Recovering From Trauma Is A Lengthy Process That Requires Patience

Trauma describes an individual’s emotional response to experiences that make them feel frightened, powerless or threatened. Trauma looks different for everyone since people react distinctly to a similar situation. A traumatic event can be a car crash or something more complex like abuse or neglect. The thing about trauma is that the injuries it causes are often invisible, yet they linger for a long time, leading to conditions like PTSD.

Trauma alters your perception of the world and yourself. It can affect every area of your life, including your physical health, relationship with your body, and even your future plans. Healing from such wounds can take a significant time, and trauma recovery isn’t linear or pretty. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: your journey may be full of obstacles, delays, and setbacks. You may feel lost and believe things won’t ever be the same again, and that’s ok. Be patient during this lengthy process and give yourself compassion as you experience such painful emotions. There’s no single path toward recovering from a traumatic event, but there are some steps you can take to start feeling better gradually.

Accept support

Getting past trauma requires the willingness to heal and accept support and help from others. Maybe your healing journey will mostly occur alone or involve community support or therapy. Whichever route your recovery takes, receiving support is an essential part of the process.

Support can come from friends, family, a support group or a therapist. If you don’t feel safe talking to someone in your social circle about your trauma, support groups are an excellent resource. You can meet someone who went through a similar experience and be there for each other in your healing journey.

Engage in physical activity

Studies have shown that exercise can benefit people with PTSD, considerably reducing symptoms. Besides, the physical movement provides your body with endorphins – brain chemicals that help you manage pain and feel good.

If you don’t enjoy doing workouts, that’s not a problem, as there are other ways you can get moving. For instance, you can go for a walk or ride a bike. You can even do something fun like having a solo dance party. Or you can practice yoga – there are many videos on YouTube that teach you the basics of it. Any activity that involves physical movement will benefit your healing process.

Get in touch with your feelings

Journaling is an effective stress management practice that allows you to clarify your feelings and thoughts. You can consider writing about your trauma, as this can help you process the event and release the emotions involved, allowing you to integrate the experience fully within your mind.

If journaling isn’t for you, it’s still essential to get in touch with your feelings. You can’t heal unless you accept your emotions - recovery comes in stages, and acceptance is one critical part of the process.

Your trauma isn’t your fault, and complex feelings like anger may arise when thinking about what happened to you. Perhaps your trauma is a result of an injury at work, and you feel angry at your employer for not preventing your accident. Even if you decide to claim compensation for your injuries, the harm can’t be undone. It’s normal to feel this way, so you should make space for these emotions.

Practice meditation or mindfulness

Mindfulness has proven to be very effective in supporting healing. This practice involves turning your focus to the present moment and becoming an observer of your thoughts without engaging with them. Mindfulness is a fantastic stress reliever and has numerous health benefits too.

Breathwork and meditation are also excellent tools that can reduce stress levels and help you get into a relaxed state.

Explore your creativity

Creativity can go a long way in your healing process. Whether it’s making music or simply listening to it, engaging the brain in artistic endeavours benefits you significantly. Perhaps you are a poetry lover who enjoys transforming words into rhymes and verses. Exploring your creativity allows you to express your feelings healthily and create something beautiful out of your emotional distress, which can be genuinely empowering.

Getting creative can even mean something as simple as journaling. It can be a casual activity you do independently or something more formal, such as art therapy. It really doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it puts you in a good mood.

Don’t compare your healing journey to others

It can be genuinely comforting and inspiring to read stories of people who went through similar experiences. Indeed, they can take off some of your burdens, making you feel less alone. However, at times, you may find yourself comparing your journey to that of other people. You may feel envious because they seem to have adjusted more rapidly than you. Or you may feel guilty for experiencing difficult feelings like anger while they remained stoic.

But you should remember that your healing journey can’t resemble someone else’s. Even if your trauma is identical, you can’t experience it in the same way. You are unique individuals, and it’s natural to process emotions and situations differently. In other words, healing isn’t a competition, and you’re not on someone else’s path. You should track your recovery by considering where you started from and how far you’ve got. Healing from trauma can take a long time, so it’s vital to be patient and kind to yourself during this lengthy process. Also, remember that someone else’s successful recovery story doesn’t erase your own progress. You’ll get there too in your own time.

Take breaks

Healing from trauma isn’t pretty – it’s a painful and overwhelming process that takes much of your energy. Thus, you may feel more tired than usual, and that’s completely normal given the circumstances.

What you can do during this challenging time of your life is to be gentle with yourself. You’re allowed to take breaks whenever you need. Doing fun things can be of great help, but sometimes all you need is to pause and simply exist without doing anything at all. Thus, give yourself a moment to recharge from time to time so that you don’t end up exhausting yourself.

Seek professional help

While there are things you can do alone, nothing compares with the help you get from a professional. A therapist can guide you through the healing process and give you tools to cope with your feelings.

More specifically, you should look for a trauma-informed professional to ensure they can work with trauma and provide the service you need. Even if sometimes these feelings of loneliness may arise, you are never alone. There’s help you can get, both from your loved ones and a professional, and knowing this can be very comforting.

1 comment

  1. Counselling is so important in this situation