How to Heal From Trauma
70% of U.S. adults have been into some traumatic experience at least once in their lives. Notably, extremely stressful events that make you feel helpless, destroy your sense of security in an unsafe world result in emotional and psychological trauma. Let us take an example of the pandemic Covid-19. It traumatized most part of the world, adversely affecting people from across the globe physically, emotionally, and financially as well. The good news is you can heal from trauma. Here are several useful tips in this blog but know that everyone’s journey will be different.
What Is Trauma?
When defining trauma, it is an emotional response to a terrible event such as rape, accident, or natural disaster, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Adding to it, a Traumatic experience can also include life experiences such as death, divorce, and illness. After trauma, you feel denial and shock typically. As far as its long-term effects are concerned, you possibly suffer from physical symptoms, e.g., fatigue, headaches, and nausea. The long-term traumatic effects also include volatile emotions and flashbacks.
What Are the Effects of Trauma on the Body?
Overproduction of Stress Hormones:
When in trauma, your body stimulates overproduction of stress hormones named cortisol. Noticeably, your body remains in a state of high alert due to the activation of stress hormones in case you are reliving a traumatic experience constantly. Triggers might include an exaggerated startle response or trembling, occurring due to the things reminding you of a traumatic event.
Fight or Flight Mode:
Whenever you feel triggered, your body will step into the flight, fight, or freeze mode. To put it simply, you will either: Defend yourself against the trigger or Feel paralyzed. You might also feel difficulty sleeping and the need to avoid situations or people that you believe threatening.
Psychological and Emotional Distress:
Trauma put an impact on three areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex. This can cause lasting changes in all three areas. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause impaired functioning of the brain and make significant changes in its size as per some animal studies. Moreover, post-traumatic stress leads to fight or flight response that further causes overproduction of cortisol. If so happens, rewiring of your brain’s circuitry will take place, bringing about emotional and psychological distress.
How to Heal from Trauma?
You can start healing from trauma by following these useful tips:
Limit Media Exposure:
Avoid watching disturbing footage and social media before bed. Also, if you are watching the news and feel triggered, turn it off and do something pleasant.
Accept What You Feel:
In this regard, you need to process painful emotions in the following ways:
Giving yourself time to get through your feels and mourn any loss you have encountered.
Seek a therapist
Preparing yourself for volatile emotions.
Learning to reconnect with uncomfortable emotions.
Be Physically Active:
Being physically active is a helpful way of releasing endorphins, i.e., the feel-good hormone that will boost your mood.
You can do the following for staying physically active:
Indulge in rhythmic exercises, e.g., running, walking, dancing, basketball, or swimming.
Practice mindfulness by participating in rock climbing, martial arts, weight training, or boxing.
Increase your exercise timing over time.
Have a Healthy Diet and Get Quality Sleep:
Having a well-balanced diet is extremely important. In fact, you can cope with traumatic feels better by having a healthy diet, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbs, omega-3 and omega-6 fats, and high-quality protein. As well as that, getting quality sleep is also necessary for coping with trauma. To accomplish this purposefully, avoid caffeine, make your bedroom dark, soothing, and quiet and go to sleep at the same time.