The first step in treating and healing one’s self from adverse childhood experiences is by having the courage to recognize it and seek help with a medical practitioner. Having the courage to talk about these experiences is the key to unlocking a better version of one’s self. The health practitioner may recommend taking prescriptions such as antidepressants to help combat mental health conditions and depression caused by toxic stress.
Engaging in activities like practicing the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program which includes mindfulness meditation, exercises like yoga, body awareness, and behavior exploration may help ease mental health conditions. Proper breathing exercises help in boosting the parasympathetic nervous system which helps in calming the body. Practicing yoga helps decrease blood flow in the brain’s alarm center and increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid which improves brain function and provides protection against depression.
There is no greater cure than prevention. Prevention is done by building up a child’s resilience or the ability to cope up with life’s challenges. The resilience of a child prevents negative outcomes and consequences of ACEs to appear in the later stages of life. Ways to support the building and strengthening a child’s resilience includes:
- Raising awareness about ACEs
- Promoting a healthy community
- Supporting parents and families
- Promote protection against violence and abuse
- Campaigns and programs for mental health
- Connecting the youth to mentoring programs and caring activities