The foundation of healing trauma starts with safety and connection. When our bodies feel safe, we are able to focus on our goals, our dreams and our relationships with others. However, when we are unable to feel safe then our lives become focused on protecting ourselves, we tend to go into fight or flight mode more easily, and we are unable to fully relax and adapt to a new way of thinking. When we experience a PTSD flashback, the trauma sends a warning signal to our brain that the traumatic event may happen again, so we are reminded of the painful experience in order to avoid it. Often this can cause our prefrontal cortex to go offline and "fight or flight" responses take over, or could lead to a panic attack because our nervous system is unable to differentiate a traumatic memory from something that is currently happening. Both of these reactions happen as a result of disconnection between our mind and our body. The vagus nerve located behind our throat controls our "fight or flight" responses and can be "stretched" to increase our tolerance to stressful and triggering situations. Below are some links to helpful exercises to stimulate the vagus nerve, info on the polyvagal theory, and some exercises to relax the psoas muscles, where trauma is often stored in the body.