How do I Start to Heal My Trauma:
The human experience is full of highs and lows, filled with intense emotions, feelings, and challenges. You can’t enjoy the good moments in life without experiencing some bad ones.
For those who have experienced trauma, that scale might feel like it’s tipped more to the opposite or bad side. Recovering from trauma can be a process that requires hard work to complete. Here are four steps to take to start your healing journey.
- Acknowledge Your Event: The first step in moving to a place of healing is to WANT to heal. This may sound like a no-brainer for anyone who has experienced trauma, but not everyone reaches that point at the same time. Oftentimes, after a traumatic event, it isn’t uncommon to try to push that experience and those feelings to a deeper place. Avoidance or denial are natural responses to return to some semblance of normal. Unfortunately, true healing requires acceptance and processing of the event. Acknowledgment and acceptance do not mean that you are at fault. This journey may not be easy or comfortable. Healing comes from a place of discomfort and ownership of the situation that occurred.
- Establish a Self-Care Routine: The healing journey can be trying and draining. It is important to have a self-care routine that can help ease the negative feelings but also set the priority on yourself. It gives a balance of good to the pain that often comes with trauma. This is a very individual routine and may evolve and shift as you progress on your journey. Find the right combination of sleep, nutrition, physical well-being, emotional well-being, and relaxation components.
- Sleep: Get the right amount of sleep, stay on a sleep schedule, avoid electronics before bedtime
- Nutrition: Eat a well-balanced diet, avoid overly processed/junk food, stay hydrated, but do enjoy that cheat meal every once in a while
- Physical: Research shows time and time again that exercise is one of the best things post-trauma; try walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, yoga, or lifting for 30 minutes ideally every day
- Emotional/Relaxation: Listen to music, take a bath, lean on friends, set boundaries, go outside in nature
- Self-care for the whole mind, body, and soul can be the recharge you need while processing through trauma and moving forward in a healthy way.
- Practice Mindfulness: After trauma, connecting with your inner self can be a helpful way to overcome the pain and stress associated with it. Both mindfulness and meditation are practices that can be utilized during a healing journey. Since you’re trying to connect mind and body, this one could take some practice. Spend some time practicing because the value outweighs the struggle. Meditation can help clear your mind and ground you or bring you into the present moment when negative emotions try to overtake you. If you’re unsure how to complete this, there are plenty of guidelines online to follow, books to read, and phone apps that provide guided meditations.
- Engage in Creativity: When you face a trauma, you might not feel like participating in anything too strenuous, let alone your day-to-day activities. This tends to include things that are fun and can bring you joy. Until you’re ready, you need to do what’s best for you. With that said, it is important to engage in something fun and creative to help yourself heal. It can be a good distraction from the negative stressors and start to shift your perspective. Creative outlets are also great for healing as a way to express what you’re feeling on the inside. While you may not be able to bring yourself to talk about it yet, art or expressive activities can be that tool for you.
Regardless of the specifics of your trauma, having lived through any type of experience can have a heavy impact on your life. When the time is right, it is important to begin processing from that trauma. If you’re still unsure how to start, reach out to learn more about trauma therapy.