Building Mental Wellness: Strategies for Victims and Witnesses

August 4, 2023
Filipe Bastos


(Source: Unsplash)

If you have witnessed a violent crime or have found yourself a victim of crime, it can be extremely difficult to have the fortitude to go on after the crime. Especially if you are still in a position of being or feeling vulnerable. There are a lot of mental traumas and issues that can go along with any type of crime that you witnessed or were a victim of, and it can be extremely easy to see yourself as a victim and that another crime is going to hop out of every shadow.

The best way to combat this is to improve your mental health and wellness to begin to heal your mind, and with the right help you can find yourself getting stronger and stronger. Until you get strong enough to where you aren’t afraid anymore. Here are some tips for building perfect mental wellness.

Allow Yourself To Feel Negative Emotions… For A While

This might seem like a step back if we are focusing on eliminating those negative emotions from your life, but if you aren’t taking at least a little time to process what happened to you, you won’t be able to heal properly. So if you are sad, scared, worried, angry, or traumatized about whatever happened to you or whatever you witnessed, allow yourself to be so. Talk to friends, family, or a professional and feel those emotions.

If you enjoy delving into your own emotions and allowing yourself to feel them and then let them go, you can even create a job out of it. All you need to do is pursue a pursue a masters in forensic psychology and help prevent the same crimes you’ve had to deal with.

The important thing is not to become stuck in all of those emotions and get overwhelmed by them. If you do, then you start to see potential crimes and criminals everywhere, and you also start to feel more and more powerless. So allow yourself to feel the negative emotions, but don’t dwell too deeply on them.

Get Back Your Strength 

If you witness a crime or are the victim of one, again it is very easy to feel weak and powerless, but one of the best ways to get your mood back is to give yourself strength. For example, if you witnessed a robbery, then you might wonder how long it will be until you get mugged. 

But rather than seeing everyone as a robber and waiting until someone demands your stuff, start to think about what you can do to be strong in the face of a robbery. Maybe you could take some self defense classes to keep yourself in fighting shape, so you can overpower a potential attacker. Or you could make it a rule to never go out after a certain time or to always avoid suspicious areas.

If you were the victim of a robbery at your home, can you beef up security? Hide your valuables better? Can you make sure to close whatever hole the robber used to get inside your home?

You don’t want to go overboard with gathering up your strength, but it is far far better to be prepared rather than scared. So why not give that a go?

Building mental wellness, much like building anything else, takes time and dedication. But if you can pick yourself up and build yourself up after experiencing or witnessing a crime, then you will become a much stronger person for it afterward. That’s inspiring, and shows that you are stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.

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With rising temperatures, worrisome droughts, and looming environmental issues, it’s perfectly normal to feel sad, anxious, angry, and powerless. 😔

In times like this, mindfulness and self-awareness can be crucial in your ability to cope with fear. Here are 3 tips to help manage your climate anxiety:

🌍 Practice acceptance, not denial - accept you can't change the world on your own, only your tiny role within it
🌍 Try not to feel responsible for others - concentrate on your own journey.
🌍 Reduce your carbon footprint - take pride in lifestyle changes that you make. 

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Fear is often the thing that holds us back most from developing a deeper self-knowledge and awareness in our lives:

🌖 We fear being vulnerable.
🌗 We fear change.
🌘 We fear the truth.
🌑 We fear being wrong.

In moments that you feel fear creeping up on you, or notice it holding you back, take a moment to question your fear and ask yourself if your fear is truly serving you.

If you're interested in reading more on self-awareness and fear, check out last week's article on our blog. 🦉

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