Trauma and Meditation: Finding the Peace After the Tragedy
There is an alarmingly high percentage of people who have experienced trauma. Whether in childhood or in your current life situation, trauma and grief are constantly associated with a person’s behaviour and mental health. When we experience a traumatic event, the stress that our minds experience can completely change the way we interact with others and how we experience the world from then on.
Most forms of trauma physically change the way our brains are wired. The neural pathways in our minds form networks of reactions to specific stimuli. This can cause incredible strain on us as we struggle to live with a “new normal.”
Fortunately, there is the hope of healing. No matter how difficult our experiences may be, the neural networks are flexible. We can work to restore our balance and rework the connections our minds have made with the onset of trauma. And in so doing, we can gain control once more over our emotional and mental integrity.
Most forms of trauma benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy, which is a way to help us to interrupt bad thoughts with good thoughts so that triggers and negative stimuli are not so overwhelming. Meditation can be a great way to redirect your thoughts and gain a more masterful control over your feelings.
In utilizing meditation, we can take the time to sit down and take a breath if we find ourselves triggered by an event that we encounter. We can carve out a “happy" place, or more importantly, a safe place in our minds away from the negative thoughts surrounding each reminder of our trauma. Mindfulness meditation is a particularly effective tool in treating PTSD and other problems that can arise with trauma. It is a way to disconnect ourselves from bad experiences by focusing on the present moment. In doing so we begin to redirect our brains and allow our neural pathways to form new paths away from the triggering event and toward a deeper calm.
Loving-kindness meditation is also a great way to help your mind recover from the pain of trauma and abuse. If you have experienced something that has left you feeling like you are not valuable, loving-kindness meditation can help you feel more comfortable with yourself and find compassion for your flaws. This way you can allow yourself to grow in a healthy and honest way.
Trauma and abuse can also leave us very angry. This is another benefit of loving-kindness meditation. This form of meditation can help us to find the capacity to forgive the unforgivable and allow ourselves to let go of past hurts and focus on a life of compassion and regrowth.
No matter what we have experienced, considering meditation is a great step toward finding strength, peace, and healing. We can learn to forgive the harm we have endured and created a safe space where we can move forward with our lives with confidence and understanding. You can do it!