11 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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Our memories and experiences elicit certain feelings in us. Some recollections are pleasant, while others are unpleasant. We either feel pleased or bad when we recall them. They have the ability to make us grin or cry, depending on our focus. Certain memories, on the other hand, have a greater impact on us without our conscious awareness. Severe, difficult-to-let-go-of memories can result in emotional and psychological distress.

Related: Does PTSD Go Away

Negative events, negative feelings, or the lingering anguish of an unforgettable occasion can often have an irrevocable effect on us. This is the point at which trauma manifests. A traumatic encounter is described as one that is extremely stressful or upsetting. Our traumatic experiences are irreversible, and they may continue to influence us in the future. While we cannot change the past, we can recover from it and know that recovery is still possible.

Emotional healing is a long-term, sometimes a lifelong process. The following are the key indicators that you are in a phase of emotional healing:

  • Accepting adversity in life and the absence of denial
  • Sensitivity to emotions serves as a guide for self-improvement.
  • Not being afraid and not being easily irritated
  • With ease and adaptability, soaking up setbacks
  • Recognize that unpleasant days in life are transient and that there is hope on the horizon.
  • Sleeping peacefully
  • No longer experiencing loneliness or depression
  • Forgetting to take your prescription on a daily basis is a sign of inner strength.
  • Broken connections can be repaired, fostering a strong bond between family and friends.
  • The ill physical body is gradually regaining strength: the times of headaches, insomnia, bad eating habits, or abnormal appetite are long gone.
  • Physiological sensations such as pains and aches vanish, as does numbness in the feet and hands.
  • Accept past events as a springboard for future opportunities for progress and even personal development.
  • In the mind, positive and serene thoughts coalesce.
  • Rather than discussing pain, we should concentrate on gaining new talents.
  • Making significant changes in your life, such as changing jobs, remodeling your residence, or purchasing a new car
  • Being cheerful and nimble; believing that something excellent has occurred or will occur in due course
  • Regaining enjoyment of life is an accurate indication of the healing process.

Healing is hard, demanding, and frightening. In the end, most people find it worthwhile due to what lies beyond.

Relationships and interaction, re-connecting to our heritage and inherited practices, having a discipline like meditation and/or yoga, expressions like art, dancing, and literature, and more are all ways to heal from trauma.

Here are some of the frequent aspects we see as people heal from trauma.

  1. You Start Experiencing Emotions (Rather than escaping or ignoring them)
  • You let yourself tear up
  • Rather than trying to change or let go of your feelings, you accept them.
  • Anger starts to go away (turns out loneliness, sadness, confusion, pain, and helplessness was underneath)
  1. You Begin Living Thoughtfully (Instead of living mindlessly)
  • Starting from a position of worth rather than distraction or numbness is the key.
  • You ask yourself:
  • “How much sleep does my body require right now?”
  • “Do I really want to undertake this particular assignment now?”
  • “What if I upset others and say no?”
  • You start asking yourself things like:
  • “Currently, I worry what is beneath my urge to impress others.”
  • “This is fascinating. This pattern repeats itself. Let me pause and think about this now.”
  • “Mistakes are acceptable. It is not my fault to make mistakes. A lesson can be learned from making mistakes.”
  • “I will not have to know everything.”
  • ”I’m exhausted. I might decline that invite tonight.”
  • ”I love spending weekends alone. Need to do it more.”
  • ”I love spending time with friends on weekends. Want it more.”
  1. Your Body Lets Go of Trauma And Releases Tension
  • Weak somatic problems (migraines, headaches, stress, stomach aches, fatigue)
  • Your body relaxes and calms as you learn to develop body safety.
  • You’re more accepting of other people’s embraces/hugs (particularly with those you trust and care about)
  • You recognize somatization: that a few of your physical problems stem from mental health difficulties (for example, depression, trauma, anxiety)
  1. You ask for help and assistance more
  • You let more people gently into your sensitive inner life (your guards starts falling off)
  • You start asking for what you want (instead of presuming others know or can read your mind)
  • You learn to comprehend your own needs and desires rather than those of others.
  • Maybe you open up more to others
  • Embracing yourself as perfection does not exist
  1. You React Less 
  • You cease joking about your troubles. (You learn that laughing reduces pain)
  • Your impulses start to heal you 
  • You learn your tensions, sensitivities, and weaknesses
  • You learn to distinguish between safety, danger, and reliability (instead of solely relying on your head/brain/logic).
  • You start living in the now 
  1. You Begin To Lament For What You Never Had
  • You can comprehend the inner child concept better if you let yourself feel more.
  • Since others may be unwilling or unable to provide for your inner child, you start a process of re-parenting your inner self.
  • With grief comes passion, anger, and outrage.
  • These are only some of the things to expect when healing from trauma. Recognize that your journey is distinct from others’.

