Staying single: Six benefits of going within to heal from trauma and stress

The best way to get over someone is to get under someone. Right?

This used to be my philosophy when I was younger. You sh*t on me, I will sh*t on you; you ignore me, I will make my own fun. It took some time before I learned – life does not work that way. Life is short, and there is that little thing called Karma. – I’m not saying you should be letting the cobwebs form – but there is, possibly, healing to be done.

This blog discusses ways of keeping yourself healthy after a loss or breakup by avoiding rushing into another relationship. Taking back your power is not an act of revenge; it is self-preservation. It gives you time and strength to heal and manifest a positive future.

At twenty-eight I found myself single and hitting the dating scene. I was gullible and believed, far too much, in fate and other people – when I should have been trusting myself.

We can all blame our past, our parents, our exes, our siblings for the chaos we create in our lives; to an extent it is true – where we come from shapes us, somewhat. However, we have that inner voice, our chi, spirit, intuition that can show us the right path. We may have had to dim the light inside of us for others. The need for the approval of others, should be thrown out the top floor window of a high rise council flat and, smashed like an old computer monitor.

For me, the biggest favour I have done myself, is to fully embrace being with myself and to take the quiet time to listen to my inner voice. There is nobody out there who could heal my torment, that is my job. Techniques from a Women’s Aid wellbeing group have been in my survival tool kit.

The strongest, most free and empowered people have had to stand in their own power and find their own strength. They are not afraid to do that again if they have to. This is a very significant feeling to have as a person and can influence your trajectory in life, more than any course, college degree, parenting or therapy. This is the experience of independence. Embrace it.

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What does it look like – to stand in your power?

To begin with, messy, is the simple answer. It is about sitting with your feelings, releasing the stress and finding what makes you happy and, spending time alone. One of the first things that hit me when my last marriage failed, was that desire to go out for a meal in a restaurant. After a while, the idea of dating someone was still not appealing to me – so I began going out by myself. Table for one provides eating alone prices; i.e. half the price of a dinner for two! And there are no expectations on the evening.

Anxiety can be a huge factor of being alone. This too shall pass. Throwing in the towel, sleeping it off and feeling like things will never get any better is part of the normal response to stress; and it is OK to have these feelings. The first thing to do is to sit with these feelings and acknowledge them. As you sit with these feelings, know that nothing is insurmountable and the universe only gives you what you can cope with. Take ten mindful minutes to just be. I wrote a relaxation tune for this very purpose:

Breathing is important to manage. Breath-work is a huge part of yoga and the practice of yogic breathing, or pranayama is central to healing. One technique that was taught to us in our wellbeing group was Ocean Breathing. Michaël Bijker demonstrates the Ocean Breath beautifully, he’s my guilty pleasure these days – he’s like a Viking Yogi.

Exercise and nutrition is very important for everything to function in life. I am currently using Reiki principles to help me to get rid of those poor coping mechanisms. Anything that does not serve your highest good should really be a rare indulgence, if at all. I have given up smoking, rarely drink and have replaced my need to stuff my face with chocolate and carbs with writing, walking, yoga and meditation. Easier said than done. I will keep you posted on how that is going.

Taking your power back is your responsibility. This inspiring film, The Hurricane discusses how, no matter what was taken away from the protagonist, he took his power and stood in that power. There are no excuses. This statement is for myself as much as anyone else out there. Do not give your vices power. Take it back.

Six benefits of going within to heal from trauma and stress are:

1. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger

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It will not do anybody any harm to learn to be OK with their own company. I went through terrible feelings of abandonment in my life and, avoidance of those feelings put me in even worse situations. I thought, “I am a nice person, I shouldn’t be alone.” and, “I didn’t deserve to be treated so badly.” My thoughts and feelings were connected to righting wrongs and putting my life back together, having a whole family. This is victim mentality. The truth is, you can never have what you had before. It will always be different. That love, kindness and empathy you have the abundance to give, is simply a form of panic. Give that care to yourself , your children, your pets. Anybody out there needs to earn your trust. The strength comes by reinforcing your unit and coping with your feelings. Then there will be no victims, only survivors.

2. There is more time to heal yourself

Despite the feelings of loss and abandonment, you can fill this time with YOU. It is all about you now. You can march to the beat of your own drum and do things in your own time. Take the pressure off yourself – no need to please others. Practice self care. Put the phone away, fill the bath and chuck on some tunes. Watch some TV – remember you are what you eat – even images and sounds, so take care to choose things that are for your highest good.

