Trauma is so dangerous because it affects us at the deepest level: genetically. When the body and mind are constantly used to dealing with stress, that’s what your body becomes primed and adapted to. This can lead to disproportionate reactions to normal situations that lead to feelings of shame and cause sufferers to withdraw.
Luckily, the plasticity of our genes and brain works both ways. Even someone who’s experienced horrific trauma is capable of healing and developing the necessary tools to learn how to regulate their emotions and self-soothe under stress. Group and individual therapy are the best ways to develop the resilience necessary to overpower the impact of trauma and addiction.
Resilience: How to Cope With Trauma
While there are a lucky few born with iron-clad genes that make them tough and resilient in the face of trauma, the majority of us have to learn how to be resilient. Individuals lucky enough to have kind, loving parents who set a healthy example and used discipline proportionately usually gain the skill as a matter of course, but you can develop it yourself at any stage in life.
Even if you had a heavy childhood trauma load, you can rebalance the scales and start experiencing more positive outcomes by fostering coping skills and actively seeking protective experiences. Here are seven methods of developing resilience:
- Learn to make decisions on your own so you feel empowered.
- Find coping mechanisms that work to replace quick fixes.
- Contribute to the well-being of others to learn how good helping feels and make you feel better about seeking help.
- Develop a clear sense of your morals and values.
- Connect with individuals, groups and the wider community to develop a solid support system.
- Understand that you’re deserving and worthy of a great life.
- Develop your skills and explore your passions and goals.
Moving away from trauma and into positivity often feels unnatural at first. But don’t worry, this is entirely normal. Our brains are hardwired to seek familiarity, even if the things we’re familiar with are harmful. Taking the steps to remove toxic people and experiences from our lives and only seek uplifting people and constructive experiences is essential for long-term healing.