Trauma can happen to anyone, and it can manifest in a variety of ways. Reminders of what happened can keep you stuck and stagnant. And sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere. One minute you’re fine. Living life. The next you get knocked off your feet by a memory of the past.
At Simi Psychological Group, our trauma therapists in Thousand Oaks understand that the healing process often feels messy and overwhelming, and leaves survivors wondering if life will ever be the same. While each individual’s healing journey is unique, it’s important to remember you’re not alone. In this post, we’ll examine what emotional and psychological trauma is, how it affects the mind and body, and explore seven helpful tips for coping with the aftermath.
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of experiencing an extraordinary event that shatters your sense of safety and security. This event doesn’t have to be significant or catastrophic, as even minor events can trigger traumatic stress responses. Trauma can result from witnessing or experiencing violence, neglect, abuse, or betrayal. This can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Trauma can cause a range of physical and psychological reactions that can manifest differently in different people. You may suffer from flashbacks or nightmares, or you may feel numb and emotionally shut down. You may feel like screaming and curling up in a ball, wanting to disappear. Physically, trauma can show up as headaches, stomach problems, and chronic pain. Whatever your symptoms, trauma can wreak havoc on your life. But the trauma therapists at Simi Psychological Group in Thousand Oaks get it. We’re here to help.
If you’ve experienced trauma, you’re likely experiencing a whole range of emotions, many of which are impacting your life in a big way. It’s not uncommon for survivors to hear from well-meaning people in their lives that “it’s not that bad,” or “it’s time to move on.” Maybe you’ve had those thoughts and feelings yourself, and feel frustrated that you haven’t been able to “put it behind you.” But trauma doesn’t work that way.
Your experience was real and your emotions are valid.
Don’t try to suppress or ignore them, instead acknowledge them in a safe and healthy way.
Prioritize self-care as an essential aspect of your healing journey. Self-care can include a variety of activities but is essentially anything that brings you joy, relaxation, and comfort. Get out and play. Be creative. Go to the beach. Read a book. Eat an enjoyable meal.
For some, self-care may include bubble baths, a really good massage, or taking a walk. Music can also be very healing, so get out your airpods and create your healing playlist. Spending the time to take care of yourself is essential.
Seek support from professionals, family, and friends who can offer comfort and empathy. There are various support groups and trauma-based therapists near you to help get you through this tough time. Simi Psychological Group offers trauma based services that allow you to address your trauma in a safe place with caring, trauma-informed professionals. Our trauma therapists near Thousand Oaks are there to provide the support and guidance you deserve to heal the wounds of your past. Together, you can learn valuable coping skills and move on with your life.
Part of self-care is also about your physical well-being. Make sure you’re looking after yourself by eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing drug, tobacco, or alcohol intake. Doing these things can soothe the body and mind from the harm caused by the trauma.
Research has shown meditation and mindfulness promote healthy healing after a traumatic experience. Mindfulness, defined as being present at the moment without judgment, might increase your ability to cope with difficult emotions, such as anxiety and depression.
A trauma therapist can help you with this by introducing trauma-informed mindfulness activities aimed at grounding you in the present moment.
These exercises can be incredibly simple, short, and even kind of fun, such as grabbing a small, yummy snack that you associate with positive emotions like a grape or a piece of chocolate.
Research also supports the use of meditation for treating trauma and PTSD. While traumatic events trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, trauma-informed meditation helps reduce those stress hormones by calming the sympathetic nervous system.
Trauma therapy at Simi Psychological Group is a collaborative experience. You and your therapist will work to ensure your needs are met.
During your healing journey, setting healthy boundaries is important. Be mindful of your limits and learn to say “no” to things that will increase stress or be emotionally draining. Healing from trauma can be exhausting, and your emotional energy during this time is precious. Don’t be afraid to take a step back or take a break from things or activities in order to prioritize your emotional well-being. Setting boundaries will help protect your energy and create a safe space for healing and growth.
Healing from trauma takes time. You must allow yourself that time to heal. Be kind to yourself as you navigate the ups and downs of your healing journey. Avoid self-blame or judgment and instead practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same love and respect as you would offer someone else you care about.
Trauma is a life-shattering experience that can happen to anyone, but it is treatable with time, therapy, and support. With help and understanding, you can work through the aftermath of trauma and move forward with your life. It’s essential to prioritize self-care and seek support from professionals who can offer guidance and help to cope with stress, trauma, and emotional pain. Remember that healing from trauma is a process, but with a willingness to cope and an understanding team behind you, it’s possible to overcome emotional and psychological trauma.
When you’re ready to take that step toward the life you deserve, contact us today. Our team of therapists at Simi Psychological Group is here to support you with treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma therapy, and more.
Reach out today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.