How to be There for a Traumatized Friend — Don’t Lose Hope

In a previous post we talked about some of the statements and comments that can be destructive to the healing process. Below, we talk about some things that can help when you want to support a traumatized friend. 1. When the person starts to talk about the traumatic experience, be aware of the fact that […]

How to be There for a Traumatized Friend — Don’t Lose Hope

3 Lies that Keep us Stuck in our Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

“Trauma is the unthinkable. The unbelievable. The unbearable. The unspeakable.” Trauma is extremely hard to talk about. And this burden is intensified by lies that we believe. These include the lies of shame, of fear, and isolation. 1. The lie of SHAME – This is tied to the belief that there’s something wrong with us. […]

3 Lies that Keep us Stuck in our Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

How to Break a Habit

Below are some ideas to help you fight and break a habit.

1. Make up your mind to do things differently. Make the decision to turn this thing around. You have all the power you need, and you can make this work for you.

2. Decide to only work on one habit at a time. That focuses your mind, and your will to succeed.

3. Design a plan that is attractive and rewarding. If the pain exceeds the gain then you may not persevere. There must be something that’s enticing to make it seem worthwhile.

4. Nuke your negative thinking. You know that things will be tough and you’ll be tempted to give up – but plan in advance so you can push through trying times. For example, imagine how you’ll feel when you are living differently, and you’ve broken with the habit, and are basking in success.

5. Know the worst times of day, and the times you struggle most. Then come up with a plan so you cope better with those. But … make sure your ideas work, and are attractive enough, as it’s hard to keep on going when we’re low on energy.

6. Keep it simple. A harsh or complex plan can be too hard to implement. But making simple changes feels much more doable. (Also, remind yourself “it’s easy – and it’s not that hard to do.”)

7. Notice your successes. And reward yourself with that. Your effort’s paying off – and you are closer to your goal.

A Time for Self-Care

“I stopped sending paragraphs, stopped begging, I stopped telling people how to treat me, and started walking away, blocking, and distancing myself. Life may be lonely, but it’s become peaceful. Sometimes being alone in life is better than being surrounded by half-ass people.” – Unknown

Is this something you need to take to heart, or apply in your own life?

Put self-love and self-care at the top of your list of priorities.

Learning to Love Yourself

We tend to focus on looking for love, hoping for love, and waiting for love. Yet if we look to others to meet that basic need then we’ll always be empty and unfulfilled. That is, for others to love us in a healthy way, we must first be able to nurture ourselves … and to love and honour who we truly are. The steps below can help you work towards this goal.

1. Decide to treat others with love and respect: As you seek to bring joy into others’ lives you’ll find that they repay you with kindness and love.

2. Practice random acts of kindness: “Play it forward” by doing random thoughtful things. That will turn you into someone you respect yourself – and you’ll also find that others are more generous to you.

3. Let go of the past: What happened in the past is merely history now. Today is a new day, and you are starting a new page. Let go of disappointments, hurts and any grievances you hold against yourself, other people – or the world.

4. Forgive yourself: We all make mistakes, or we regret some bad decisions. Don’t ridicule, berate or criticise yourself for that. Instead, forgive whatever happened, and give yourself a break. It simply means you’re human – and are not infallible.

5. Practice positive self-talk: Write down and repeat affirming statements and truths -like “I am gifted” – or “I’m a true and loyal friend”. Post these statements on the mirror and repeat them to yourself.

6. Think through what you really want in life: You can carve out your own path and you choose your own destiny. Your life is a gift and you can choose what you will do.

7. Be persistent: Work wholeheartedly at loving yourself. If you’ve suffered in the past then be compassionate. Be ready to acknowledge and work through your pain. You deserve that respect – and it will help to set you free.

8. Celebrate your accomplishments: It’s easy to ignore or to downplay what we have done – but don’t be blind to your successes and accomplishments. They ought to be acknowledged as they’re part of who you are.

9. Think of someone you want to be like and emulate them: Doing that will build those qualities into your life as well – so it is easier to like, love and accept yourself.

10. Be yourself and trust yourself: Be true to yourself – and don’t care what others think. Learn to trust your instincts and to follow your own heart. Also, learn it’s OK to say “no” and to do your own thing – And you don’t have to feel guilty for not pleasing everyone.

11. Don’t compare yourself to others: Every person on the planet is different and unique. We all have different talents and different histories. Discover who YOU are and then invest in being you.

12. Work on receiving love: When someone pays you a compliment or tries to show you love, don’t quickly brush it off – but try and see it as a gift. A a gift that shows you’re valued, and are loved, and loveable.

How to Deal with Hurt and Pain

If you feel stuck, and overwhelmed by pain, the following suggestions might help you work through this:

1. Try to put into words exactly how you’re feeling. Is it the pain of rejection? Is it an overwhelming feeling of shame and self-loathing? Is it a sense of disbelief that you’ve been treated so cruelly by others? Is it a sense of utter desperation?

2. Try to find a way of expressing the pain. Sometimes we can tell the person who has hurt us– but often we feel that they won’t be responsive. If that is the case, find someone you can open up to. It’s really important that you have the chance to honestly express what you’re going through. If you feel there’s no-one you can talk to right now, then perhaps try journaling, or using some kind of art, like music or painting.

3. If the pain’s related to something that happened, admit that you can’t go back and change the past. You need to let it go and keep your eyes ahead. You are not defined by what happened to you, and you have what it takes to live a rich, rewarding life.

4. Related to this, forgive yourself and don’t hold on to regrets. Learn what you can – and then choose to move ahead. Don’t be a victim of your past, or other people.

5. Reconnect with who you were previously. Think of who you might have been if this had never happened. You can still be that person: they are still a part of you.

6. Focus on the things that bring you joy and happiness, and focus on those people who love care for you.

10 Signs you may be Carrying Unresolved Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

Some symptoms of unresolved trauma include: 1. You find it hard to experience joy. You want to feel alive and experience joy, but somehow that feeling continually eludes you 2. You fill up your life with distractions. Whether it’s binge-watching TV, or it’s snacking when you’re stressed … There’s always a way of avoiding painful […]

10 Signs you may be Carrying Unresolved Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

Help for when You Feel Broken

1. Share your story with someone. Often it helps to put the sadness into words.

2. Try to detach and unplug for a while. It’s hard to do more than the minimum right now.

3. Respect your need for space, and a period of low stress. Also, try to reduce your responsibilities.

4. Allow yourself to feel all the negative feelings. It’s counter-productive to push them down inside.

5. Take care of your body and your physical needs. This will help you heal emotionally, too.

6. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and deliberately invest in meaningful self care. It’s important that you treat yourself well.

7. Believe that you’re able to recover, and go on. Even though you feel weak, you are capable and strong.