Dealing with traumatic events can be extremely difficult. At times, you may feel as if your situation is hopeless because you don’t think you can ever escape from your painful memories. Some people who have experienced trauma may develop negative thinking patterns. And If you’ve been hurting for a long time, you may think you won’t get any better.
However, the truth is that emotional wounds can heal over time if you receive the right treatment. If you find it hard to move past certain painful experiences from your past, it’s essential to face your trauma and address it. For many people, starting the healing process is the first and hardest step to take. Here are 8 tips that can help you to overcome emotional trauma, feel better about yourself and live the healthy life you want.
Take It One Step at a Time
Changing many negative habits or incorporating a ton of positive ones into your life all at once may overwhelm you and cause more harm than good. It’s essential to reduce stress for the healing process to succeed. Doing too much too soon or setting unrealistic expectations for yourself may make you feel like a failure if you are unable to reach the goals you set. This can cause you to lose your motivation to follow through with treatment.
Physical and emotional wounds take time to heal. So take it easy, step-by-step, and don’t overwhelm yourself. Set manageable, small, and incremental milestones and celebrate each achievement no matter how small or insignificant other people may think they are. Any achievement is crucial as it takes you one step closer to your goal of an emotionally healthy life.
It can be extremely tempting to keep to yourself while dealing with trauma. You may not want to be a burden to anyone and you may think no one will understand how you feel. However, isolating yourself can make you focus more on traumatic experiences from your past. In some cases, the painful emotions associated with these memories may even be amplified.
Although it can be difficult to be around other people, interacting with your loved ones will likely take your mind off your issues for a while. Talking about your feelings with friends or family members who may have gone through similar experiences can help a lot. Not only can they provide you with encouragement and support, they may also understand your situation better than you think and offer practical advice on how you can cope.
Don’t Aim for the Stars
Some people pursue perfection during emotional healing. They may also think that their issues can be completely fixed in little to no time. This type of thinking may eventually lead to discouragement if these individuals don’t get the results they want when they expect them. It is important to understand that the aim of emotional healing is to improve a person’s health and overall quality of life. It will not get rid of painful memories completely.
Rather than aim for 100% success right off the bat, start working on your emotional healing a little at a time. Focus on making small positive changes in your daily routine and your relationships with other people. Small healthy changes can help to improve your emotional regulation and increase your self confidence. You will likely be surprised at the progress you make if you are not overly focused on doing everything perfectly or hitting strict deadlines in your recovery.
In nature, living things that never move tend to get sick or wither away. The same is true for the human body. People who are physically active tend to have better physical, mental, and emotional health than individuals who have a sedentary lifestyle. Information found on www.camelbackrecovery.com/mental-health/php/ suggests that exercising is one of the most efficient ways to deal with serious emotional issues such as PTSD. Regular physical exercise promotes the release of endorphins. Endorphins are a group of hormones that help to relieve stress, reduce pain, and lighten your mood.
If you are not particularly athletic, you may be concerned about how your body will respond to regular physical exercise. However, you can start off slow and gradually increase your training load as you build stamina. You can also stay physically fit by engaging in physical activities you enjoy. For example, you can go for walks with your dog, do yoga, go bike riding, or dance your night away by yourself.
Don’t Turn to Drugs or Alcohol
When people believe they are unable to handle the stress of traumatic memories, they may turn to illicit drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. They may also make a number of excuses for using these substances. For example, they may say they just need to take the edge off or fall asleep faster. While using these substances can dull the emotional pain in the present, they can also lead to addiction and serious mental and physical issues in the long run.
It is also important to remember that trying to feel numb or forget what happened in the past will not help the healing process. On the contrary, actively avoiding those feelings and memories may cause them to resurface in the future with even more intensity.
Adopt a Pet
Pets provide companionship, healthy distractions, unconditional love, and a sense of responsibility to pet owners all around the world. They are also excellent companions for people suffering from emotional trauma. Some dogs and cats can sense when you don’t feel well and may make attempts to engage with you to show you they care. A dog can also encourage you to become more physically active as you will have to take him or her out for a walk regularly.
Some organizations also offer psychiatric service dogs. These dogs are specially trained to assist people with mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. When these dogs recognize that their owner is having a mental or emotional episode, they will paw, nudge, or lick their owner. This helps the owner to focus on the dog rather than the traumatic memory.
Ask for Help
Many people with emotional trauma have reported that one of the hardest things to do is ask others for help. They don’t want to be a burden to anyone or they may not want to appear vulnerable. However, it’s okay to ask for help. Your family members and friends love. They may be very willing to help and they may appreciate the fact that you trusted them with your problems.
While talking to your loved ones is beneficial, it is also vital to remember that they may not be able to help you with all the issues you are experiencing. Many people with emotional trauma benefit from talking to a licensed mental health professional. These individuals are trained to help people deal with serious mental and emotional issues. In addition to their knowledge, they also provide the tools and environment you need to identify, face and address your concerns safely.
Care for Yourself
Self-care is essential for your healing journey. It reduces stress and makes you feel good about yourself. Do things that you love and take care of your body and mind. Self-care can be as simple as taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting a haircut, shaving, or spending a day in a spa.
Emotional trauma can last for a lifetime if it is not addressed. However, with the right attitude, knowledge and persistence, you can start your healing journey. Surround yourself with people who love and genuinely care about your wellbeing. And if your symptoms are severe, reach out to a licensed mental health provider in your area.