Take Charge of Your Healing
We can’t change the things that have happened to us, but we can grow beyond them and heal. The top hack to heal trauma is to cultivate consistency.
When something traumatic happens, it’s like the rug is pulled out from under us. We respond by getting stuck in the fear response. The brain hasn’t processed that the event is over, so we’re always looking for and dodging danger.
It not only takes a lot of energy to do that, it makes our routine erratic. So, we actually contribute to the unsafe feelings we experience by being physically and cognitively on the move.
How Cultivating Consistency Helps
We know the sun is going to rise. If you work a 9 to 5, you know for sure when work begins and ends. These certainties give us immovable things we can use as a container for everything else. I don’t have to think about the beginning and end, just the stuff in between. This gives me places of peace.When I am consistent, I become my own safe place. All I can control is myself. So if I am consistently honest, tidy, and practice healthy boundaries, the world can go to hell in a hand basket and I will still know those things for sure.When I see that some things outside of me are always the same, and things within me are always the same, I can generalize this to “I’m okay” or “It will be okay.” Things may not be 100% okay, but whatever disrupted the peace hasn’t taken away everything.If things outside of me are disrupted, and something inside is still okay, I learn that I have some control even if I can’t control everything. Viktor Frankl’s “Man Search for Meaning” is all about this. Dr. Frankl was a survivor of the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. He credits his survival to the idea that we create our own meaning. If our thoughts are hopeful, we can survive anything.Being consistent makes other people feel safe. Consistency is not just good for you. It’s good for others, too. We all need things to rely upon. When you do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it, how you say you will, it makes things run smoothly.
Bad things happen. We can’t control that, but we can heal trauma by seeing and cultivating consistency.
We know that change is consistent. It always happens. The bad things that are happening now will change.
You can help them move the pain along by being consistent with the healthy habits that create a strong foundation for your life.