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September 6, 2023

Empowering Steps to Recover from Prolonged Emotional Trauma

Trauma is a distressing situation that deeply impacts a person’s mental health. And emotional trauma is a serious issue that many people struggle with, knowingly or unknowingly. It often gets stored in your body and keeps your nervous system on ‘high alert’ at all times.

There are different sources that may give rise to trauma. It may include abuse, accident, loss of a loved one, violence, natural disasters, or other life-altering events. The impact often lasts long and may affect your psychological, mental, and emotional state.

It is important to understand that the recovery journey may take some time. It requires you to know what triggers the trauma and how to cope. Somedays, you may do it well, while it may be hard other days.

Here, we mention a few ways to help you understand your trauma, acknowledge it, and work on it to make you a winner. Let’s dig in!

Recognize the Symptoms of Emotional Trauma

Before starting your healing journey, understanding how emotional trauma may appear is important. Interestingly, it could have impacted individuals differently. While there may be many symptoms, a few common ones are:

● Flashbacks and Nightmares: Feeling like that bad experience is happening again during the day or in dreams.
● Avoidance: Avoid anything that reminds you of the trauma, even places or people.
● Anxiety and Nervousness: Feeling very worried, uneasy, or scared, even when things are safe.
● Emotional Numbing: Having trouble feeling happy, not caring about something, or feeling disconnected.
● Physical Reactions: Getting headaches, stomachaches, or feeling tense when thinking about the trauma.
● Mood Changes: Feeling more upset, angry, or sad than usual and not knowing why.

These signs can show up after the trauma or later. It’s okay to ask for help if you notice them. Therapists can teach you how to manage and improve these feelings over time.

Considering Professional Help

Dealing with emotional trauma is not easy. Sometimes, the situation may be worse than it shows; it may take years for a person to deal with it alone. Therefore, it is important to get professional help from a therapist. These experts are like guides who help you find a healing path. They use special techniques, like CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), which might sound fancy but helpful.

These therapies help you change how you think about the trauma. It also teaches you how your thoughts, feelings, and actions are interconnected. As a result, therapies can help you manage the trauma and get on a recovery path.

Moreover, along with therapists, you may also need legal help to get compensation for your trauma and losses. For example, many people were traumatized by the 9/11 attacks due to the loss of loved ones or experiencing the ground-zero reality. According to 9/11 victim rights lawyers, they can get monetary compensation for their losses under the Zadroga Act. So, if your prolonged trauma is also a result of any such tragedy, you may seek legal help to learn about your rights and compensation options.

Building a Support System for Emotional Healing

Creating a support system is crucial for your emotional well-being. It involves surrounding yourself with people who care about you and can offer understanding and comfort during difficult times. It may be your friends, family, partner, or even community groups. This system plays a significant role in promoting relaxation and finding joy in small pleasures.
It may help in the following ways:

● Emotional Outlet: You have a safe space to express your feelings and thoughts without judgment.
● Validation: People in your support network help you feel heard and understood, validating your experiences.
● Different Perspectives: They offer fresh viewpoints, helping you see situations from various angles.
● Stress Reduction: Supportive interactions can reduce stress and anxiety levels.
● Happiness: Sharing positive moments and finding joy in simple things becomes easier.

A diverse support system provides you with a range of perspectives and resources, making your healing journey more practical and reassuring.

Practicing Self-Care for Emotional Healing

Self-care is like giving yourself a soothing hug. It’s important for healing from emotional trauma. You can practice it in different ways as you like and respond to it. Some of the ways are:

● Physical Activity: Exercise, like walking or dancing, releases happy chemicals in your brain, making you feel better.
● Healthy Eating: Eating nutritious foods gives your body the energy it needs and can improve your mood.
● Restful Sleep: Sleeping well helps your mind and body recover, reducing stress and boosting mood.
● Mindfulness: Taking moments to breathe deeply and focus on the present helps calm racing thoughts.
● Hobbies: Doing things you love, like painting or playing an instrument, provides a break from stress.

Each self-care method takes care of a different part of you, like body or mind. When you practice these, it’s like giving your heart a little bit of healing every day.

Bottom Line

It is important to understand what triggers your trauma and how it shows in your mental, rational, and physical state. If you experience physical pains that have no specific reason or have problems falling asleep, it may be a sign that you need to see a therapist to get onto your healing journey. It is suggested to not ignore your trauma and take professional help to recover from it.

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