Tag Archives: Courage

Healing from Trauma

 

healing from trauma

It’s interesting how we define Trauma. This week Oprah raised awareness about early childhood trauma & it’s lifelong effects in her 60 minutes episode. I see this in my own work and the impact it can have on how we function as ‘adults’ in our lives. It can be debilitating for many.

But at the same time I often hear from people dismissing what they go through in life as not that traumatic. It’s almost as if we compare the levels of what is considered trauma. I remember when doing my own healing work around my grandmother’s murder that when the word ‘trauma’ was used to explain what I had experienced I dismissed that as I thought to myself “ hey, I was functioning okay, I got up everyday and went to work etc’ .

Trauma doesn’t have to be a near fatal incident. My dictionary defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Defined like that the events which can be considered traumatic are wide ranging indeed – from what might be considered the stuff of ordinary life such as divorce, illness, accidents and bereavement to extreme experiences of war, abuse, rape and genocide.

If you’ve been viewing the world one way, then something stressful happened to you that now causes you to view the world differently…that’s trauma. Stressful events can create a certain level of shock on the mind and body. If not addressed they develop into dysfunctional patterns that can impact your behavior in everyday life.

Shock to our minds, bodies and souls

Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma and others contend that emotional trauma goes unhealed when the natural trauma response is interrupted and feelings unleashed by the event remain unresolved. Because of this, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, hopelessness, self-blame, shame and other feelings freeze up inside of us. That “freeze” is not just emotional, but physical as well. Recent research indicates that parts of the brain become altered by traumatic events. These disruptions are actually visible on brain scans.

Just what is a natural trauma response? It’s the whole continuum of emotional and physical sensations that occur with the first inclination that something is wrong or dangerous. To understand it, Levine suggests looking at how animals respond to danger, real or perceived. After the animal has instinctively chosen to fight, flee or freeze, and the danger has passed, the animal trembles throughout its entire body, “shedding” the tension required for alertness and quick response.

Human response to danger—real or perceived—can also involve shaking, sweating, crying, laughing or shuddering. Just like the animal, such responses are natural and part of the body’s effort to return to a state of equilibrium. They are crucial to the recovery process, and they may go on for hours, days or weeks. Too often, however, we deny this process or don’t give it its due. We say to ourselves or hear from others, Pull yourself together. Forget about it. Get up and shake it off. It’s time to get on with your life.

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10 Ways to Cope Through Tough Times

“This too shall pass………”

We’ve all experienced difficult times in our lives, often through events and circumstances outside our control. But like great trees, humans grow stronger when exposed to powerful winds. When extreme, unexpected, life changing, or scary things happen, how can we not only survive them but also grow from the experience? Here are 10 suggestions for dealing with the hard times when they happen:

  1. Take responsibility and embrace the situation

Assume an “I can do something” attitude rather than pointing fingers. Its natural to numb in the beginning. Instead rather than avoid what is happening when you recognize that you’re in a trying time and accept that you can’t change it, you’re no longer a prisoner to your situation. You free yourself to deal the best you can with the challenge ahead of you. If nothing else, you can control your own response to the situation.

  1. Try to see past the hardship

When you’re in a crisis, it’s hard to see any upside. But, with some distance, you may be able to see the situation in a different light. When you compartmentalize the difficulty, you can focus on a workable solution. “Take a ‘crisis break’ in which you relax and observe the situation as if you were an outsider. Take several deep breaths to calm your nervous system down, silence the mind and focus on your intuition. You are very likely to derive some useful thoughts you would not have come upon within the midst of your anxious state.

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How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Everyone

“Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.” ~Unknown

You may not give much thought to the existence of boundaries in your daily life, but they are everywhere. For example, when you are driving on a two-lane road, you stay to the right of the center line, especially if there is a car coming from the opposite direction. That’s a boundary you can clearly see but what about how you are in relationships.

Boundary issues are common to most of us; in fact, our personal boundaries are often blurred leading to conflict or feelings of resentment in relationships. Most of us come from a family where boundaries were unclear or barely recognized and maybe we don’t know what a boundary really is. The simplest way for me to explain what a boundary is, is where I end and you begin. They enable use to make choices about how we feel, think or behave.

Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others

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The Power of Your Word

‎”There are 2 primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.” -Denis Waitley

Ah, it’s the beginning of a New Year and we are roaring to get going……or not. Yes I know it’s the start of the New Year and we are all thinking of beginning the resolutions we set at the stroke of Midnight. Some of us might have already begun and for the rest of us we might feel like there is a trailer of dead wood we are dragging around with us…we feel like we are stuck in the mud.

I personally gave up on the whole “resolutions” mania. As a recovering perfectionist, I was tired of beating myself up when things did not go according to plan. I think it’s time to ditch traditional New Year Resolutions entirely in favor of something a bit more attainable: let’s call them New Year’s Intentions and creating a daily ritual.

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Why We Make Bad Decisions

oops

 

So being a Libra on the Zodiac chart has often been a challenge when coming to decision-making and believe me there have been times I have failed miserably to say the least. I am sure you can relate after you have made the choice that perhaps it was not in your best interest and now there are consequences that follow. Damn those consequences!

Does this then mean I am doomed to making bad decisions forever?—perhaps or maybe not. We are all faced with challenges that require decision-making. How we meet our challenges though, makes all the difference in the image of success or failure. We as humans have the ability to learn and change.

The thing about creating our reality is that we decide it from only 2 places. We either make a decision based from FEAR or LOVE. If we are not consciously making it from a place of LOVE we are more likely to be making them from our unconscious FEARS. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences reveal that our decisions are made seconds before we become aware of them. That our unconscious minds pretty much controls everything and that consciousness is extremely limited. Yikes, that’s kinds scary if you really think about who is driving the bus!

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