Trauma – In one way or another, you may have experienced a very stressful or distressing moment in your life. This can include the loss of a loved one, personal relationship conflicts, being bullied, and experiencing burnout, among others. For some people, such instances can be traumatizing and cause long-lasting effects. And as a result, the trauma can affect their mental well-being, and they may feel the need to disconnect from people in their lives.
Understanding Trauma And Its Effects
Trauma is a person’s emotional response to an event that may have triggered heightened emotional reactions, making them feel frightened, defenseless, or afraid. However, it’d be worth noting there is no clear cut-off point for what defines trauma. More so, your experience may not be the same as others.
A near experience with death, for example, could be traumatic. The unexpected death of a spouse, close family member, or an acquaintance may also qualify as trauma. Physical abuse can also cause trauma. Natural disasters and other terrifying encounters can also be traumatic. Trauma is a complex notion to grasp, but one thing is certain: trauma is frequently associated with unpleasant feelings or emotions.
Essentially, there are different levels of trauma. But to start, trauma can be physical or psychological. This means you don’t have to bear visible bruises to experience it. And because the human psyche is complicated, it is sometimes difficult to deal with invisible trauma. For instance, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can linger for years or even decades if left untreated.
Dealing with past memories can be harrowing, and talking about one’s feelings can be terrifying. In some cases, a traumatic experience will challenge how you view yourself and the world and change your outlook on life. Its effects could also manifest in one’s physical health. And the more severe the trauma, the more challenging it can be to bounce back from it. But recovery is possible.
Recovering From Trauma
Everyone experiences trauma differently; the same goes with the path to recovery. Each person’s recovery journey will be unique as diverse experiences call for different approaches to dealing with trauma. While healing may take time, it is attainable. And during the process, it’s essential to be patient with yourself or the person going through it. Be kind to yourself, especially when encountering setbacks along the way.
It could also help to have support on your journey to recovery. Support from family and friends can go a long way since there could be moments when you feel like giving up and sink further. Encouragement is necessary, and recovery is achievable with the right support system.
Guide To Help You In Your Trauma Recovery
Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
Perhaps, at the moment, you may think that avoiding your feelings can make the situation better. That may work temporarily, but it may hinder your recovery in the long run.
Yes, acknowledging these perplexing feelings can be difficult. However, honesty with oneself is essential for a successful recovery. For one, acknowledging your feelings can help make sense of what happened and the healing process. It can also help you to open up to other trusted people in your life.
Once you’re ready, talk to someone about what you’re feeling. Let yourself be vulnerable and acknowledge your fears, anger, frustration, and pain. Holding onto those negative feelings and thoughts won’t help you move past the trauma and may hold you back from recovering.
However, it’s also worth mentioning to take it one step at a time and don’t force yourself to open up and talk about your trauma. Healing takes time, and forcing it may do you more harm than good.
Seek Professional Help
When it comes to trauma recovery, realize that you don’t have to do this alone. You can collaborate with professionals who can aid in your recovery. They have the experience and knowledge to deal with varied patients, and you can also benefit from their breadth of knowledge. Seeking professional help can also provide you with much-needed support, which is the most significant advantage. You can visit sites such as Jacksonhousecares.com for further information.
When something traumatic occurs, people frequently attempt to minimize the gravity of the situation. However, their traumatic experience may begin to affect other areas of their life, indicating that they may not have that problem under control. And in such a case, seeking professional assistance can be an option worth considering.
However, note that you don’t have to wait until your situation worsens to get professional help. You may consider getting help as soon as you notice signs that you are suffering from trauma. The sooner you seek help, the better.
Keeping yourself active and busy during the recovery process can be beneficial too. Exercising regularly, for instance, has a lot of benefits that do not just involve your body. Aside from keeping you in shape and making your body strong, it’s also a healthy way to relieve stress. It is also believed to be an effective mood booster and alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms. This is because when you exercise, there’s an increase in your endorphin levels that can give you a lighter and happier mood.
However, if this is not possible, you could opt for lighter exercise routines and stretching. You could also try calming sessions of yoga and meditating. Meditation can be an excellent way to help you relax and relieve any tension building up. You can relax your mind by using various deep breathing techniques. Instead of concentrating on the negative feelings and thoughts, pay attention to how your body moves during each breath. This can help you release the stress and burden you may be carrying.
Realize that Recovery Takes Time
Recovering from trauma isn’t easy. And as mentioned, it may take some time. With that, it would be best to give yourself time to heal and don’t be in a rush to declare recovery prematurely. After all, there are no shortcuts to complete recovery.
In addition, it’s essential not to compare your recovery journey with someone else’s. While reading about someone else’s experience online might be reassuring, remember that your recovery journey and duration may differ significantly from theirs. So don’t feel guilty or ashamed if your recovery takes longer than expected. What matters most is whether you’re making progress. In other words, look for reasons to keep you moving forward rather than backward.
Join A Support Group
If you find it hard to cope with your feelings, joining a support group could be beneficial. Support groups will allow you to share your experience with others. You’ll also get a chance to hear other people’s experiences.
The reason why this can be therapeutic is that they’re a form of release. They can also help you to be more empathetic towards yourself and others. In these moments, you can truly realize that you’re not alone. Yes, your experience isn’t great. But the feeling that you’re not alone could be a motivation to stay on the path. Plus, group members could also offer advice on how they’re dealing with a situation that may be similar to yours.
If you’re looking for a support group to join, it’s best to consult with your local doctor or health practitioner. Alternatively, you could look for an online group or community to join.
Avoid Alcohol or Other Harmful Drugs
To cope with feelings of stress, worry, hopelessness, and fear caused by a traumatic incident, some people may turn to drugs or alcohol. However, trust that these items will not help you heal. Numbing your thoughts or emotions will not solve the problem. They are simply distractions that will hinder your recovery.
Maybe at the moment, consuming alcohol and other harmful substance could seem like a clever move, as it can give you an escape, but it isn’t. Letting yourself rely on such substances can lead to dependency, especially if your stress levels keep increasing. And as a result, rather than improving the problem, it exacerbates it.
You’ll need a clear mind to process your trauma healthily, and resorting to alcohol and other harmful substance will only cloud your mind and hold you back from recovery.
Avoid Making Major Decisions
Especially in your early phases of recovery, it’s best to avoid making significant or life-changing decisions. The reason is that your judgment may be impaired due to recent events. Now, it’s not always the case that you’ll be able to bypass every decision. But as much as possible, try to limit the number of significant decisions you make, especially concerning your life and career. You risk making the wrong decision when your emotions are in the driver’s seat.
The road to recovery from trauma is not pretty. It’s not easy because trauma can be a heavy weight to carry, regardless of how strong you are. But, it’s essential to realize that recovery is possible. You’re not alone in this journey, and help is available. You can reach out to and confide with your friends and family; you could also seek professional help to guide you on your path to recovery.
Healing may take time, but it’s possible, especially if you have the right attitude and supportive people around you.