Destress & Find Joy: Healing Trauma Through Simple Pleasures

Tap into joy to heal your trauma and destress your system

Discovering happiness in the little things can be a powerful tool for overcoming trauma and stress. Simple yet meaningful experiences can help us cope with challenging times and foster a sense of peace.

I recall as kids, how simple, little things could bring us immense joy! One of my favourite pass-times was sneaking out the bicycle and dashing off with my sisters or simply singing and dancing away to glory in the pouring rain!

Having fun didn’t necessitate having access to fancy toys, gadgets or technology.

We developed most of our discipline, character, resilience, patience, compassion, communication skills, and all the important lessons in life from play and exchanges in the playground! Social engagement was second nature to us. We were cared for, loved and nurtured not just by our parents but also by our siblings, extended family, friends, teachers, and just about everyone in our neighbourhood! We had our challenges but in contrast to today, life was largely a fun and jolly roller coaster ride.

In today’s world, where there is no dearth of resources and luxuries to help calm down and relax, sharing fun, joy and play with peers seem remote. What prevents us from engaging in activities that are fun, enjoyable and invigorating?

We spend way too much time on computers and phones. Our sensory systems are constantly bombarded, over-stimulated, triggered and stressed!

How do we destress and restore flow and harmony into our system?

I am awestruck by the tenacity of people who have courageously snapped out of stressors and sought out meaning and purpose in their lives. Getting to know some of those amazing beings has been inspirational. I recall several years ago, meeting a young lady in the mountains. She seemed like one of the happiest persons I had come across and I was quite astounded to listen to her story as it unfolded.

She told me how she had suffered from job stress, chronic anxiety and depression for years and had attempted suicide seven times. On her seventh attempt, she had a vision that transformed her life forever. She pictured the hearty faces of poverty stricken street children she had previously encountered, running down the road, excited and cheerful as they chased down old bicycle tyres. Instantaneously, she realised that her life had a new meaning and purpose. The very next week, she began teaching these kids how to read and write. Ever since, she said, “I can’t explain how joyful, grateful and peaceful I feel from the deepest core of my being”. Like this young woman, I have met many people who derive pure joy out of improving the physical, mental and social wellbeing of humans and animals so they could live a better life.

For a fulfilled life, we need to look beyond stress and trauma. We need to bring in curiosity, creativity, fun and all the resources that we can draw inspiration from.

What we need to be especially mindful of is to look at simple things in life that bring immense joy. We could transform stress by directing our attention to what is working in our lives.

Engaging in simple everyday practices to tap into joy and destress one’s system may include being in the midst of pets and children, watching the sunrise, doing Tai chi, hugging a tree, smelling a rose, having picnics in nature, swimming in rivers, hiking, listening to birds singing, going to the movies and eating out with family and friends, watching funny animal and baby videos etc. Somatic therapies enable one to internalise these external resources and re-wire the Nervous system.

I believe that each one of us has the potential to tap into joy and destress our system. This not only enables us to heal our deepest trauma, it helps us reconnect with our true essence and bring purpose and meaning to our lives.




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