Trauma can have a significant impact on our lives, often causing us to feel overwhelmed and struggling to cope, says Jonah Engler. However, by creating a trauma-informed lifestyle, we can manage these symptoms and improve our wellbeing.
Jonah Engler-In this article, we will explore 8 steps that can help us create such a lifestyle.
Step 1: Establishing boundaries
2: Creating a support network
3: Taking care of ourselves
4: Expressing our emotions
5: Practicing self-compassion
6: Developing a trauma-sensitive perspective
7: Focusing on positive experiences
8: Seeking professional help.
One of the key components of creating a trauma-informed lifestyle is establishing healthy boundaries. Trauma can often leave us feeling overwhelmed and violated, so it is important to create boundaries that protect our physical and emotional space. This might involve setting limits on how much we are willing to do or spend time with people, refusing to tolerate certain behaviors, or creating safe spaces in our home or office. It is also important to be mindful of our body language and tone of voice when communicating boundaries, as these can be just as important as the words we use.
Creating a Support Network
A support network is another essential component of a trauma-informed lifestyle. This might include friends, family members, or professionals who we can count on to provide emotional support and practical assistance. When we feel overwhelmed or struggling to cope, having people we can turn to for help can make a world of difference. It is important to remember that not everyone in our support network needs to be able to provide expert advice on trauma; simply having someone to listen and offer encouragement can be incredibly helpful.
Taking Care of Ourselves
In order to manage the symptoms of trauma, it is crucial that we take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. This might involve making time for activities we enjoy, eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and taking breaks when we feel overwhelmed. It is also important to be mindful of our self-talk and avoid putting ourselves down or judging ourselves harshly.
Expressing Our Emotions
Trauma can often leave us feeling isolated and ashamed, so it can be difficult to express our emotions. However, it is important to do so whenever possible as this can help us to process what we are feeling and start to heal. This might involve writing in a journal, talking to a friend or therapist, or using creative outlets such as art or music. It is also important to be aware of the warning signs that we are bottling up our emotions, such as physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches, and take steps to address these.
When we are struggling with the aftermath of trauma, it can be difficult to be kind and forgiving towards ourselves. However, self-compassion is an essential part of healing and can play a key role in managing our symptoms. This might involve taking some time each day to practice self-compassion exercises, such as writing down three things we are proud of about ourselves or recognizing that our feelings are valid even if they are negative.
Developing a Trauma-Sensitive Perspective
A trauma-sensitive perspective is another important component of creating a trauma-informed lifestyle. This means viewing the world through the lens of someone who has experienced trauma, which can help us to be more understanding and compassionate towards ourselves and others. It can also help us to identify potential triggers and take steps to avoid or deal with them.
Focusing on Positive Experiences
When we are struggling with the aftermath of trauma, it can be difficult to focus on anything other than our pain and negative experiences. However, deliberately focusing on positive experiences can be incredibly helpful in managing our symptoms. This might involve keeping a gratitude journal, savoring happy memories, or looking for the good in challenging situations.
Seeking Professional Help
Although self-care is an essential part of managing the symptoms of trauma, there may come a time when we need additional support. When this is the case, it is important to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who is knowledgeable about trauma. By working with a qualified professional, we can get the support we need to start healing and managing our symptoms.
Jonah Engler Silberman concludes creating a trauma-informed lifestyle can be an important step in recovering from the effects of trauma. By following these tips, we can create a supportive environment for ourselves and begin the process of healing.