Self, Heartbreak

3 Ways Being Grateful Helps With Trauma Recovery

Photo: Adolfo Félix on Unsplash
Being Grateful Trauma Recovery

Often times, when you’re going through trials and trauma in your life, it’s hard to recognize when there are opportunities to learn from those trials. But it makes it so much easier to get through tough times if you try to look on the bright side and see what you can gain from a situation.

The hard part about trauma, though, is that it feels impossible to think about the future — or anything other than the problems that you’re suffering from at that moment. It’s so much easier to look back on events of your life after you’ve already suffered through something and to reflect on it to be able to see what you learned and how you grew.

RELATED: My Ex-Boyfriend Taught Me How To Love Myself Again After The Trauma Of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship​

Trauma can come in many forms — from broken hearts and lost loves to emotionally draining friendships, intense conflict with loved ones or sudden tragedy ... trauma can happen in all parts of our lives, and for different reasons. And the ways we deal with trauma is different for every person, too.

Each person’s trials and tough times cannot be belittled by someone else. We have no idea what someone else is going through, who are we to judge what is and isn’t a big enough deal to be considered trauma?

We all go through things in life that affect us in traumatic ways and we all need help to get through them and heal. The most important thing to remember is that you can grow from those situations and that, while it seems impossible in the moment, we have to try to be grateful for those moments. We can all learn things as we struggle and because we all struggle so often, why not gain something from it?

Take a look below at different traumas we commonly experience in our lives and how we can use gratitude to help us heal and move on in a healthier way:

1. Experiencing a heart-crushing breakup.

Breaking up sucks — there is no way around that feeling of heartbreak, regardless of how you felt in a relationship. Your heart is going to hurt and it’s going to feel impossible to adjust after it’s over so suddenly. So it's important to find a takeaway from your experience and be thankful for this opportunity to start anew.

Maybe now you know a little bit better what type of guy you want to actually end up with. Maybe you know that you want the next guy you love to have the same sense of humor as your ex, but that you want him to be more motivated — less lazy. Or you know that you loved how generous your ex was and how he would surprise you with treats and gifts to remind you how much he loved you, but maybe he was too immature and not responsible enough to be ready for a real adult relationship. And now, instead, you know that you're at the point in your life that you need that stability.

These are all things that you can benefit from after having your heart broken. Yes, breaking up hurts — bad — but it doesn’t all have to be negative, and you can learn and heal and move forward knowing you're even stronger and more centered than before.

RELATED: How To Overcome Past Trauma So It Doesn't Destroy Your Current Relationship​

2. Leaving your toxic friendships behind.

When you’re struggling with bad friends or people in your life who gossip about you, turn against you or stop being your friends anymore, it makes you feel like you can’t trust anybody anymore. But if you use this experience to learn about yourself, you might find out that you've become more picky and wary of who you choose as your friends. You can use this opportunity to be grateful for what you learned, that way you can make sure to only hang out with the best people who are loyal to you so you don't have to feel betrayed ever again. You will learn how to pick friends who bring you up and support you for the person you are.

You can learn and gain something from the trauma of losing your friends, and in turn find people that are truly valuable to your life.

RELATED: 6 Signs You're Suffering From Betrayal Trauma (& How To Heal If You Want Healthy Relationships)

3. Grieving after losing a loved one.

Death is a traumatic event that is incomparable to anything else in life, and learning the process of grieving is never easy, and never the same. The hurt and pain from the loss of a loved one feels eternal, and usually is to some degree. There is no easy way out of that suffering. All you can really do is to be grateful you had the time you did with them — remember the good times and love that person for who they were and trust that you’ll see them again in the future. As you work your way through the stages of grief, you can use this time in your life to reflect on how this person you lose impacted your life in a way no one else could — focus on the good memories you had together and learn to cherish your time with the people you love more closely.

Traumas in life can't be simplified and they affect us all in different ways, but taking the time to be thankful for these experiences will help you learn from them and give you the opportunity to better your life going forward. Don’t let your traumas control you — instead use your experiences to take charge of your life. Be grateful for the tough times.

RELATED: How To Let Go Of The Past & Overcome Trust Issues Caused By Emotional Trauma​

Hayley Small is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion and relationship topics.