Whether you’ve been dealing with trauma for a long time or it recently resurfaced, there are ways to address and overcome it.
Therapy can be a helpful way to start healing, and there are therapists who specialize in trauma.
But it’s also important to remember that addressing past trauma isn’t always easy. It takes time, patience, and understanding.
Table of Contents
1. Practice Mindfulness
When it comes to addressing and overcoming past trauma, mindfulness is a key tool. It can help you manage your feelings more effectively, develop more compassion for yourself and others, and make better decisions when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present moment with an open mind and a calm, nonjudgmental attitude. It’s an exercise that can be practiced through meditation sessions or smaller moments throughout your day.
Some research has shown that practicing mindfulness can increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which encourages the development, survival, and plasticity of neurons in your brain. It also reduces inflammatory markers and boosts your immune system.
However, if you find yourself becoming too anxious or overwhelmed, it’s important to get professional help. A psychologist is trained to assess your situation and provide the right tools for coping with your mental health needs.
For instance, a psychologist may work with you to teach you how to identify and regulate your emotional reactions so that they don’t lead you down a path of self-destructive behavior or re-traumatization. They can also help you set goals and develop techniques that will help you become more resilient to stress.
Practicing mindfulness can be particularly helpful for people who are struggling with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is because it helps them learn to recognize and regulate their feelings without acting on them in a harmful way.
In addition to helping you address and overcome past trauma, practicing mindfulness can also benefit your physical health. It can promote healthy sleep habits, improve your appetite, and increase energy levels.
One of the best ways to start practicing mindfulness is by sitting quietly and paying attention to your breathing. If you find that your attention wanders away from the breath, gently return to it by focusing on a sensation such as the texture of your skin, the feel of your feet touching the ground, or the sounds of nature around you.
Many trauma survivors find mindfulness practices to be triggering or overwhelming in the beginning, but it’s important to remember that they’re meant to be used with caution. If you notice that your meditating is becoming retraumatizing, stop and revisit when you’re ready. It’s also helpful to practice with a friend or family member so that they can help you if the practice becomes too difficult for you.
2. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is a key part of addressing and overcoming past trauma. It can help you feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally.
It can also help you reconnect with your past experiences and heal from them. It can help you build positive relationships with other people, and it can allow you to be more resilient in the future.
Some of the ways that you can practice self-care include listening to music, having a relaxing bath or taking a long walk. You can also try to make time for a good night’s sleep. You can do any activity that you enjoy and makes you feel good, so it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.
Taking time for yourself can be hard at first, but you’ll feel much better for it. Taking care of yourself is important because you deserve to be happy and healthy. It’s not selfish, it’s simply necessary for your mental health.
One of the most common forms of self-care after trauma is talking it out. You can do this with friends or family, or by seeing a counselor. However, you may want to seek a therapist who specializes in working with trauma patients.
Another way to practice self-care after trauma is through mindfulness. It can help you become aware of your thoughts and emotions, and it can improve your ability to focus on the present. This can be helpful because it allows you to stay calm, which can be a vital part of healing from trauma.
A third form of self-care after trauma is to avoid reliving the event that caused your stress in the first place. Reliving the event over and over again can overwhelm your nervous system, making it harder to cope with your emotions.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be tempting to hide away or isolate yourself. But isolation is actually bad for the healing process.
In addition, it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. It’s best to get outside and interact with others.
You can also practice self-care by doing things that are enjoyable, like cooking or going for a run. You don’t have to do these things all the time, but you should try to do them regularly.
3. Talk to Someone
There are a few key things you can do to address and overcome past trauma. One of them is to talk about the traumatic event with someone you trust.
Traumatic events are highly stressful and can cause a lot of emotions to surface. These emotions can include feelings of fear, panic, and anger.
It is important to talk about traumatic experiences with people you care about, but it can be difficult. Survivors often have a fear of being rejected or judged for sharing their experience. This can cause them to hide their trauma from others and lash out in ways that are destructive.
If you have a friend or loved one who has experienced a trauma, it is important to support them in their healing process. The specific advice for how to do this will depend on your relationship and the person’s needs, but here are some general guidelines from mental health professionals and a trauma survivor who have shared their own advice:
First, acknowledge that they have suffered a great deal. That may be the hardest thing to do, but it is crucial for their healing.
Next, let them know that you believe what they’re sharing and you’re here for them if they need to share more. They might not feel ready to tell you right away, so don’t pressure them. They might just need to process their thoughts and feelings on their own.
Third, reassure them that their reactions are normal. It is very common for a trauma survivor to have a variety of different emotions, so it’s important not to take those feelings personally.
Fourth, don’t ask them to relive the trauma in excessive detail, and don’t judge them for wanting to know more about it. These questions can be interpreted as victim-blaming or doubting their experience.
Fifth, if your emotions are affecting your ability to communicate, you can also seek professional help from a licensed therapist. It’s a good idea to find a therapist who has experience with trauma and PTSD so that you’re getting the best treatment.
You can also try to engage in social activities despite your own distressing emotions. Doing “normal” things, like going to lunch or joining a hobby group, can help divert your attention from the traumatic memories and experiences that are so hard for you to handle.
4. Take a Break
When you are going through a period of trauma, it is important to take time away from your work or other responsibilities. Taking time away can help you to relax, think about the situation in a different way, and allow your body to rest.
During this time, it is also important to let go of the past and accept what has happened. This will help you to heal and move forward.
It is also important to remember that overcoming a traumatic event will be a process, and it may take some time before you are fully healed. It is important to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to feel your feelings so that they don’t interfere with your daily life.
If you are feeling stuck in your relationship, taking a break can help you to reconnect with yourself and your partner. This can give you a new perspective on your relationship and enable you to see what is truly important to each of you.
A break can also give you and your partner the space to think about your goals. This can help you to decide if the relationship is right for you.
Many couples go through periods of stress and conflict. During this time, it can be tempting to avoid contact with your partner. However, this can have an adverse effect on your relationship if you are not willing to communicate and establish clear boundaries.
Moreover, it is important to determine how long the break will last before you begin. If you and your partner aren’t able to agree on a specific time frame for the break, it could lead to misunderstandings or disagreements down the road.
As with any relationship, it is also important to discuss the purpose of your break and how you will work through the problems together. This will ensure that you are working towards a shared goal and that the break is effective.
Ideally, you should take breaks at regular intervals. Set a timer to remind yourself when it is time for your break and then plan activities you can do during the break. This can include a relaxing activity or social interaction.