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How to Heal from Emotional and Psychological Trauma?

A traumatic event leaves you feeling insecure, afraid, and saddened, with an inability to reconnect to your past self or your surroundings in a healthier, pre-traumatic way. While it might seem that getting over a traumatic occurrence is impossible, trauma recovery is possible and effective. Not only can one heal from a traumatic past, but in some cases, you can reevaluate your present identity in a powerful way.

The right support, along with self-help strategies, can initiate the healing process and make you rise above the pain. As you might feel overwhelmed after a traumatic event, the process of healing takes time. In this article we have discussed what trauma is, the symptoms, and some strategies you can practice to help you heal.

What Does Being Traumatized Feel Like?

Trauma is our response to a negative occurrence that leaves us frightened and overwhelmed. Any stressful event that crushes your sense of security and trust, making you feel helpless and vulnerable, can result in emotional or psychological trauma. 

An unsettling occurrence that poses a threat to your life and safety results in traumatic stress, a constant feeling of fear which we carry with us well after the event is over.

Trauma can stem from one-time events, such as death of a loved one, accidents, or violent attacks. It can also be caused by ongoing stressful situations such as living in an abusive household or battling an illness. Breakups, a surgery, or a humiliating experience might also result in traumatic stress.

Are there any Symptoms of Trauma?

Trauma is a subjective response so it varies from person to person. A certain negative event might be normal for one person but might be shattering for another. A trauma response is a normal reaction to abnormal realities and there isn’t a right or wrong response to an extremely stressful event.

Since being traumatized might leave you confused, you might fail to understand that what you are experiencing is traumatic stress. Here are some signs and symptoms of psychological or emotional trauma.

  • Memories or upsetting thoughts leading to anxiety
  • Feelings of denial or shock
  • Overwhelming thoughts of fear of helplessness
  • Guilt and self-blame to develop answers
  • A sense of lack of connection
  • An inability to foster trust in others

The symptoms of trauma usually fade with time as you learn to process the unsettling event and your reaction to it. If it prolongs, you might feel as if you are stuck in a constant state of shock. This inability to make sense of the trauma or your response to it might hint towards PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress disorder).  

The Healing Process after a Traumatic Event

With the right support, you can get over the pain and be happy again. While you cannot heal yourself alone, the willingness to walk the path of healing is the most important step in recovery. Here are some steps that you can take:

Find the Right Help and Support

It is important to look for the right support and help. This might be in the form of comforting loved ones or therapists who will provide you with a safe space to express your emotions and mourn the pain and the loss you have suffered. If talking about it is discomforting, you should just connect with others in an attempt to stay engaged — isolation can never help with healing.

Process Your Emotions

It is important to develop a healthy self-talk to stay in touch with your emotions. Accepting and resolving your feelings is the most important step in healing from trauma. You might not like some of these emotions, such as rage, but allowing yourself to experience them in their entirety can be the key to overcoming pain.

Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement

Directing your thoughts in an attempt to soothe your mind is always helpful for trauma survivors, as it clears your head. Getting physically active can also help you heal, as exercise releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins, giving you a boost of happiness from inside.

Do not Bury Your Trauma in Recreational Substances

Substances such as drugs and alcohol shut down your mind, giving you a temporary escape from your thoughts. However, avoiding your feelings only exacerbates the problem. It is important to take time to heal before going back to drinking or partying.

Recovering from a trauma doesn’t mean you would somehow forget the event or the associated feeling, it is the ability to rise above the pain in such a way that it no longer controls your mind. Think of it as a shift in perspective, where you relate to your circumstances in a different way than before.

We want you to know…

If you have recently encountered a traumatic event, you must cope with the pain for your sense of safety. It is very important to grieve and mourn as a natural reaction, as suppressing your feelings will result in devastating consequences. Recovery is important to come to terms with the unsettling event and your response to it.

Suffering a traumatic event doesn’t only shatter your happiness, it might also result in withdrawing from others. This sense of isolation can lead to living with pain and anxiety, which can develop into other problems such as depression. 

If you think you need help sorting your emotions, talk to a therapist. The certified professional at The Hardy Clinic will teach you key skills to help you cope with trauma, assisting you in the healing process.