I was so honored when Dean Stott, who founded one of the largest anxiety support forums in the world, invited me to join him on his show. DLC (Dean’s Life Coaching) Anxiety Support is a virtual community designed to help people manage anxiety, panic, and stress.
This was right up my alley!
Many of Dean’s followers also suffered from trauma, so he asked me to share some of the things I learned through my own healing and the process of writing my new memoir, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child.
To begin with, recovering from trauma is different for everyone. For me, it was a process. I didn’t really have an “aha” moment. Childhood trauma gets stuck at the age you experience it. Although it can be very difficult at first to go back into those memories, being able to do so with an adult perspective can be very healing because it allows you to process the traumatic events as an adult.
Potential Obstacles in the Healing Process
One of the challenging things when confronting your past is that you may find that some people who were involved in your life at the time will be receptive to what you have to say—but others won’t be. The truth is some relationships may never heal or you may have to learn to set boundaries with people to protect yourself from getting drawn into their chaos.
But it is possible to do this in a healthy way. “Loving them at a distance” is what works for me.
The MOST important thing is to heal yourself and get to a place where you are comfortable with the person you have become, scars and all.
The Healing Extended Beyond Myself
Observing how one person’s journey can help pull another person up, Dean was interested in the healing process that came along with writing my memoir. I had to be honest. Even though I had done a lot of therapy, digging into my past again was painful at times. Plus, I wrote about people who are still alive, and I had to have some very hard conversations with some of my family members. Ultimately, a lot of this was very healing for all of us.
How Trauma Affects the Brain
Dean was curious about the link between trauma and anxiety disorders. I explained that basically what happens is the emotional centers in the brain become very activated from trauma. This also occurs in PTSDand other anxiety disorders as well as depression. When we get triggered in the present about something that happened in the past, our brains default to those areas in the brain that were impacted by trauma. This is because feelings got stuck a long time ago.
5 Ways You Can Make Your 2021 Less Stressful
Part of Dean’s work is to help people learn that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that they don’t have to stay where they are. Given how this unprecedented time has exacerbated anxiety, stress and trauma, he asked me to share some advice for improving physical and mental health in 2021.
Here are 5 simple changes you can make:
- Engage in regular prayer and/or meditation. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes a day, it will help you feel calmer and more grounded.
- Love food that loves you back! Eat foods that lift your mood and energy. Most importantly, avoid sugar, processed food, fried fatty foods and artificial sugars. Also, try eliminating gluten for a few weeks to see how you feel without it.
- Exercise however you can. Find ways to move your body even if it’s just walking around the house right now—it’s better than doing nothing!
- Stop focusing on what you can’t do and notice all that you really can do.
- And for those of you who have difficulty opening to others about your pain, please find a professional psychotherapist or counselor who can gently guide and support you through the healing process.
Check out more of my Relentless Courage interviews on my YouTube channel and order my new memoir, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer.
If you’re struggling and need professional help, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 833-940-0887 or visit our contact page here.