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Cultivating a Sense of Agency to Overcome Trauma

Cultivating a Sense of Agency to Overcome Trauma. This mindfulness exercise is designed to help you overcome the harmful effects of trauma, and to give a stronger sense of self-agency.

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This mindfulness exercise is designed
to help you overcome the harmful effects of trauma,
And to give you a stronger sense of self-agency,
And control over how you relate to your trauma.

As you listen to this exercise
And all mindfulness exercises,
please remember,
you’re in control of your experience
and can do as much of it
or as little of it as you wish.

No matter what kind of trauma you may have gone through,
large or small,
physical, sexual, mental, emotional or spiritual,
your trauma involves
an incapacity
to stop a terrible thing from happening to you.

Regardless of blame or misfortune,
It involves an incapacity to stop something terrible.

Sometimes this truth can wear on the psyche,
So recovering from trauma
May require that you, at some point, increase greater strengths
and more capacities within
To remember how powerful you are
and how important your decisions are.

In this general way,
it may also be useful to do this kind of work
with a therapist.

But on your own,
With guidance from WellBrain and your doctor,
It’s good to know
That along with your trauma
There may be natural, common feelings or beliefs
of entrapment, immobilization, and helplessness.

To some degree, you may not feel like you can escape the awfulness of it.

One thing that has helped thousands of others
Who live with incredible trauma,
Is to be mindful of your own experiences of
Of what we call “agency”,
of simply being able to make something happen,
With your own free will and sense of empowerment,
Building upon our agency one building block at a time
Until there’s nothing you feel you can’t take on
With your embodied strength and kindness
That is always inside you.

Another common feature of trauma
is feeling fearful
of communicating with confidence or assertiveness,
so reflecting on experiences when we’ve done this
Several times in the past
can also be useful.

Cultivating a Sense of Agency to Overcome Trauma

This can help us to remember our best self,
To know that we have the capacity to take on challenges with strength.
This provides the mind with the belief that you are greater than your past,
Bigger than anything that’s happened to you,
And that you are not your trauma.
You are so much more,
And that you can shape your future to be as bright and healthy
As you desire.

Agency is just a fancy term
for a feeling of being able to make things happen.
If you feel a bit powerless, helpless, trapped,
immobilized, defeated, or despairing, then this practice of agency
Can help turn the tide
To re-awaken the feeling of what it’s like
To make things happen,
Rather than be fearful of whatever might come next.

So, with that in mind,
we will practice feeling a sense of agency
in a guided mindfulness exercise,
together.

Please find a posture that feels relaxed...
And alert.

(Standard meditation intro...)

And now reflect on a time in your life
when you felt really good about having attained a goal....
What goal do you feel really proud of?
What choices and actions did you make?
What were some of the little things that lead up to it?

Consider how you’ve added value in situations or to other people.

And now reflect
on some things that you get done over the course of a day.

Recall ways you influence others,
or played a leadership role
Perhaps in the family, friendship, or business.

Bring mindfulness to some of the positive choices you’ve made,
All empowering experiences
That lead to a greater feeling of accomplishment
or agency....

See if you can open to this feeling,
and let it fill you.
Help it last,
and allow it to become more intense in your mind,
Your heart,
And your body.

*You* have made things happen,
you are competent,

You are effective,
and you will continue to be so.

Bring mindfulness to any other feelings that may arise,
like dignity,
self-respect,
or a sense of possibility.

If you happen to feel any resistance
to this sense of success or worth right now,
That’s ok,

And completely normal.
See if you can gently bring your mind back
To remembering some of the good feelings
After you did something
that you’re really proud of doing.

Feel this sense of accomplishment or agency sink into you,
And remember that you can tap into this feeling
Anytime you remember it.

You can also sense what it WILL be like
To do accomplish more,
Even the little tasks of the day,
When you feel satisfied with meeting your goals
That contribute to your well being,
And the well being of others.

Open to the reality
That you can build on a foundation
of what you’ve already done.

Let ease spread through your body and mind,
and release any pressure or drivenness.

If there’s a sense of fragility somewhere in your consciousness,
It can be useful to imagine a nurturing person
who is holding you as a child,
reassuring you that you will reach goals,

That you are special, and powerful,
and that you can get things done
and make a difference.

Thank you for your courage
To remember who you really are,
To bring mindfulness to the sense of agency
That you have,
And have always had,
Inside of you,
Ready to unleash at any time.

To recap, please remember:

Along with your trauma
There may be natural, common feelings or beliefs
of entrapment, immobilization, and helplessness.
To some degree, you may not feel like you can escape the awfulness of it.

Agency
is just a fancy term
for a feeling of being able to make things happen.

To cultivate a sense of agency,
Remember a time when you felt accomplished,
or successful at having done something,
Or pay attention to the little things that you do each day,
That make a difference to yourself
And the people around you.

Ok, I hope this is helpful to you.

Thank you for your mindfulness.

end

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