Emotional trauma is a part of life. Whether you discuss it openly or keep it secret, all of us have faced emotional distress or difficulty at some point in life.
You may have read about my journey through the trauma of my Dad’s suicide. I have shared it openly, in hopes that my story will give others comfort or hope, and also because it was a huge catalyst for setting me on this career path of wellness coaching and energy work.
Everyone’s journey through emotional situations is different. Although trauma is always challenging and always life changing, there is a spectrum of how people process it. Some will find a way to maintain a smile and a positive attitude through the pain, others will dwell on every setback, and still more will find themselves somewhere in between.
At some point in your process, you will likely come to realize that while the emotional setbacks you experience in life are often not in your control, the way you react to them is. To quote William Arthur Ward, "happiness is an inside job." You can decide whether a difficult time makes you stronger or leaves you feeling like a victim.
The victim mentality is a learned characteristic in which a person feels unable to deal with or take action in difficult situations. These people perceive themselves as suffering from life’s experiences and continue to feel this way even after the negative situation or actions are no longer present or relevant.
The good news is, this mindset can be changed when you’re ready to step out of it. It doesn’t necessarily mean your pain will end, but your suffering can end. You can choose what to focus on, what to think about, how to accept the pain and commit to something beyond it – to make a positive difference and give your experience meaning beyond suffering.
1. Develop a positive mindset to experience a positive life. When the inner self becomes more positive, the external environment is automatically perceived as positive. A positive environment then makes you content, and a content mind can push you towards productivity. Productivity results in success, and success on any level makes your happier. Mindset change is a cycle; pursue a positive mindset, one step at a time.
2. Teach your mind that you are the owner of all your decisions. Boost your “emotional immune system” by creating a habit of setting goals and achieving success. Wins, whether big or small, make us all feel better about ourselves.
3. Do something good for others. When you focus your attention on helping others in need, you stop thinking of your own suffering and find purpose and meaning in your actions. If this act of kindness is in any way related to your trauma, you can begin to create a new story of meaning around that experience and leave the suffering behind.
4. Meditating is an effective way to minimize stress, anxiety, and self-pity, among many other negative emotions. Regular meditation gives your mind time to relax. If you can’t clear your mind, just focus your thoughts and attention on your breath, saying to yourself something as simple as “in…. out….” The key is to be in the present moment instead of swirling in your monkey mind of thoughts about the past or future. It doesn’t need to be long, and it doesn’t require a secluded mountaintop to be effective. You can do it anywhere. Even 5-10 minutes is worthwhile!
5. Let go of your ego – accept your mistakes and forgive others’. Do not be a hard nut to crack. Blaming others is easy; accepting your faults and taking steps to correct them is a brave move. Encourage yourself to take such bold steps. Harboring grudges in your heart only hurts you, not the other – they aren’t listening to you ruminate over the situation day-in and day-out. Set yourself free.
6. Consider energy healing. There are more than a hundred different modalities, from acupuncture, to massage, to reiki, to visualization. Find one that resonates with you and give yourself the gift of rapid transformation and release.
When have you felt the victim of a circumstance? Have you tried to get rid of it, or are you still holding it close to you? Share your experiences and open up to others. You will see you are not alone.
Please seek help from your doctor if you are concerned about your mental health.
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