What is Emotional Trauma?
The word "trauma" is used by physicians to describe a serious injury to the physical body. Emotional trauma can be equally painful and cause long-lasting effects to your mental state and relationships when unresolved. Without proper attention and healing, it is possible to lose the sense of self.
The Effects of Unresolved Trauma
Emotional injuries are a result of an experience where one’s life or well-being is put in danger. These experiences could range from shame and rejection as a young child, to the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one, or even being a victim of abuse. Your body goes into fight or flight mode looking for a way to survive the situation. Some symptoms of this response can include addictive behaviors, the inability to deal with conflict, anxiety, depression, or a belief that you have no worth. The unwanted behaviors exhibited compound into more shame, which can lead to a decline in the quality of life.
Tips to Resolve Emotional Trauma
If you've experienced unresolved trauma in your life, you’re not alone. Here are some steps to take to work towards healing:
Read books, articles, and other resources to learn about what trauma is.
Speak with a licensed therapist to work through the traumatic experience and its effects on your life and relationships.
Share Your Story
Write about the experience in a journal or find a safe place to speak with trusted friends or a counselor. Sharing your story may lead to a connecting of the dots between what happened and your response in life now.
Learn Healthy Ways of Self-Soothing
Unhealthy addictions can be a result of our attempts to self-sooth. There is no shame in seeking comfort after a traumatic event. The next step is to find healthy alternatives such as exercise, time with loved ones, or finding a new hobby to continue the healing process.
There is no set time for how long it should take to find emotional healing. Everyone is different and heal in their own way. Be kind to yourself. If the process is becoming too intense, slow down and take a break.
The healing of emotional trauma is as essential as healing a broken bone. The steps taken to find wholeness allow you to live more fully in the present. This can improve your entire quality of life, self-worth, and relationships with others.