Overcoming Traumatic Experiences

It is not an exaggeration to state that most Nigerians are still in trauma caused by the Lekki Massacre which took place on the 20th of October, 2020. 

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This happened at a time when numerous people around the world are just recovering from the isolation from the lockdown implemented because of the covid-19 pandemic. 

Moreover, a lot of heartbreaking events continue to be unraveled here and there; lootings, destruction of properties, killings, resurfacing of militants, and many more. 

All these continue to affirm the state of insecurity while increasing the level of anxiety, stress, and pain people have to struggle with everyday.  

Obviously, getting back might be hard. In most cases, it might take a longer period to reconnect and get yourself back. Yet, the earlier you return to being yourself, the faster you get to heal and make up for lost productive time. 

Hopefully before you exhaust this article, you are inspired to take action and begin to live again. 

So, how do you overcome a traumatic experience: 

Communication As A Therapy. 

The more you distance yourself from people, the more disturbing the unsettling memory becomes. Traumatic stress reduces when you share your thoughts and feelings with trustworthy friends and families. 

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However, communication in this period doesn’t always have to be verbal. You can document the whole experience in your diary, podcast, blog, etc. The objective is letting it out of your body as a way to reduce the hold it has on you. 

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Avoid the news: 

It is important that you avoid the various new outlets until you are certain to be in the right frame of mind to consume the information related to what has caused your ongoing anxiety. 

Food As A Therapy.

It is not enough that you eat to simply fill your tummy or gain strength. It is essential that you watch what and how you eat because it can affect your mood as much as it can help you brighten it.  

In periods when you feel emotionally disturbed, Dr. James Gordon, author of The Trauma Healing Diet stated that fruits such as apples, strawberries, bananas, and carrots should be strongly considered because they are rich in antioxidants. According to him, vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach with sufficient phytonutrients should also be eaten. 

However, it is general knowledge that consumption of chemically preserved food should be reduced or avoided as they contain harmful preservatives that are capable of worsening your emotional and psychological state. 

You might not have the appetite to eat. Still you have to try to eat regularly and appropriately as it will help you. 

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Movies As A Therapy.

Movies are also very therapeutic as long as they are not related to the source of your trauma, anxiety, depression, pain, or stress either emotionally or psychologically. 

Although, it is not so much of a bad idea to watch movies related to the cause of your trauma or pain. Because you will learn how the particular character going through what you are facing survived the unfavorable experience. 

Film makers are starting to produce movies based on thorough research as a way to solve problems in the society. Therefore, it is not impossible that you will watch a movie and discover how to overcome your present situation while also relaxing. 

Movies based on true life stories can be very inspirational and didactic while comedy movies are also suggested for how the best ones will make you laugh your sorrows away. 

However, it is more advisable that you consider watching the genre of movies that have prior to now succeeded in making you feel relaxed and forget about everything that worries you. 

Exercise As A Therapy. 

Exercises are not only effective for developing the physical body to be strong or to combat low self-esteem. Work-outs are also powerful for overcoming emotional sadness and psychological stress. 

Research has proven that individuals who exercise regularly tend to be more lively emotionally and active psychologically. Since an unsettling experience makes you sad and moody, exercise is one of the best medicines as the brain releases serotonin, endorphin, and dopamine which makes you happy.  

Group exercises are even better as they serve as a medium to engage with other people. Participating in team sports like football, basketball, etc. Besides, interacting socially has been said to be valid in overcoming disturbing memories. 

Exercise can be as simple as dancing, jogging,etc. It doesn’t have to be weight lifting, or push ups. It could be light and tailored to your strengths and weaknesses. If you are consistent, it is capable of helping you heal faster from those sad memories that keep troubling you. 

Accompany your period of exercises with soothing and energizing songs before and after. 

Go on long walks around your house if it’s safe. Inclusively, exposing yourself to nature and a lot of fresh air helps your recovery process. In as much as you deal with the temptation to listen to news via any medium possible. 

Yoga meditations are highly recommended after exercising. Dedicate 10-20 minutes everyday to speak with nature and listen to the sounds from within you. Meditation allows you to clear every distraction, sadness,and pain while focusing on the present and harnessing as much energy as you can from both your internal and external environment. 

Socialization As A Therapy.

You need to reduce how often you stay alone or stay indoors. During this period, it is important that you engage in informal conversations with friends. 

Try communicating with other people on other topics which are not centered around the cause of your trauma or pain. The more you do that, the higher the possibility of getting your mind off the sad memory that continues to get you down, tired, and worn out. 

Socialising can take both online and offline forms. The objective is that you are involved in conversations and activities that distract you from what’s happening at the moment. 

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