Many of us have experienced some level of trauma throughout our lives. Some of us deal with depression, anxiety, and a host of other issues. Sometimes it can feel very lonely when dealing with our mental and emotional health. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “I want to get help, but am afraid of what others will think.” That’s a very common and normal response in our culture. But, why do we have to be afraid? Throughout the years, we as a culture have evolved and grown in our awareness and acceptance of emotional and mental health. For many however, there is still a stigma that surrounds these important topics. We live in an atmosphere that promotes perfection, productivity, and “keeping it all together.” You don’t’ have to look far to learn the truth that many people are wearing a mask to hide the pain that really exists inside. Stigma causes shame and silences many who are suffering. So, how do we break through the stigma?

Here are 3 ways we can work to breakthrough the stigma:

1. Start speaking out and sharing your story.

This can be a very scary concept for many people dealing with some type of emotional or mental health issue. There is so much power and change that can come from sharing our stories in a safe way. Many find that when they share their story, others can relate. This is a powerful connection to make with others who are touched by your story because they too are walking this journey. Speaking out also helps free you from feeling like you have to hide who you really are. It’s an important step in finding your true self and walking towards the life you want.

2. Choosing healthy and safe relationships

When walking through an emotional or mental health situation, It can feel very lonely. We are wired for connection, and science shows that through healthy relationships, and authentic connection with others can truly be healing for your brain, body, and soul. Many times this will help us break through the isolation that many who are struggling deal with. You can’t do this alone. Choosing vulnerability and taking even a small step towards choosing relationships with safe people, is a huge accomplishment. You will find that many others are dealing with the same issues in life. Building a community and support system helps neutralize the stigma you are facing.

3. Get help

Taking the steps to get help can be scary. We understand the anxiety that surrounds the idea of reaching out and starting your healing journey. It takes one small step towards help to create an amazingly huge transformation in your life. There is hope and healing for everyone. Getting help will allow you to become free from the fear of others and what they might think. Support for your emotional and mental health can look different for each person. Some may find that they need a therapist or psychologist, or psychiatrist to help them walk through this journey. We can help provide referrals. We also suggest our one on one coaching for those in need. Getting help doesn’t have to mean that you are weak or flawed. It is the bravest choice you can make to reach out and get help. Many people who are fighting the stigma find freedom once they choose support.

These steps require vulnerability and bravery. We understand how that process can be scary. Especially for those dealing with childhood or adulthood trauma. Let’s not let the stigma define who we are any longer. Fight the stigma by choosing compassion for yourself, and entering into a journey of healing, help, and hope. That’s the most powerful tool you have to break through the fear of the thoughts and judgment of others. Stop living for the approval of others, and start learning how to love yourself well. You deserve it, and you’re worth it.