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How Your Childhood Trauma Has Effected Your Mind and How to Fix It

Author: NeuroGym Team | 2021

Your experiences in life affect your brain substantially, and negative events or trauma can have a lifelong impact on your mental health.

These experiences could be holding you back from reaching your full potential. You might even feel that they define your life.

It can be challenging to overcome these issues, but don’t let them hold you back any longer. It is time to rewire your brain and change the direction of your story.

Linking Childhood Trauma to the Mind

It’s quite well-known that your upbringing has an impact on your adult life, so researchers continuously look for more information about how and why this happens.

This curiosity inspired a group of researchers at King’s College London to investigate the minds of adults who had exposure to complex trauma during childhood. Complex trauma refers to repeated experiences of interpersonal violence. This makes it different from singular traumatic events like vehicular accidents.

The study involved more than 2,000 adult participants from various walks of life. It enabled the researchers to compare participants who experienced complex trauma during childhood with those who were exposed to complex trauma or none at all.


Differences in Cognitive Impairment

Results from the study show that individuals with a history of complex trauma struggled with mental and emotional health, and some had cognitive impairments. This finding contrasts with the mental acuity and health of participants that didn’t have similar experiences.

Another finding shows that trauma affects mental health in two ways. First, trauma has features like severity; second, it determines how a person responds to the situation. Both of these factors can result in mental health disorders.

In contrast, occasional traumatic events won’t have this long-lasting effect on your mind possibly because you don’t have as extreme repetitive thoughts about it.

How It Influences Your Life

Complex trauma creates constant emotions and thoughts. What you think about ultimately affects your self-image, so constant thoughts about childhood trauma can start to take over your mind.

When this happens, you may struggle with your mental health. It could prevent you from living life to the fullest and becoming the best possible version of yourself. Your self-image may suffer, and you may decide that you aren’t worthy of the good things in life.

Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Life

Trauma, whether it is repeated or occasional, can make you live in fear. This fear continues even after you are safe, and it will cause limitations on your life.

Don’t let fear change the narrative of your story. Learn how to win the game of fear by taking our on-demand training.

Your Story Defines Your Inner World

What you believe about yourself will define your reality!

If you believe you aren’t clever, then it will be true because you won’t work for it. However, if you believe you are smart, then you will study hard and learn new things, so your belief becomes true.

Yes, your experiences throughout life do have an impact on you, but it doesn’t have to be who you become.

Limiting Beliefs Are a Barrier

Even without complex trauma, your upbringing can play a big role in what you believe. You may have predefined ideas about certain things or feel that stuff has to happen in a certain way.

These ideas are known as limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs create barriers, which we construct ourselves, that prevent us from getting the most out of your life. You can have limiting beliefs about the world, about other people, and about yourself. All three of these can impact how you interact with and live your life.

If you are saying to yourself, “I can’t do this,” or “Nobody likes me,” or “I can’t trust anyone,” then you are imposing restrictions on yourself.

The more you tell yourself these things, the more they become part of your cognitive function. You are cementing them into your brain, and they will hold you back.

Make the Decision to Change

Luckily, you don’t have to listen to this narration of your story. You can change it!

You NEED to change this situation.

You are the person who is directing your story, and you can control its direction—even if this wasn’t possible as a child. Don’t allow other people and the trauma you experienced to dictate the story for the rest of your life.

Make the decision to change today. Say it out loud to yourself and write it down:

I am worthy of a good life, and I will change my present to have a better future.

The Power to Redefine Your Story

So how are you going to make this change and escape from the control of the past?

It might seem impossible, but it’s entirely within your reach. The answer is to harness the power of your brain.

The Wonder of Neuroplasticity

For many years, you have been telling your brain that your past defines you. If your brain believes your negative thoughts, then it should also believe you if you feed it with positive thoughts. This is the key to changing your story.

Your brain is neuroplastic, which simply means it can change and take on a new structure. It doesn’t do this automatically: You have to help it to do this.

The brain is full of neural pathways or networks. These pathways connect brain cells to each other through communication. The messages you give your brain is what strengthens these networks.

Not only can you strengthen a pathway but you can also remove it or build a new one entirely. This is what you have to aim for if you want to write a new story for yourself.

Building New Neural Networks

All of this might seem a bit obscure, but it is actually quite easy to change or acquire neural networks. You need to make it a habit to alter your thinking.

Here is an example. Instead of telling yourself daily that you are a failure, you can tell yourself that you are taking steps toward being successful.

It’s a small change, and you aren’t denying that you have failed in the past, but you are taking control of your future. You are deciding to take actionable steps to be successful.

Imagine doing this with every negative thought about yourself. What great things will you be able to achieve?


Take Control of Your Life

Change is scary—we get that—but it doesn’t have to be. You can conquer fear with knowledge, and we have just the tool for you to do this.

Sign up now for our virtual training that will teach you to overcome fear from childhood trauma and thrive instead—even in challenging times.

Improve Your Mental Health Daily

You think daily, so you have to work on changing your life story daily. Positive, constructive thinking has to be a habit if you want to use it successfully.

There are many ways to change your thinking, and this will improve your mental health, too. When you believe in yourself and take action to make your dreams come true, you are altering your response to negative events.

Incorporate the following Innercise™ techniques into your life and write your new story.

Intentional Thinking

Take a couple of deep breaths. Think of a recent event where you had immensely positive feelings. Immerse yourself in the memory so that you can feel the full power of the emotions.

Stay in the moment for several minutes until you feel that the positivity of the event increases your emotional energy. Resolve to carry this optimism with you for the rest of the day.

Set Goals

Write down a list of dreams you have for yourself and transform them into tangible goals. The goals should be aspirational but still achievable.

Don’t just leave it there. Spend some time coming up with a plan on how you will achieve this goal. Break it down into manageable pieces and work toward it every day.


Visualize Success

Visualization is a powerful mental tool that motivates you to take actions that get you closer to your goals.

Choose a specific goal to focus on. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Visualize the day you achieve your goal.

Study the scene closely. What can you see? Who is there? What do you look like? What does success look like? What does it feel like?

Open your eyes once you are ready. Use this powerful image to inspire action. The more you do this, the more powerful your neural networks become that drive you toward success and help improve your mental health.

The Future Is in Your Hands

You are an amazing person, and everything you need to have a great life is within you.

It is time to write your story the way you want it. Learn how to do this fearlessly by attending our virtual, on-demand training. It will teach you everything you need to know about conquering your fears, improving your mental health, and starting you on your journey toward success.

About The Author

NeuroGym Team

NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.

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