The people in our lives, and how often we connect with them, make a difference in our healing. A growing body of science shows that supportive relationships can buffer stress and the negative health impacts associated with ACEs.
Numerous scientific studies have proven that strong social connections aid in healing, help people overcome adversity and tragedy, and build resilience.
Click here to understand the science of how this works. Or, check out these simple relationship building tools.
Who are your people?
Reach out to your person
Join a Community
Mindfulness is an awareness of our experiences in the moment without judgment.
We can use tools like meditation, mindful movement, or mindful time in nature to help cultivate this state.
Mindfulness practices have been used for thousands of years by cultures around the globe as a way to stay balanced, centered, and present. And there’s modern scientific evidence to prove the benefits.
Mindfulness boosts memory, focus, and mood while decreasing anxiety. It can help us control our impulses, build more positive relationships, and view life with a more open mind.
For mindfulness – for anything, really – to work best, it’s good to practice it regularly. Click one of the buttons below as a way to start.
Try a calming practice
write it down
Mental Health Care
Mental health is important to every single one of us affects all of us, and can impact every aspect of our lives.
For those of us struggling with depression, anxiety, substance use, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, anger management, or other ACE-related conditions, mental and behavioral health care can be helpful in addressing these symptoms and feeling better.
While not something we talk about openly and often, suicidal thoughts or behaviors are some of the most common challenges associated with ACEs.
Our minds and bodies are connected. So caring for minds — whether by ourselves, getting help from friends or family, or working with mental health providers — can help with physical challenges too. Immune, inflammatory, cardiovascular, or metabolic issues may be related to toxic stress.
Changes in our emotional or mental well-being — like our mood, our energy, changes in our normal routines — are clues. If we experience those types of changes, it can be a good indication it’s time to ask for help.
A lot of us have found the best place to start when we’re struggling with our mental health is to talk to someone we trust, whether that’s your partner, friend, or doctor. The tools below can help you talk to your doctor, find a provider, and get support from people going through similar challenges.
Mental health is health
Nearly all of us struggle with our mental health at some point in our lives
Check in on yourself
Reach out and get help
talk to your doctor
find a provider who understands you
get peer support
Time to get moving
Movement is a key component to healing from ACEs. Trauma from childhood may be stored at the cellular level in our body, and movement can help release it. Movement can also improve our energy and overall health and help us stay flexible and relaxed. We often express ourselves culturally and spiritually through movement.
Just remember that you can choose movement that feels good to you. The most important thing is to integrate it into your everyday life. Whether that’s going for a morning walk or greeting the day with a deep stretch.
Start small, or take big leaps, the choice is up to you.
ideas to try
take a (free) online class
shake it out
Get some sleep
As basic as it seems, sleep is essential. It nourishes our brain so we can concentrate, think clearly, and remember things effectively.
Not surprisingly, childhood trauma is linked to chronic sleep challenges. If you struggle with sleep, it may be because of ACEs. The good news is, the more we use any of these healing practices, the better our chances of a good night’s sleep.
Here are three ways to start living your best sleep life:
make a routine
prepare a place
set the sounds
Being in nature improves our health while calming our mind and body.
Science has shown that being in nature can lower our blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce stress and pain. Being in nature renews our mind too, boosting our attention span, mood, and ability to focus. Even if we’re by ourselves, experiencing nature can make us feel more connected and bring a greater sense of belonging.
Here are three ways to get in on nature.
explore nature through photos
find a garden
If you’ve struggled with issues around eating and food – like digestive problems, insulin resistance, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, and other challenges – ACEs and toxic stress might help explain why.
Toxic stress can impact our digestive system and metabolism — in some cases, causing severe problems. If that’s been your experience, you may want to enlist the support of a trained nutritionist or medical professional.
An important component of our healing journey – no matter where the starting line is for you – is eating mindfully. Some of us may find ourselves eating while on autopilot. But paying attention can have a big impact. And it can make our meals a whole lot more enjoyable.
Here are three ways to become more mindful about our food and nutrition: