What does it mean to be “authentic”? The dictionary definition of authenticity is “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.” But while this short, simple phrase may sum up the notion accurately, actually being authentic can be surprisingly complex.
Letting go of negativity and judgment helps, but also creating and serving others allows you to go outside of yourself. Apply the following practices to release fear, anxiety and guilt, and to introduce positivity, optimism and inspiration:
Tune Into Your Intuitive Abilities
Discussing your feelings with others, asking for advice, and being open to constructive criticism are all very important. However, don’t be afraid to trust your own opinions and intuitions, either. Social upbringing, culture, and a whole lot of other factors causes people to feel doubt and to question everything. Authentic turn to others for guidance -- but they don’t allow themselves to be lead around by the thoughts or desires of others without taking their own aspirations and desires into account.
Darlene Lancer of PsychCentral once wrote, “We can’t control other people’s reaction, so we also must know that we can nurture and sustain ourselves”. Nurturing oneself sounds great doesn’t it? Yes, it’s “easier said than done”; but it just takes discipline and practice, until little by little you develop a strength and confidence in yourself. Try meditating and reflecting inward and ask your authentic self the same questions you’ve asked others; and answer back genuinely and truthfully, and free of judgment; then listen to your intuition and take action.
Find Friends Who Foster Happiness and Success
Think about that old saying, “You are are who you hangout with”. Surround yourself with people who foster bad habits and cynical attitudes and you’ll start to act, think and sound like them. On the flipside, involve yourself with successful and authentic leaders, and you’ll gradually begin to feel motivated, inspired, and yes, authentic. Jessica Stillman of Inc.com wrote that even if “you have an 'I am less than them' feeling,” when interacting with successful figures, “If they are a genuine leaders, they will help you”. Stillman also advises to find friends and colleagues that make you “feel comfortable in your own skin." Think about taking those next steps in walking away from toxic relationships, and into life-changing ones.
Discover Authenticity through Helping Others
In the article, Volunteering--7 Big Reasons Why Serving Others Serves Us, Kathy Gottberg, explains that “a part of our brain lights up when we help others; that part of our brain then doles out feel-good chemicals like dopamine, and possibly serotonin”. You’ve heard about the “runner’s-high,” will this achieves similar feelings and is known as the “helper’s high”. By serving others in need, people typically feel more fulfilled, meaningful, peaceful and closer to their authentic self. By serving the community (whether that’s leading an AA group, writing a self-help book, or working at a soup-kitchen), you’ll experience a deeper connection to others which creates both outward and inward love.
Do I Need Professional Help To Feel Authentic?
Quite simply, you can achieve authenticity and fulfillment all by yourself. However, when you feel down and gloomy or anxious day in and day out, you may want to consider getting psychiatric and/or therapeutic help -- even if it’s just for someone to listen with undivided attention!
Oakville Wellness Center, has several certified therapists with various special focuses and styles. If you do not feel authentic after trying to love yourself and others, then consider contacting one of the therapists at Oakville Wellness Center. Struggling should not happen alone, if you feel isolated or misunderstood, seek out help today. With the right therapy (and sometimes medication) and self-help practices, you’ll feel significantly more at ease and closer to your authentic self.
Whether you feel stuck in a dead-end job or you still haven’t lost those 15 pounds you were determined to lose by last year’s New Year’s resolution, it can be frustrating to feel like you are not making any progress in your life. You may feel as though you ended up following a daily routine that has made your life become unintentionally stagnant. While getting stuck in a rut is a common experience for all people, staying stuck does not have to be your only option.
People can feel trapped or stuck in any area of their lives, including romantic relationships, physical health, the workplace, or even at home. However, feeling like you’re in an endless cycle of the same experiences usually does not mean there is a lack of opportunities in your life. You may need to take a step back to reflect on your mindset; feeling stuck can be due to one or more of these negative, unhelpful feelings:
Advice to Free Yourself
When people become stuck in a negative mindset or situation, it is common for them to wait for something to change rather than implementing a change themselves. Change is scary and will always come with certain risks, but there is no sure way to free yourself from a rut without changing some part of your life. Some small ways of implementing change can include:
Feeling Permanently Stuck?
