Everyone who has experienced trauma will at some point wonder how they can get back to a happier life.

Healing trauma takes time and effort.  Most of the time we are afraid to truly heal because our pain has become so much a part of us that we don’t know who we would be without it.

Trauma-healing has no one-size-fits-all approach. Every person is different, every person has lived a different story and therefore, each person requires a different approach to releasing their emotional pain.

There is one thing that is the same for every survivor of a traumatic event; we all hold ourselves hostage. We are the ones who are in control of either holding on to our traumatic past or letting it go. It took me almost two decades to reach this realization. Once I did, I began to truly heal.

Trauma-healing means slowly letting go of the parts that keep us hostage.

What keeps us stuck is in most cases is not the trauma itself, but the limiting beliefs we’ve internalized as a result of what happened and how we were treated afterward.

Working on our limiting beliefs is a wonderful, and most of all, non-threatening way to begin our healing journey. The most important part is to get back to a state of true happiness. Therefore, I have compiled a list of my five most important rules for a happy life after trauma. This list can help you put the pieces of yourself back together and begin to truly heal.

Here Are 5 Rules for A Happy Life After Trauma:

Don’t Judge

Judging is one of the most common actions of unhappy people. I used to be one of them. I used to judge everyone no matter if I knew them or not. I had an opinion about everything and made sure people heard it. One day though, I was wondering why I judged so much. I had just seen a woman walking down the street in a dress that must have been one size too small and looked like a second skin. And then it occurred to me that I was jealous. I was jealous of that woman because I would never have had the guts to pull this dress off and feel good about myself. After this surprising revelation, I began to observe myself and realized that each time I caught myself judging someone, I actually envied them for one reason or another. The more I noticed my behavior, the more I made an effort to not judge; after a short while I became happier. Judging others is a sign that we are lacking something we see in them.

There Are No Problems

Do you know those people who see a problem lurking behind every corner? Yeah, my husband is one of them. Always expecting the worst and when it does not come to pass, chuck it up as luck. I am actually rolling my eyes while I am writing this, (sorry darling). How we approach an issue will determine its severity. I used to see a problem as a problem and oftentimes was stuck with it for a long time; not anymore! When an issue arises, I now see it as a challenge. I get into my “bring it on!” mode and face the challenge head-on. It is amazing how fast you can find a solution when you are not intimidated by the issue. Give it a try sometime! See a problem as a challenge and observe how your mindset shifts from doomsday to determination.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

When you wake up in the morning and are going to the bathroom, take a quick glance at your reflection in the mirror and say, “Good morning, Sunshine”! I guarantee you this will lift your spirits instantaneously. Of course, you can use other endearing words. “Sunshine” just happens to be my favorite one. If you are having trouble with self-love like most trauma survivors do, stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself, “I love you! You are beautiful”; and then list all the things or characteristics you love about yourself. It may seem silly at first, but repeat it every morning and after a short while your self-image will shift.

Be Brave

We are our own worst enemy; or rather our comfort zone is. We all have our comfort zones and we all feel “happy as a clam” inside them. When we have to do something that goes beyond; we get scared, we don’t have the courage and we try everything to get out of it. The truth is, that unless we were asked to jump off of a tall building, there is generally nothing to be scared of. What scares us is that we don’t know what would happen once we have the courage to step out of our comfort zone. Yet, the only way we can grow is to step out of it and do the things that scare us the most; like asking our boss for a raise, going on a date, or telling our friend what irritates us about them. BE BRAVE! The land beyond our comfort zone is so beautiful and rewarding!

Think Yourself Happy

This sounds a bit silly I know, but bear with me. Sad people are focused on despair. Happy people are focused on, well, happiness. It is up to us to decide which side we want to be on. Happiness is a choice; choose to be happy and you will always find something to be happy about! Whenever you notice that you are thinking a negative thought, don’t punish yourself for it. Instead, acknowledge it and then bring it to a positive ending. Do this often enough and you will shift your mindset from negative to positive and you won’t be able to stop yourself from thinking primarily happy thoughts.

I do hope you enjoyed this article. After healing my own trauma, I am now focusing on helping others heal theirs. A huge part of my healing approach lies within these five rules.

First published at The Wellness Universe.