movements at a high speed anymore, I have a break. I let myself feel my emotions and think what changed in me, what kind of pictures I saw in front of my eyes if there were any. And after I rest a bit, I repeat eye movements till I feel better.
A word about the effects. From my experience every time I do EMDR my emotions become easier to handle and I feel calmer. I used EMDR a lot at the beginning of my inner journey when I had strong PTSD. I worked this way both with my therapist during sessions and myself when I felt overwhelmed. EMDR helped me to work on flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks and depression when I had to get out of my bed but I felt unable to do that. And it was a very useful tool for me to have some progress in therapy at that time because my emotions were too overwhelming to let me communicate. What is amazing about EMDR – it doesn’t require talking with a therapist at all. So if you are in the place you have a problem to open in front of someone, you can’t find enough trust to share what is happening to you as I did, EMDR sessions could be a solution.
To sum up – EMDR is only about moving eyes at high speed but the effects are incredible. This tool as much as the natural REM phase when we sleep let our memories and emotions become less intense. We become distant and we have a possibility to look at the difficulties, the traumas we survived like they are only sad memories. EMDR is a way to become more grounded. Great when we have problems to function in reality and awesome when we are unable to talk with a therapist because we don’t have to do that in this method.
If you have any questions about EMDR, I can share more about my experience with you. Just text me or leave a comment. Follow me in social media to be updated about the next posts. You can find there more materials from me!