It’s normal to feel weaker after a traumatic event. Trauma affects everyone differently but, on the whole, most people who’ve experienced it feel changed afterwards. The person that they once were or believe they could be is nowhere to be found. But, you don’t have to lose yourself forever. There are ways to empower yourself after trauma, bringing light, love, and confidence back into your life. Everyone is different, but everyone can recover.
Here are some tips on how to feel empowered again and stop trauma from defining who you are.
What Is Self Empowerment?
People all have slightly different definitions of what empowerment means to them. In this guide, we’re using empowerment as a term fo self-healing after trauma, where you start to take control of your life and emotions again, reclaiming your power. This is about making positive choices that will benefit you, believing in yourself, and striving for a better tomorrow.
At the core of it all, empowerment is about self-love. If you’re overcoming trauma, learning to love yourself deeply is a must, and it’s the key to becoming empowered. It may seem like a huge mountain to climb right now, but we’re here to help you take those first steps with some ways you can start working towards being a more empowered version of you.
1. Understand Your Trauma
The first step on every recovery journey and road to empowerment is understanding your trauma. Work through it with a professional who can help you learn how what’s happened to you has affected you, and understand it deeply. You don’t even have to talk about the trauma if you don’t want to, but understanding it and its effects is essential.
By understanding your trauma, you can learn that it wasn’t your fault. Not everything in your life is under your control, and the simple process of learning this can go a long way towards finding self-empowerment.
2. Practice Positive Affirmations
Your subconscious mind has probably taken a hit after trauma. A lot of trauma survivors have to deal with a lot of negative and destructive thoughts that try to take hold of their lives. To reach empowerment, you need to beat these thoughts and reprogram your self-conscious to become more positive.
One of the best ways to do this is with positive affirmations. These are designed to stop that inner critical voice that continues to torment you and help you lead a more positive life. You should repeat your affirmations daily, taking the time to really absorb what you’re saying to yourself and believing it.
The affirmations you use should be tailored to the trauma you’ve experienced. For example, if an abuser often made you feel negative about your appearance, you may still ridicule yourself harshly on it, creating a toxic cycle of negativity. Replace these thoughts with ones that are loving instead.
Repeat phrases such as ‘I am beautiful both inside and out’ when negative thoughts surface in your mind. Say your affirmation out loud, record them and listen back, and write them down. Put them in as many places as possible until those negative thoughts are drowned out with positive self-love.
3. Channel Your Trauma Through Your Body
Trauma often manifests itself physically as well as mentally. To help release these strong emotions, you need to find a physical outlet that will let you express them. If you feel guided towards a certain activity, take a class or try it at home and see if you feel a sense of release afterwards.
Some great physical exercises to help channel trauma include kickboxing, running, dance cardio, and yoga. Find something that your body feels comfortable with and don’t force yourself into an activity. It might take time to find the right thing for you, but when you do you’ll know!
Remember though that your physical activities should be an act of self-care. Don’t push yourself too hard or use exercise as a punishment. Instead, use it to love your body and mind, and have fun with it.
4. Speak Up
When it comes to how to feel empowered, never underestimate the power of talking. Whether you speak to a friend, family member, or therapist, simply speaking honestly about how you feel can release emotions and loosen their hold over you. This is also an important process in removing shame related to trauma, which can hold many people back from true empowerment.
Find someone you can be honest with and explain how your trauma affects you. Tell them the negative things you might say to yourself or the way you punish yourself, and ask for help when you need it. Be proud of yourself while talking, and know that you’re doing something incredibly brave simply by being honest.
5. Try Art Therapy
Processing your emotions can be incredibly difficult, which is why so many trauma survivors turn to art. Through writing, drawing, and creating, you can channel how you feel into something else, letting go of your emotions and understanding them a little better as you do. This can help prevent disconnection and allow you to identify how you feel, even when you can’t put it into words.
6. Ask For Help When You Need It
It’s not often that anyone overcomes trauma on their own. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. This is such a huge step on the journey to becoming self-empowered and creating a life you love to live, and it doesn’t mean failure.
In fact, asking for help is a form of success. You’ve put yourself first and made a positive choice, which is empowerment in itself. So, don’t stay quiet; speak out if you need someone.
Empower Yourself With An Intense Therapy Retreat
If you think it’s time to empower yourself and steer your life in the direction of a brighter future, consider an intensive therapy retreat. Here, you can deal with incredibly difficult issues and trauma in a safe, understanding environment, where everyone around you is here to help. From child abuse to sexual trauma, we can help you learn how to cope with what you’ve been through and stop it from defining the rest of your life.
If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch with our team and we’ll be more than happy to help.