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How To Overcome Trauma

Have you ever felt like life handed you a story you never wanted to read, let alone live? What if you had the power to rewrite it?


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We all have hard times. How much more if we encounter trauma?  It's like a scary story in our life that we don't want to remember. 


To add to that.., the world can also be just as challenging. Trauma lurks in unexpected corners, turning our life into a daunting labyrinth of emotions.


But you know what? You can beat this. 


Overcoming these trials demands strength and fortitude, and I know you have both. However, there's one thing you need to remember: your willingness to engage in this process is the indispensable ingredient that makes it work.


People respond differently to traumatic experiences.


Some might try to cope by ignoring it and acting like it's not there. Some people put up a wall to protect themselves from the hurt. But that only makes things worse..,


…Some might choose to bury their feelings deep within, wishing they'll fade away. Others might put on a brave face, constructing a protective shell around their wounded hearts. But this can deepen the wounds, prolonging the suffering. 


The key to unlocking the chains of trauma is understanding that healing is not one-size-fits-all.

But here's the silver lining: a path to untangle the complexities of trauma is within reach…


Our method involves four crucial steps that you should follow sequentially: reducing stress, reshaping your mindset, managing your time, and finally, crafting a healing environment. This will unravel the twisted web of your trauma, helping you piece your life back together. 


Before we discover more of these steps, let's understand that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is fundamentally a stress-related condition. Individuals with trauma often have elevated cortisol levels, the stress hormone that triggers our fight, flight, or freeze response. Unfortunately, this hormone doesn't just go away at night as it does in those without trauma, leading to a constantly heightened state of stress.


High cortisol levels

What happens when cortisol levels remain high? 


You experience an array of symptoms: flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, chronic anxiety, and even self-harming behavior. It's like your amygdala, the fear center of your brain, is stuck in the past, constantly reliving the danger. Moreover, your brain's frontal lobe, the executive functioning center responsible for decision-making and organization, slows down. As a result, seemingly simple tasks like cleaning dishes or discarding trash become daunting. It's not laziness or fatigue; it's your brain attempting to function under the crushing weight of trauma. 


As clutter mounts around us, the stress escalates. Each item in our environment demands our brain's attention, contributing to feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion. Stress fuels more stress, it entraps you in a relentless cycle of trauma, stress, and clutter. 


Your first step to freedom is stress reduction


Living with trauma can be incredibly distressing. People who have experienced trauma often carry a heavy burden of stress, making it difficult for them to find relaxation, even during sleep. This heightened stress can lead to unsettling nightmares, persistent fear, and sometimes, harmful actions. It's as if the fear center of their brain is trapped in a never-ending frightening tale. 


Reducing stress forms the bedrock of our trauma recovery process. Without subduing your stress levels, overcoming trauma becomes an almost insurmountable task. Once you begin to alleviate stress and manage symptoms, you can start to feel better. 


You are now  ready to journey into the second phase - reshaping your mindset. 


Our minds are like bustling highways, crowded and full of thoughts, many of which revolve around our trauma and past experiences. These negative musings often cast a gloomy shadow over our mental landscape. 


Imagine you're stuck in a traffic jam… your frustration is building up. 


Deciding to take a different, scenic route offers a more relaxed and joyous journey. The same concept applies to our minds. We can choose to veer off the congested highway of negative thoughts and tread a path of positivity and calm.


The third phase of overcoming trauma is a crucial component - time.


No, we're not suggesting time travel.., but using your time intentionally to create the life you desire. It's about carving out space in your daily routine for things that matter, fostering new habits and routines, and reinventing your life. 


We're not talking about having your pre-trauma life back. It's about designing a fresh life narrative, building something new and beautiful.


Doing good things every day can help you feel better. These things become habits. 

A habit's strength lies in its capacity to function on autopilot, liberating your brain from unnecessary strain. When an action transforms into a habit, be it positive or negative, it's less taxing for the brain, resulting in reduced stress.

For example, exercising is a good habit. Not only does it unleash a wave of beneficial hormones that persist hours after the workout, but it also enhances overall physical health. If you stop doing it, you can feel more stress. This shows how hard it is to break a habit. But, good habits can make the path to feeling better easier.

The withdrawal from a longstanding habit isn't a walk in the park for the body. A decline in positive hormones combined with resurging stress makes every task feel extremely difficult. This underscores how breaking a habit is a colossal task for the body. Our bodies yearn for the rhythm and routine of our habits, and opposing that rhythm can lead to exhaustion, just like I experienced without my daily exercise. 

Integrating healthy habits into your daily routine smooths the road to recovery. It assists in managing trauma symptoms, further bolstering your path to healing. 

After using your time to cultivate healthy habits, we'll discuss the fourth and final step of our healing guide - crafting a healing environment and its pivotal role in your recovery.

When trauma has left its mark on your life, your surroundings can either intensify or soothe your emotional state. By decluttering bits and pieces of your physical space, you are also decluttering your mind, making room for positive energy and healing. It's like creating a clean canvas on which you can paint a new and vibrant picture of your life.

We're talking about the physical clutter resulting from an accumulation of belongings. 

Do you find yourself surrounded by a pile of old books, magazines, and keepsakes that have been accumulating over time?

Are you holding on to old clothes, collections of various items you've gathered through the years, or materials from hobbies that you never finished?

Do you keep clothes worn during important life events?

Perhaps you treasure belongings from deceased loved ones, cherishing them as precious memories, finding comfort and wishing they are still with us?

Yes, it is so hard to let them go and we understand..

There is a reason why we cradle these gifts close to our hearts, especially when certain items hold sentimental value or memories of the past. 

However, parting with these objects symbolizes releasing the grip of the past trauma, freeing yourself from its heavy burden. We encourage you to take that step towards embracing the present and creating a brighter future.

Addressing this isn't just about tidying up; it's a powerful lesson in letting go

It's a symbolic journey of releasing the past and shaking off the victim persona we might unknowingly cling to after trauma. Perhaps your home isn't bursting at the seams with clutter, but we all have that one closet or storage room laden with old things and forgotten items. Tackling this isn't about the clutter itself. As you learn to discard unnecessary belongings, you're also learning to relinquish the grip of your past. 

This reduction in clutter parallels a reduction in stress, concluding the stress cycle we've been exploring. Our blueprint for healing from trauma involves reducing stress first, then reshaping the mind, managing time, and finally, organizing your physical environment. This sequence is critical for the healing process to work effectively. 

Without first addressing stress and mindset, we might falter in our decluttering efforts. Touching a particular item might provoke a painful flashback, or its sentimental value might make us hesitate to part with it. That's why we recommend adhering to these steps in sequence to sustain momentum in your recovery journey. 

With this methodology, we firmly believe anyone can emerge from the darkness of trauma. The duration may vary, but the efficacy of these steps is well-documented.

By now, we are already familiar as to how trauma and clutter are entwined. 

However, there's a secret ingredient without which true healing cannot be attained: Intentional Action. While support from others can ameliorate the situation for those suffering from PTSD or trauma, genuine recovery demands intentional efforts from the individual. You must harbor a burning desire to get better and take conscious, purposeful steps towards it. This deliberate, purposeful action is the key to unlocking your path to healing. 

Overcoming trauma and clutter is possible with intention and action. 

We hope this heartfelt guide serves as a beacon of hope in your journey towards recovery. Here in DO Well, we look forward to continuing this meaningful conversation in our other posts, check out below.