A new book, Surviving survival: The Art and Science of Resilience by Laurence Gonzales, describes how “recovery from adversity can be a positive transforming experience, that not only moves us forward, but also enriches our lives in ways we never could have imagined.”He explains that you can’t escape life without some adversity, however while you can’t avoid these painful events, you can learn to control your response to them. When there is illness, divorce, job loss, or even death of a loved one, strikes, consider your mind as a powerful tool to help you cope with the loss. A trauma of any sort can take on a life of its own. Suppressing traumatic memories only gives them power. The keys to recovery described in the book for bouncing back from trauma, loss, fear even pain involves the following:
Do something for solace.Stay connected socially and keep good people around you. Shake up your hippocampus by redrawing your mental map with new learning.
- Use ritual to control bad memories.
- “Fake it till you make it.”
- Become a rescuer instead of a victim.
- Laugh at the world and at yourself.
One axiom I ascribe to is, “it is not time that heals wounds, it is what you do with that time.” Positive Psychology principles would be a great place to start looking for tools and techniques to recover. There is a switch you can flip to get the healing started. Since the mind and body work together, desensitizing yourself by talking about the trauma, facing your fears, getting professional help will speed the recovery process. Hiding from friends, support, pain disenfranchises you and slows the recovery. Flip the switch, make a call to a friend to begin the healing.