Whether you’re carrying the heavy burden of a childhood filled with hardships, the devastation of losing a loved one, sexual assault, or the constant anxiety of experiencing a home intrusion, processing any kind of trauma is a complex process. Healing from the psychological impacts of traumatic events is also often not a linear journey.
The effects of trauma are also not exclusively psychological; trauma can live in the cells of your body and impact physical wellness as well. Muscle tension, chronic pain, sleep disruption, chronic stress, and hypervigilance are just a few ways trauma can affect your physical health.
Still, there are healthy ways to move through trauma.
Set aside time to journal regularly
Journaling is a recommended therapy for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. Penning your thoughts, emotions, events, and interactions makes it possible to release complex emotions associated with trauma. Processing your trauma by writing things down will empower you to take control and understand hard emotions and even your triggers that may be overpowering your quality of life.
You don’t need to have a way with words or a love for literature to journal, either. All you need to do is create a sacred writing space and start writing freely without judgment, self-blame, or self-criticism. The effects of trauma often leave victims in a self-blaming loop, so it might be tricky to be mindful of this detail when you first start journaling. But after some time, you will be more able to identify self-destructive thoughts simply because you will have a record.
Let a mental health professional lead the way
It’s not uncommon for trauma victims to feel that they cannot reach out to loved ones to unpack their experiences or particular details. Unfortunately, shame and self-blame lead trauma victims to feel that events are unspeakable burdens.
But it’s essential to open up to someone for several reasons. Initially, simply speaking about the events in a safe space will help validate your experiences and move away from feelings of shame. Instead of navigating the healing process alone, let a therapist or counselor lead the way. See You Through It Counseling can help you process your trauma in a safe and comfortable space.
Remind yourself that you are safe
Often, those who have endured chronic trauma or complex trauma struggle to adjust to life after the fact. The effects of ongoing or severe trauma will hold anyone in survival mode. Living life in survival mode will turn everyday experiences into overwhelming challenges.
Daily affirmations can help reprogram thought patterns positively. Reminding yourself daily that you are safe is one of many soothing affirmations that will help you move through your trauma.
The path to healing is a bumpy road filled with complex emotions and seemingly endless heartache. But there are healthy ways to process and release trauma and its many cruel impacts. By journaling your experiences, relying on a professional, and using daily affirmations, the road to an empowered self becomes easier.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.