Gina Ross, the founder of the International Trauma-Healing Institute, has created a simple procedure called EmotionAid. Here’s a quick rundown of the measures you can take to start releasing trauma from your body.

  1. To begin, examine your current situation: On a scale of 1 to 7, rate how stressed or upset you are. If it’s too high, start with the Grounding Steps below.
  • Start with Butterfly Tapping or Hugging – embrace (hug) yourself and then alternatively touch your arms 25 times sideways. Take some deep breaths after that. Repeat till you see a significant reduction in your stress level.
  • After that, put roots in the ground. In the chair, pay attention to your feet or, if you’re sitting, your rear, hips, and rear end of your legs. Now observe how your feet or lower body are inherently linked to the floor, then to the earth, as though roots are growing deep into the earth. Take some deep breaths in and out. Then, while being connected to your “roots,” look around the room and observe things or textures.

Finally, pay attention to your breathing by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Now be with your breathing, observing its rhythm rather than trying to change it. Then, with your fingertips, draw a heart shape and bring focus to your heartbeat.

  1. Start Discharging Emotions and Releasing Stress now
  • First, pay attention to your breathing and take a few deep breaths. Any sensations that arise naturally should be noted. Shivering, heat, yawning, sweating, Goosebumps, shortness of breath, and stomach gurgling are all symptoms of stress hormones being released. Keep an open mind about your sentiments and be present with them, and they will gradually dissipate. Don’t criticize or judge what you’re feeling or sensing.
  • After that, go over the painful experience or disturbing ideas that caused the feelings. As you reflect on what happened, pay attention to the feelings that arise. It’s critical to go slowly so that you just allow one feeling to activate at a time. Simply stay with it and give it time. Then, as you follow the sensations, notice the discharge that appears. (Learn that you can momentarily ignore emotions and feelings that you aren’t paying attention to right now.) Think about putting them on a rack for the time being.)
  • Deal with the Thoughts after that. Again, when you notice one idea at a time, pay attention to the sensations that accompany it. Allow yourself to be free of any judgment or criticism. Simply stay present and watch what happens next, as well as the sensations that are releasing and discharging from the body.
  • Now pay attention to Resources and bring them to your attention. A resource is something that makes you feel powerful and tranquil. These can be external (for instance, a good friend’s nice eyes) or interior (maybe the memory of a personal accomplishment). Observe the sensations that arise in your body while you recollect or hold these resources. Take a few moments to notice how your body feels peaceful and strong.

  1. Get Your Feet Moving

Trauma throws your body’s natural balance off, causing you to become hyper-aroused and fearful. Movement and exercise can assist restore your nervous system in addition to burning away adrenaline and producing endorphins.

On most days, try exercising for 30 minutes or more. If you prefer, three 10-minute bursts of activity every day would suffice.

Walking, jogging, basketball, swimming, or even dancing are all good examples of rhythmic exercise that uses both your legs and arms.

Include a mindfulness component. Rather than concentrating on your emotions or diverting yourself while exercising, concentrate on your physique and how it seems as you move. Take note of the feeling of your feet touching the floor, the pattern of your breath, or the feel of the air on your skin, for instance. Boxing, rock climbing, weight training, and martial arts can help with this—after all, you must concentrate on your body motions to avoid harm during these sports.

  1. Do Not Isolate Yourself

You might want to isolate yourself after a traumatic event, but this would just make things worse. Make efforts to preserve your ties and resist spending too much time alone because connecting with individuals face to face will help you heal.

