Traumatic events such as rape, domestic violence, natural disasters, severe illness or injury, the death of a loved one, witnessing an act of violence and more can have a lasting impact on one’s physical, mental, and/or emotional stability. Many people who experience trauma also struggle with guilt, denial, anger, sadness, and emotional outbursts. Physical effects of trauma may include paleness, lethargy, fatigue, poor concentration, racing heartbeat, hypertension and more, making compassion such a critical component of recovery.
A 2017 study published in Behavior Therapy assessed the effectiveness of compassion-based interventions for individuals who experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At a 2 and 4-week follow up after the intervention, researchers found that the participants showed improvements in self-compassion and self-blame. Shame is often a major component of trauma, and having compassion-based therapy helped these individuals push past these damaging beliefs. What does a compassion-based intervention consist of?
Compassion-based therapy aims to promote mental and emotional healing by encouraging individuals to be compassionate towards themselves and others. This form of therapy often integrates components of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy that helps people overcome negative, unproductive thought patterns and develop newer, more positive and productive ones. Much of the way a person recovers from trauma is grounded in their perspective of the event, themselves, and others. A reputable treatment program that is grounded in customized treatment, compassion, and CBT can have a major positive influence on those who are struggling with the distressing symptoms of PTSD. How can I be more compassionate to myself in recovery?
There are several ways that you can practice self-compassion in recovery:
- Giving yourself permission to move on
- Speaking to yourself as you would a dear friend
- Choosing to focus on self-growth and self-improvement rather than self-pity and self-defeat
- Remembering that you are exactly where you need to be at, and that treatment is the best option for you
- Acknowledge and let go of any mistakes you feel you’ve made
Previous studies have shown that self-compassion reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and more. Give yourself the gift of self-compassion today. You are not to blame. You are a person who deserves love, kindness, and recovery.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.