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Bullying can have a massive effect on your development as a child. However, the trauma can also preoccupy you long into adulthood. This lack of closure can become very clear particularly if you were never able to resolve things when you were younger.

Research shows that there is a higher threat in adulthood of later depression, anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia when compared to those children not involved in bullying.

Therefore, to make the most of your life, it is important not to let the victim mentality take hold. Tough self-reflection is required in order to make sure that you build confidence and self-esteem.

With that in mind, here are 7 tips which will help you to love yourself, to let go, and to take back the power to control your own destiny now that you are in adulthood.

1. Focus on your health and avoid isolation

Bullying can have a serious impact on your health. Talk to your doctor about any issues with which you are dealing. This could be anything from insomnia to post-traumatic stress and eating disorders.

You must take steps to take care of yourself. Talk about the painful aspects of your past with someone who you trust. Maintain supportive contact with friends and family. Do not try to deal with the repercussions of bullying by yourself. If issues continue to reappear, consider speaking to a counsellor. The key is to not deal with the healing process alone.

2. Find closure and take your time

In order to recover, it is vital that you move on at some point. Some people decide to write an unmailed letter to their bully. This gives them the opportunity to vent all the rage and frustration that they could not express as a child.

Recovery is not necessarily a quick process, particularly if bullying was not dealt with when it happened. It will be necessary to change habits and address the incorrect perceptions that you hold about yourself. Make sure that you celebrate each positive step of your journey and give yourself as much time as you need to mend.

3. Let go of old emotions and regain control

It takes bravery to let go of pain, and stop it from taking over your life. You will become much more content if you work to let go of the anger that may still linger. It is not a question of forgetting, however, as this is all part of your life experience.

To avoid forever being a victim, you must recognise that you can only control your response to a situation as opposed to what actually happened to you. Make an effort to live healthily as this will also have a positive impact on your thoughts and actions.

Stay focused on the here and now where you are in charge of your life and safe. Do not let the past shape who you are (or will become) in the future.

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