Life isn't a bed of roses, as the old cliché goes. Yous, as the old cliche goes. We just can't expect to skate through life unscathed. You’ll go through terrible events. You have experienced unfortunate situations. You have traumatic experiences.
Traumas aren't just sustained physically. They can be emotional. And if these emotional traumas are not dealt with, they can fester for years to come.
We'll focus on emotional trauma and the things you can do to help yourself recover from one. Here's what I want you to do: reflect on your life. Are there old hurts that have been left unresolved?
1. Give yourself a compliment – after all, you're still alive! That counts a lot, don’t forget that.
It doesn't matter if your trauma caused just emotional hurt or if it caused you physical injury along with the emotional injury. The good news is that you survived it, and that means you're strong. You deserve a compliment.
2. Give yourself time to recuperate – Don't setup hard deadline for when you expect to be up and running again after an emotional trauma. It takes time to heal from one, especially if it’s not one that you have dealt with before.
Every day after you get off work, do something that relaxes you. Don't push yourself to get back into the swing of things too soon. You will need this time, otherwise you’ll just be prolonging the healing process and the results will impact your work.
3. Be easy on yourself – While you heal from your emotional trauma, you may be reporting to work and going about your life. Because you're still recovering, though, it may be taking you longer to finish tasks. Keep reminding yourself that you're doing everything you can to get better.
Don't beat yourself up if you're not as efficient as you were before the trauma. You'll get to that point again, but for now you have to be a little kinder and patient with yourself.
4. Be a positive thinker – Did you know that if you fill your head with positive thoughts, you can speed up your healing? Instead of saying, "I feel depressed today," say something like, "Today is going to be a better day than yesterday."
Believe it, it works. You need to be your own cheerleader and biggest supporter. If you think you can do something, you will. It’s that simple.
5. Spend time doing things you enjoy – Each day, spend some time doing something that lifts up your spirit.
Do you love watching birds? Sit outdoors for half an hour and watch. Do you love books? Find time to work on your new bookshelf. If you make it a habit to spend time doing things you love every day, you're going to recover soon enough.
6. Don't hold back the tears – The worst thing you can do is bottle up everything inside you. There's nothing wrong with having a good cry when you feel your emotions threatening to overwhelm you.
I learned this the hard way. I always used to hold it in and actually took pride in not shedding a tear. But I was doing more damage to myself than good. After a while I would often end up breaking down at weird times. This would sometimes make me seem overly sensitive when really I just couldn’t hold it anymore. The worse is when it turned into displaced anger.
Crying is a release and it can offer relief. So let it out.
7. Listen to music you enjoy – This is probably one of my favorites, it helps take your mind off of things. It can also be therapeutic.
Spend 15 minutes each day listening to music that's soothing or mood-lifting. Allow yourself to get caught up in the song so that it influences your mental state.
And don't be shy about singing along. If you feel like singing, do so. You may even find yourself listening for more than 15 minutes.
8. Give yourself some pampering – Whenever you've experienced an emotional trauma, you can help the recovery process by pampering yourself.
Indulge in comforts. For instance, if it's your day off work, why not spend the day on the couch reading books by your favorite authors? If you have small children, spend all day playing with them. You can also go on a long walk with your closest friend.
9. Watch funny shows and laugh – Another favorite, typically when I watch TV I just want to be entertained and laugh.
Laughter is the best medicine. When you're recovering from an emotional trauma, one of the best things you can do find a way to laugh and be jovial.
So watch comedies on TV. Rent a comedy flick. Find a TV sitcom and watch it regularly.
10. Move! – If your doctor green lights it, do something physical every day.
Love to swim? Go for one. If you have a gym membership, start lifting weight or hit the treadmill. When you're engaged in exercise, your body creates endorphins, which are happy hormones.
11. Stay close with people who love and care about you – Spend more time with your children. Have heart-to-heart talks with your significant other. Give your best friend a call. Invite your sister to come over and visit. Keep reminding yourself that you're surrounded by people who love you and will support you. Doing these things will also help to you contributing to building a deeper bond with them.
12. Accept it when you need help from a professional – Don't let your emotional injuries keep you from living a full, healthy life. It's unproductive.
Know when to recognize that you can't do it alone. There is no shame in seeking professional help if it means getting you back to living a normal life, you deserve it.
It takes time, effort, and patience to heal from an emotional trauma. However, if you want to recover more quickly and effectively, you can help yourself by using any, some, or all of the 12 strategies we’ve talked about.
The main thing you need to keep in mind at all times is that you're going to be better, you have a great life ahead of you!
Have you been traumatized in the past? How did you get thru and over it?