You are not required to discuss the trauma. It is not necessary to discuss the trauma with others in order to connect with them. In fact, for some people, this may aggravate their situation. Feeling involved and appreciated by others brings comfort.

Make a request for help. While you are not required to discuss the trauma, it is critical that you have someone with whom you can share your experiences face to face, somebody who will listen intently without passing judgment. Turn to a family member, a friend, a counselor, or a cleric for help.

Take part in social events, even if you are not feeling like it. Participate in “normal” activities with other people which have nothing to do with the stressful incident.

Reconnect with old acquaintances. Make an attempt to reconnect with relationships that were previously essential to you if you’ve drifted away.

Join a trauma victim support group. Connecting with people who are dealing with similar issues can make you feel less alone, and hearing how others cope can motivate you to work on your own recovery.

Volunteer. Volunteering can be a terrific method to combat the sense of powerlessness that frequently comes with trauma, as well as assisting others. By assisting others, you can remind yourself of your abilities and restore your sense of authority.

Make new acquaintances. It’s critical to reach out and create new connections if you live alone or far away from family and friends. Join a class or a club to meet individuals who share your interests, join an alumni organization, or reach out to coworkers or neighbors.

  1. Regulate Your Neurological System On Your Own.

It’s crucial to realize that you can modify your arousal system and calm yourself, no matter how agitated, worried, or out of control, you feel. It will not only assist to reduce the anxiety that comes with trauma, but it will also give you a sense of control.

Breathing with awareness. Mindful breath is a quick approach to relax if you’re feeling bewildered, confused, or upset. Simply take 60 deep breaths, concentrating on each breath.

Input from the senses. Is there a particular sight, scent, or flavor that instantly relaxes you? Perhaps caressing an animal or listening to music would help you relax quickly? Because everyone reacts to sensory input differently, try a variety of rapid stress relief approaches to see what works best for you.

Keep your feet on the ground. Sit in a chair to feel more present and grounded. Your feet should be on the ground, and your back should be against the chair. Pick 6 objects that have blue or red in them from around you. Observe how your breathing becomes deeper and more relaxed.

Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling at the time. Accept and acknowledge your feelings regarding the trauma as they arise.

  1. Take Good Care Of Yourself

It’s true: having a healthy body can help you cope better with trauma-related stress.

Make sure you get enough rest. Fear or worry may disrupt your sleep patterns after a distressing encounter. However, a lack of good sleep might increase your trauma symptoms and make it more difficult to maintain emotional equilibrium. Each day, go to bed and wake up at the same time, and obtain 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

Alcohol and narcotics should be avoided. Their use can exacerbate your trauma symptoms and make you feel more depressed, anxious, and alone.

Consume a healthy, well-balanced diet. Small, well-balanced meals spread out all day will help you maintain your energy and reduce mood swings. To improve your mood, avoid processed and fried meals and consume enough omega-3 fats, like salmon, soybeans, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

Reduce your stress levels. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga are all good ways to relax. Make time for the things that make you happy, such as your favorite pastimes.

It takes time to recover from trauma, and everyone recovers at their own speed. However, if months have gone by and your symptoms haven’t improved, you may want the assistance of a trauma expert.

  • If you’re suffering from trauma, seek help if you’re:
  • Have difficulties at work or at home?
  • Suffering from acute anxiety, despair, or fear
  • Incapable of forming close, fulfilling relationships
  • Having nightmares, flashbacks, or terrible recollections
  • Constantly avoiding everything that keeps reminding you of the trauma
  • Feeling numb and cut off from the rest of the world
  • To feel better, people turn to drinking or narcotics.

Working with trauma can be frightening, difficult, and even re-traumatizing, therefore it’s best to do it with the support of a trauma professional. It may take some time to find the proper therapist. It’s critical that the therapist you hire has prior trauma treatment experience. However, the quality of your interaction with your therapist is also crucial. Pick a good trauma specialist with whom you feel at ease. Find a new therapist if you don’t feel comfortable, appreciated, or respected.



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