Finding Joy after trauma

Is it possible to find joy again after suffering trauma? The simple answer is yes, but it’s not necessarily easy.

First, you must decide to find joy again. It won’t magically appear. You can’t go from victim to vitality unless you decide to.

Second, you can’t hide from it and act like nothing happened. You can’t force your loved ones to be happy. Happiness is internal. You have to design it yourself. Stuffing the pain will eventually manifest in your health and mental and physical health as well. You have to choose to be happy for yourself.

You must realize that you have a right to be happy again. It is okay to be happy. Sometimes, all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and repeat this mantra.

“Every day and every way, I’m getting better and better.” 

– Norman Vincent Peele.

You see, deep within the recesses of our mind attic, we have this dusty old trunk that I call the trauma trunk. We like to hide it away and act like it doesn’t exist. But we have to open that trunk and sit with it. We can’t fight it or throw it away. It has been nailed down to the floor with extreme emotion. What happened was not okay. But you must be able to say I choose to be okay. We must sit with it, mourn the loss, and then detach the emotional response. Every time the lid is opened, we slowly rewrite the trauma story into a survivor story and a thriver one.

Don’t get sucked back into the trauma cycle. You see, every time we rehash the trauma, our body reacts the same way it did when it occurred. Our body goes through the same trauma cycle. Our brain sends out stress hormones to our body. Our body is filled with cortisol and adrenaline. Our organs start shutting down. The fight or flight response kicks in. Damage starts happening to our internal organs. Our cells stop reproducing. All of this happens every time we continue to rehash the trauma. So yes, talking about what happened is important, but after a certain point, we must get to where we can stop rehashing the story and move past it. Our body needs us to.

We need to learn to speak joy. Think of joy and let joy return to us. We need to stop watching depressing things. Stop listening to depressing music; for heaven’s sake, do not isolate.

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