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How to Achieve Emotional Wellness After a Crisis

by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

Life can be unpredictable and at times, it can throw challenges your way that can leave you feeling damaged, broken, and defined by the pain you’ve endured. But here's the truth: you’re not defined by what happened to you, but by how you choose to respond. It’s in this response that your true strength lies.

Whether you’ve been harmed by individuals or organizations, it’s important to remember that your experiences do not predict your future. It may feel overwhelming, but you have the power within yourself to rise above—and overcome.

In the earliest stages of traumatic exposure, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and seek support from family, friends, or professionals. Surround yourself with those who who listen more than they speak; people who help you to find the answers within yourself. This support network can help you regain a sense of control as you navigate the healing process.

It's important to understand this is not a linear process and takes time. However, in this journey, you possess an immense reserve of emotional energy—even if it’s painful. Instead of letting it consume you, harness it as a powerful force for change. Remember this, nearly every celebrity—people whose lives we celebrate, have overcome something.

Use your painful emotional energy as fuel to propel yourself forward. Allow yourself to dream about the person you want to become—who you ideally would like to be. Embrace the idea that you have the potential to not just survive, but to thrive!

Remember, healing is a personal journey, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Be patient with yourself, practice self-compassion, and celebrate even the smallest victories. Transforming your pain into strength requires dedication and determination—but the rewards are immeasurable.

Embrace your power and reclaim your narrative. You’re not merely a victim, but a survivor. Harness the energy within you, learn from the past, and carve a path toward the empowered future you envision. You can overcome, heal, and become the person you aspire to be: a thriver!


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