After you have a sense of safety, control and perspective, you may want to put some energy into a positive purpose. This purpose may be related to the traumatic event or it may be unrelated.
- Take care of your health. Sometimes people who have experienced trauma become risk-takers with their bodies and lives. Sometimes they have difficulty protecting the children in their care. Sometimes people neglect healthy diet, exercise and sleep habits and this takes a toll. So take stock of your habits and focus on self-care so you can take care of business!
- Find a cause. As you worked through the stages of healing, perhaps you encountered an issue that was a problem. Perhaps law enforcement or the courts were insensitive. Maybe a law needs to be passed or consciousness needs to be raised about an issue. Or funds need to be raised for a good cause. These are examples of issues that you might feel passionate about because you have experienced the harms created. Your passion will be an important fuel for your actions to fix the problem. When you turn your passion into action, you feel empowered and purposeful.
- Find your passion. Connect with something you have always wanted to do and find a way to start doing it. Ballroom dancing? Horseback riding? Rock-climbing? Start a business? Get some mentors and get moving forward with your life.
- Gain some skills. Skills give confidence. Consider enrolling in an assertiveness training course. Or self-defense. Or martial arts. Or public speaking course. This can really boost your confidence.
Sometimes a traumatic event can give you a chip on your shoulder that will motivate you to work harder than the next guy. If you use these strategies to guide your progress, you can turn traumatic stress into post-traumatic growth.