Sometimes, change can seem out of reach, or even impossible. Maybe you’ve been stuck in a negative relationship and aren’t sure how to get out of it, or perhaps finding a new job will cause new difficulties in other areas of your life. Trying to get out of a rut on your own can be challenging, frightening, or simply exhausting. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and still feel trapped, speaking to a professional can be the first step you need to get unstuck.
Qualified therapists at Oakville Wellness Center can help you identify any negative thoughts that are impeding you from reaching your goals and assist you in sorting out what’s holding you back from personal growth. If you’re ready to start making small changes to become unstuck, you can schedule an appointment online today to focus on your own well-being and hear advice from a new perspective.
Complex trauma can be debilitating and affect a person's quality of life. According to the the Center for treatment of anxiety order and mood orders, complex trauma can occur in more than one form. Understanding what creates complex trauma can help us to identify when it’s present. When you know what your facing you can create a better plan for action.
Complex trauma is often referred to as PTSD. Oftentimes, people mistakenly believe that the only people who can be diagnosed are soldiers or witnesses of violent crimes. In reality, complex trauma or PTSD can present itself from a multitude of situations. This article will take a look at some of the incidents that could cultivate complex trauma as well as the symptoms associated. Being able to identify potential PTSD can empower you to help and take action.
Main Common Causes Of Complex Trauma
Complex trauma is created by repeated traumatic incidents. Dr. Courtois from Psychology today was able to summarize the events that can cause complex trauma. She wrote about her findings in an article called, “Understanding Complex Trauma, Complex Reactions, and Treatment Approaches” A lot of readers were surprised to learn that complex trauma can extend out to events that don’t involve physical abuse or violence. The research shows instead that prolonged exposure to harmful situations can be traumatic.
For a child, a harmful situation could be an emotionally abusive parent. Children are completely dependent upon responsible authority figures to survive. Trauma occurs when these authority figures cause the child to suffer neglect or maltreatment. As a result of the neglect feelings of negative feelings start to form. When the child is repeatedly exposed to traumatic events, complex trauma will start to form. The child will be living in an unsafe version of reality. This uncertain world presents the child with an intense level of fear, anxiety, and stress.
Complex trauma can occur in both children and in adults. For either one, the trauma would have to present itself as inescapable. For example being in an abusive relationship without any chance of escaping. With no foreseeable end, the individual will be subjected to an endless harmful environment. Perceiving yourself to be trapped in a bad situation for a long period of time can lead to PTSD.
Symptoms Associated With Complex Trauma
Emotional pain can start to form from immediately after the first traumatic event. Guilt is often associated with this emotional pain. A deep-rooted guilt that can stay with a child for a lifetime. According to,The Very Well Mind, guilt is formed when the individual thinks the trauma is their fault. This guilt can be a heavy burden for both children and adults.
Guilt is associated with complex trauma regardless of the triggering incident. An individual can experience guilt from sexual abuse, physical abuse, combat exposure and more. The guilt can start to turn inwards even deeper and evolve into shame. Shame for not preventing the trauma or shame for talking about it. Either way, the shame is serious and if untreated can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. The national center for PTSD says that it is more common for victims of abuse to commit suicides.
Victims Of Complex Trauma Can Be Harmful To Themselves
Suicide isn’t the only risk presented to those who suffer from complex trauma. Having an intensely negative inner dialogue is another side effect. Psych Alive says that left unchecked this inner voice can take a major toll on self-confidence. Self-criticism and debilitating self-thoughts are just two signs of complex trauma. It’s worth noting that most people experience some form of an inner critic. However, for victims of complex trauma the negative inner voice is more destructive.
