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If you have lived with the reality of trauma, you have opened this article with eager excitement hoping for a cure to turn trauma off in your mind. Living in recovery from trauma is a lifelong mission to create safety, to mitigate the symptoms of a disordered nervous system, and to stay gratefully grounded in the present despite the past. A high-definition, news streaming, live updating, sensationalized digital world can make that difficult. Thankfully, there are a magnitude of treatment options, life skills, therapeutic modalities, holistic healing methods, and coping skills. Each one of these tools is part of a way to make living in recovery from trauma a safe and sustainable world to live in. The world is full of triggers that can make you feel like the world is dangerous. You can live in a way that makes the world a safe, enjoyable place by learning to turn the trauma “off”.

Trauma lives in the nervous system, disordering it in a way that makes everything reactive rather than responsive. The nervous system is responsible for many functions in the body, connecting the body to the brain. When you are stimulated, or triggered, by trauma, your dysfunctional nervous system becomes activated, turning the trauma on. First, by eliminating the triggers as much as possible, you can deactivate the problematic parts of your nervous system. Second, by using a wealth of tools best suited for your recovery, you can make it through the seemingly dangerous times and create a world of happier safety for yourself.

Trauma can be everywhere. No matter the form of trauma, once it is part of the mainstream media, it does not quickly go away. As the headlines escalate with the same subject and the media content swells with triggering information, it is easy to get swallowed into the retraumatization. Sometimes, we believe that we have to be there. Since we are recovering, we should be capable of handling something like the news, a story, a movie, or anything. We forget about the fact that our nervous system reacts and that our primary purpose in self-care is to maintain our reactions in the most efficient way possible. That can include just turning the media off. Log out of social media. Turn off the news. Don’t read the paper or a magazine. In many ways, the world is what we make it. We might not be able to undo the trauma in our lives but we can choose how we want to live our lives in recovery from trauma. We have a choice to turn on our recovery and turn off retraumatization. The choice is ours to engage in our self-care, tune out of what we cannot control, and drop into what we can: taking charge of our mind, our body, and our spirit. Our world is what we make it. We can make a difference in our daily world by choosing to turn the trauma off and put our focus elsewhere.

When you feel deeply triggered by trauma on the news or in the media, it is important to talk to someone you trust about what you are going through. Part of self-care is asking for the support you need. Never hesitate to reach out and ask for help. 1-855-483-7800