Past trauma is not in the past because it seems to just linger in your life into the future. You have bad flashbacks and can’t sleep because random thoughts occur in your head about that past trauma. You try to say to yourself that it doesn’t matter, but it honestly affects the way you think and live today. We’re told to get over things, but that’s easier said than done. Life is unfair, we’re told, and yeah – it is. That is why you need ways to make life a little better when dealing with trauma that still lingers in your mind.
1. Make time for your hobbies
You’ll keep telling yourself that you don’t have time, but you have to make time. Engage in what is meaningful to you even if it’s five minutes so you can get away from thinking about something terrible. I get myself into a catch project for an hour or so and it makes me feel positively engaged in something and forget about the world for a bit.
2. You need a friend, family member, someone who will understand you and listen to you when needed
I don’t think they necessarily have to give you advice and coping mechanisms, but just someone to lean on is the greatest feeling. My boyfriend is a saint for letting me cry on his shoulder when needed.
3. Live in the now
I’m not saying you can’t think about anything traumatic in the past. I’m just saying that it doesn’t have to define you today. Just because someone may have told you bad things to your face in the past doesn’t mean you’re a bad person today and that you have to see yourself that way.
4. Try to look for good things
It’s hard not to focus on the negative – trust me I know. I’ll be eating a slice of pizza and think how bad it is for me and I don’t even deserve to have it – but we need to look for the good, even in that slice of pizza. Changing our thought process can help with this. I can say to myself that I deserve to eat this pizza because I enjoy it.
5. Changing thoughts takes practice
My past trauma included people telling me that I was fat. Today, I sometimes feel that I am fat and ugly but I know that those people didn’t know my beauty inside and out. I tell myself I am who I am and those who like me will love me for who I am on the inside and out.
We can’t change the past even when we want to sometimes. But we can try and do our best every day to make life worth living. Life is going to have its ups and downs and unfairness, but we need to look at the good to feel even the slightest bit of happiness, which is worth it to me.
About the Author
Molly Rose lives in PA but is originally from NY. She wrote for Odyssey Online in 2017 and has now started her journey with Puckermob. Molly is getting her Master’s degree online in Human Services at Capella University. She is an advocate for individuals with disabilities. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.