The very nature of complex trauma circulates around isolation. The individual has to feel like they can’t escape the situation they are in. This setup allows for the negative inner voice to be more prevalent. The isolation subjects the individual to an endlessly harsh thinking pattern. With a harmful thinking pattern in place, destructive lifestyle patterns usually surface. For example, a child who was emotionally abused may seek out an abusive adult relationship.
Take The Next Step To Healing Complex Trauma
Once you think you’ve identified complex trauma you can begin to take action. You do not have to be alone in your journey. The Oakville Wellness Center is staffed with experienced professionals who are dedicated to helping people heal.
The Oakville Wellness Center staff members are experienced with both diagnosing and treating complex trauma. Their onsite therapist staff includes a psychotherapist, life coach, occupational therapist and speech-language pathologist. All of their therapists have received a full thorough training and are registered. Many of the therapist services will be covered by insurance plans.
If you need to take action towards feeling better, they will welcome you with open arms.
No relationship is perfect, but sometimes what appears to be just a small communication issue might be hiding something deeper. Codependency and trauma are two issues that can wreak havoc in both romantic and familial relationships. People with codependent personality disorders and individuals who have experienced trauma can often have unhealthy coping mechanisms that may leave them feeling anxious, hopeless, or depressed.
If you’re in a relationship where you feel like you’re giving much more than receiving, fear conflict or rejection from your partner, or have difficulty expressing your feelings, wants, and needs, you could be traumatized or have a codependent personality disorder.
What is Codependency?
Codependency, simply put, is a type of dysfunctional relationship where one individual consistently puts the needs of others before their own. Codependent individuals tend to be passive “people pleasers,” and they will go to extreme measures to try to avoid conflict, abandonment, and rejection from others. Other symptoms of codependent personality disorder can include:
Those with codependent personality disorder can ignore their own needs for so long that they become chronically fatigued. Along with feeling exhausted, they may begin to feel hopeless, helpless, or even incompetent. They may try to “help” someone they care about in unhealthy ways, such as enabling. Enabling is a behavior that codependent people may use in an attempt to relieve potential tension in a relationship. Enabling includes making excuses for a person’s repeated actions, ignoring or belittling problematic behaviors, bailing someone out multiple times, or covering up a person’s illegal or dangerous activities.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is described as an emotional or psychological response to a stressful or disturbing event. Because trauma is subjective, it covers a broad range of different events. For example, a person could be traumatized from childhood emotional neglect, while someone else can experience trauma after escaping from natural disasters such as hurricanes. Due to the many types of traumatic experiences someone could have endured, psychologists have categorized trauma into three main categories in order to help victims:
Trauma can happen at any point in someone’s life, and each person reacts to a traumatic event differently. However, regardless of the type of trauma endured, trauma victims often share many of the same symptoms. These can include:
Differences Between Trauma and Codependency
Trauma and codependency share several of the same symptoms, but the reason behind the symptoms are entirely different. People who have experienced trauma may feel anxious or deeply depressed because they were hurt, witnessed a horrific event, or lost a loved one. On the other hand, those who struggle with codependency could feel anxious and depressed due to fear of being unliked or abandoned and constantly taking care of other people.
Pete Walker, M.A., discovered in his years of study that trauma victims and codependent individuals have different responses to the “four F’s,” which stand for fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. He notes that when confronted with stressful situations, trauma victims tend to “freeze,” or dissociate to distance themselves from the problem. Those with codependent personality disorder instead “fawns,” or tries to become as useful or helpful as possible in order to try and escape pain or punishment.
Coping with Trauma and Codependency
Candace Plattor, M.A., says the important first step is to start working towards a “healthy balance” of assertiveness. Saying “no” when you don’t want to do something and being ready to face potentially negative reactions from others can slowly ease you out of people-pleasing behaviors.
Coping with trauma and codependent behaviors can be difficult to handle on your own, but there is help and hope. At Oakville Wellness Center, there are trained therapists available to help you manage your symptoms and begin your recovery. Here, therapists are often covered by insurance, and there are evening and weekend appointments available. If you’re ready to take the next step towards healing from trauma or codependency, you can book your appointment online today.