These posts are meant to lead you be your most empowered self and help you overcome those things that are holding you back from reaching your goals. Some of this might resonate with you, or not, and I’m not here to judge anyone or their actions, only to give you something to think about.
For many people, the word trauma brings up an image of physical pain or mental anguish. However, there’s another kind of trauma that happens to people – a trauma passed down through generations without even being recognized or understood. This isn’t the type of trauma where someone physically hurts you, but it can have similar effects in your life by making you more susceptible to negative events and conditions.
Generational trauma itself is a shared experience among several generations, you can actually inherit trauma from your ancestors. It has become well-known in recent years, especially because of several Disney movies (such as Encanto or Raya and the Last Dragon) highlighting the destruction generational trauma passes down, but also how it can be healed by those who choose to break the destructive cycle. I personally have experienced generational trauma in my own life. It was debilitating at times and even stunted my own personal growth; it was like a curse. I decided it would stop with me. I wasn’t going to pass it on to my own children. History happens, life happens, trauma happens … deciding to move away from the darkness into the light is a choice only YOU can make.
Read on to learn more about generational trauma and how it can impact your life today – and how you can break free from its hold over you in order to build the life you truly want.
You may not even realize it, but your generational trauma could really be causing your problems
If you are experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or addiction, then generational trauma may have played a role in its development. Trauma can be life altering and stand in the way of you meeting your goals, it can even make you physically ill – the body always remembers. For instance, past traumas can affect the way we communicate interpersonally with all those we encounter. It can cloud our reactions to things happening in the present because we might react impulsively due to our past traumas. Because you’re in a constant triggered state due to your experienced trauma, you can always be hypervigilant and prefer to stick in your comfort zones. When you’re in this constant state it’s hard to move forward. You’re always on edge and in “fight or flight” mode. This isn’t a way to live fully or be empowered. In order to take back your power from your generational trauma or any trauma, you need to heal. This starts with self-care. I’ve spoken endlessly about the importance of self-care to empowerment. Taking care of you can look like many things – meditating, therapy, physical activity – but what’s important is that it must give you the safe space to move on and heal.
What are the signs of generational trauma?
Some of the signs of generational trauma are mental health problems, triggers, PTSD-like symptoms, addiction, anxiety and anger issues. These can all manifest themselves in different ways depending on what type of trauma was experienced by the person, the person’s parents or grandparents, sometimes even their ancestors in the case of some cultures. In some cases, these problems can also be passed down through generations without being fully realized by the individual experiencing them.
According to experts, generational trauma can show up as:
- unexplained anxiety and hypervigilance of your surroundings
- feeling a sense of mistrust of certain people or more generally the world around you
- avoiding of certain situations with no rational reason
- feeling denial over things that have happened in your family’s past
- having frequent nightmares or trouble sleeping
- experiencing problems with alcoholic drinking or drug use or even sexual addiction all used for self-soothing
From self-destructive behaviors and self-sabotage to empowerment
When you are self-destructive and self-sabotage, you are essentially the one getting in your own way. You can, however, take self-sabotage and turn it into power. But eliminating self-sabotage really begins with becoming aware of your behavior and the reason behind it. Being mindful of why you turn on your self-destruct mode will help you take your power and control back. Some useful questions you can ask yourself are: what exactly am I afraid of? what is really holding me back? how is self-sabotage serving me? is this a result of trauma? am I overthinking? When you are self-aware you are able to correct your thoughts and actions more effectively. If you can’t do this on your own, you can get help from a therapist or coach. Take control of your life, find empowerment through restorative practices that empower the self and promote mental health recovery.
I hope this post gave you pause for thought about how generational trauma could have impacted your life and what to do about it. If you are serious about becoming an empowered person, then taking back your own power is a big part of this process. No one can do the work for you. Stop the vicious cycle of hate, fear, loneliness, sadness, etc, etc … it’s up to you. It is ENTIRELY possible. I can say thing from experience. It isn’t overnight but it can happen. Transform generational curses into generational blessings.
While this only touches a small part of the topic of generational trauma, you can read more here on Psychology Today and Positive Psychology.
Deep breath. One.Step.At.A.Time.
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