Crisis: Surviving the Emotional Storm: 3 Key Components to cope with a Traumatic Event

Experiencing trauma and crisis has been coming up a lot lately in my personal and professional world.
I saw this image and at first glance thought "oh that's a nice image and good reminder."
But then I looked a little more closely and realized how simplistic and easy this makes bouncing back from crisis or trauma or grief sound.
It isn't that easy. Life throws us unexpected curve balls and we get slammed in the face and knocked to our knees. Unable to breathe. Feeling the physical pain and/or illness from emotional heartache is real. Trauma effects our whole being. And it takes time and effort to pull ourselves out of the darkness.
How do we move forward and continue to live after crisis?
Though this is also oversimplifying, I see 3 key components to surviving and healing after crisis hits:
1.  Mindset
First and foremost is your mindset - it's critical to WANT to get through it; to have hope that you CAN get through it; and to be open to SEE opportunities to shift your thinking, your mood, your belief in yourself; the hope of better things to come.
If we can't or won't let the light in, we can stay dormant, in that dark holding pattern, for a long time.
As we move out of shock and into the healing journey, it's important to have an understanding of the process and recognizing that it is not a direct path. Our trauma can be triggered, sending us back through stages of healing that we thought we were "done" with. And unfortunately, there are so many aspects to our human experience that we often can be surprised by what triggers us and sends us reeling.
Appreciating how our mindset can impact our resilience to stressors and triggers may not prevent a cued response, but it can help us manage the fall out and pull out of the darkness.
2. Persistence
We can't give up. Always remember that even 2 steps forward, 1 back is STILL MOVING FORWARD!
As a therapist, I often have the experience of a client sharing frustrations over "still" being challenged by this or that. Because I see them in tiny increments compared to their 24/7 lives, I am able to more easily see their lives from a bird's eye view. And what I often see is HUGE progress. I point out past conversations and descriptions of how things used to be in their lives. When we are "in it" - we don't see that perspective. But when I, the Observer, point out the progression, the client is able to see, appreciate and celebrate the growth.
Every day, do that one tiny thing. Think that one encouraging, reframed thought. These tiny micro-movements add up. And the seemingly insignificant steps are cumulative and create momentum for the next tiny step. It takes a while to sprout...but eventually we strengthen, open up, and feel the sun.
3. Support
When we are trying to cope with crisis, we often feel alone.
When the sh*t hits the fan, we often go into shock. Our brains get foggy, the world can feel like it's moving in slow motion. We desperately are trying to ground ourselves, to make sense of what is happening. There is a very real distance that is often felt between ourselves and life around us.
Put that visceral reaction together with all the complex and sometimes conflicting feelings that arise, especially when the crisis involves a partner, family member, or close friend. Sharing with others within your inner circle brings in their feelings and loyalties which further complicates the type of support that is available.
But we NEED connection during crisis. We NEED to not feel alone. We NEED the strength and the encouragement and the comfort from other humans who are able to just be present with us, without judgement.
Sometimes this means connecting outside of our inner circle. Finding support communities (online and in person) and connecting with a therapist are options for neutral supports. Multiple sources of support are even better as sometimes we may seek a more professional perspective and at others, what we need is a girlfriend's personal touch.
All of these components and more will be integrated into the new FLOURISH Inner Circle - an online membership designed to support your personal growth journey.  
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Hugs, Lisa

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