It can take a very long time to find your feet with this. If you have come out of an abusive relationship, the inability to forget the tension can be very strong. For a long time, I would avoid relaxation or any emotion, in favour of a cigarette out the back door, I would look for over-stimulation, like loud music and a drink of spirits instead of soothing behaviours, like having a bath. The thought of relaxing in a bath was something I wanted but, I had learned that even that brought on stress when I was with someone who demanded my time. It takes a lot to unlearn that level of traumatic stress.

3. You are the master of your own destiny

Involving others in decisions can be useful, but ultimately, this is your life and your call. So many times I have got myself into a bad relationship because other people have said, “he seems like a nice enough guy.” WHY? Why did I do that? I asked the question in the first place because my spidey-senses were tingling, my gut was telling me to get shut. You must trust yourself in those moments. The vote of confidence from these friends is technically code for, “I don’t have to live with him.” or “I’d put up with him at a barbecue if you brought him round.” Just because your mum and dad stuck together through thick and thin, doesn’t mean you owe Mr-Five-Dates the same loyalty – that falls under the fallacy of sunk costs:

What I am getting at here, is that you are free to set your own goals and manifest your own future and desires. Remember the fallacy of sunk costs and do not be afraid to shake something that does not feel light (see point 4). You have the time to create a mood board and a plan for your life. Why bother dating at all until you have achieved some of your goals? In my experience, partners promise the world, then want to control your process. Finding a genuine co-pilot is rare.

4. You can treat yourself well

A friend of mine once told me that, in order to make the right choice intuitively, I should imagine holding each choice in my hands. Whichever one is the one that feels lightest, I should choose. It’s the same if you imagine yourself in either scenario and think how you would feel. In order to treat yourself kindly you should always make the lighter choices.

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Speak well to yourself. The voice in your head is the loudest of all and that is the one you must put a muzzle on, if it is hurting you. Using mantras for your daily life can help change what you tell yourself. A repetitive, positive mantra is a high-end weapon for tackling a destructive mindset and improving your reality. A very simple mantra I use often is, “I will relax and let go.”

What others think of you is none of your business. If you have been emotionally abused, it has all been the noise of an abuser and should not be taken into your thoughts. Again, it is easy to say and hard to do, but you can do it. They only abuse you to bring you down; a) to make them feel better about themselves and, b) to control you. Your light was brighter than theirs, so they had to try to dim it. Shine on! If everything was your fault, then you are all-powerful.

You can create your own safety and boundaries. By safety, I mean emotional safety. If you are speaking kindly and using your mantras, your self worth will expand. I once had an invite from an ex to ‘book a hotel room’ after not seeing him for three years. Upon realisation that it was a ‘no,’ no matter how politely I suggested lunch, I got a reply of, ‘you have an over-inflated sense of self-worth,’ among other things. Needless to say, I took that as a compliment. People never cease to amaze me.

Care for yourself as if you were royalty. If you don’t, nobody else is going to.

5. You can live life on your own terms

You no longer need to accept terms you are not happy with. For example, in my experience, friends with benefits arrangements rarely work out for long and someone invariably gets hurt. Why would I want to give myself up for someone who is just not that into me? I’d rather have a deeper connection.

The same goes for other aspects of life. The way a person talks to you, your time demands, the energy you are prepared to invest and places you feel safe. You no longer need to compromise. “You want a part of me? Well I’m not selling cheap.” – Hole, Celebrity Skin.

Release the FOMO! Sometimes the fear of missing out is so strong that you can end up compromising yourself. Be prepared to let some things slide by, in favour of your peace.

6. You can form these habits for life

Why would you want to give up all these great habits you have formed in your time of healing? You wouldn’t. Never let anyone compromise your boundaries or behave badly towards you. Place a value on yourself and enjoy it. The number of times a guy has told me that I live in a dream world, I couldn’t count. What they were telling me, is that they do not believe I am worth my expectations. There is only me that can place worth on my head. I am my own boss – 4 life.

In the meantime, I remain independent and happy healing myself, building my empire and manifesting my goals. I hope I have helped someone who has been struggling with life alone – get busy living life on your own terms. Nothing is more important than finding your peace.

Feel free to contact me on social media with any issues you would like me to address in the future. The links are at the bottom of the page.

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