How to Recover from Emotional Trauma and Feel Better
Emotional trauma happens.
It’s no one’s fault. It’s certainly not your fault.
You were in the wrong place at the wrong time; a casualty in someone else’s war.
It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it happened. You cannot change the past. You can change your reaction to the situation.
You are not to blame for your trauma. But it is your responsibility to heal. Here is everything you need to know about how to recover from emotional trauma.
What is Emotional and Psychological Trauma
In order to understand how to recover from emotional trauma, let us take a closer look at what an emotional trauma is and where it comes from.
Psychological and emotional trauma can result from extraordinary stressful events that affect your sense of security and make you feel helpless in the hostile world.
Emotional trauma can leave you trying to cope with negative emotions, anxiety, and memories that won’t go away. It can make you feel disconnected, numb, and unable to trust people again.
Traumatic events can often involve a threat to safety or life, but any situation that makes you feel isolated and overwhelmed can lead to trauma, even if it does not involve physical harm. The more helpless and frightened you feel, the more likely you are to experience emotional trauma.
Causes of Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by:
Ongoing stress, such as living in high-crime neighborhood, battling with serious disease or experiencing repeated traumatic events, such as domestic violence, bullying, or childhood neglect.
One-time events, such as a violent attack, an accident, or an injury, especially if it happened in childhood or was unexpected.
Commonly overlooked causes, such as the sudden death of a close person, a surgery, a breakup of an important relationship, or a deeply disappointing or humiliating experience.
Symptoms of Psychological Trauma
We all respond to trauma in unique ways, experiencing a broad range of emotional and physical reactions. There is no “wrong” way to feel, think, or respond, so never judge your own reaction or reactions of other people.
Some common emotional and psychological symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating and confusion
- Anxiety and fear
- Denial, shock, or disbelief
- Irritability, anger, mood swings
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling numb or disconnected
- Guilt, safe-blame, or shame
- Feeling sad and hopeless
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Racing heartbeat
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty concentrating
- Being startled easily
- Muscle tension
- Fight flight or freeze
Tips on How to Recover From Emotional Trauma
Emotional trauma symptoms generally last anywhere between a few days to several months, slowly fading over time as you accept the unsettling event.
However, even when you think you feel better, you may be troubled now and again by painful emotions and memories - especially in response to certain triggers.
If you aren’t able to regain a sense of safety and stability and don’t take care of your mental health, emotional trauma could lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The following tips can help learn how to recover from emotional trauma faster and move on with your life.
Taking a Stand for Yourself and Your Future
No one gets through life unscathed. Some of us are the direct targets of violence. Some of us are carrying around pain we haven’t had the courage to face.
For most of us, the traumatic experiences of life don’t just happen once. Instead of living in the present, we replay them in our minds over and over again.
A single traumatic event can affect us for years – a lifetime if we let it.
We cannot control life. Things happen to us.
- You didn’t choose to be born into your family or grow up in the environment you grew up in.
- You didn’t choose to be the target of someone else’s anger or rage.
But there is one choice that you can make: to heal in the aftermath of it all.
If we can change our perspective and take responsibility for the healing process, we can view these traumatic events as rare opportunities to learn and grow.
Trauma can be the fertilizer that grows our gardens.
Healing and learning how to recover from emotional trauma can be painful, but it can also be empowering. Finally, our trauma can no longer have control over us.
No one else can heal your trauma for you. Only you can take a stand for yourself and your future. Because if you don’t take responsibility for healing, you take the risk of living a life unlived.
Unhealed trauma affects not only yourself but those around you. Family, friends and loved ones become casualties in your own warpath. The vicious cycle continues.
It's up to you to break the cycle; to smash it to bits.
No one can change your life for you. Only you can heal from your trauma. And make no mistake about it – you do have the power to heal and change, even if you’ve been told that you’re beyond help.
You are not the exception to traumatic recovery. You deserve to heal.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Experiencing trauma may make you feel like isolating yourself and withdrawing from others. However, doing so will only make things worse. Connecting with other people will help you heal, so do your best to maintain your relationships and avoid alone time.
- You don’t have to talk about the trauma. Keeping in touch with others doesn’t mean you have to re-visit your traumatic events. Don’t force yourself to talk about the trauma if you don’t feel like it.
- Ask for support. While you don’t have to talk about the traumatic event itself, it is important to have somebody to share your thoughts or feelings with, someone who can listen to you carefully without judging you. Connect with a family member, a friend, or a counselor.
- Reconnect with old friends. If you have lost touch with friends that were once important to you, it is the perfect time to make an effort to reconnect.
- Participate in social activities. Do “normal” activities with other people, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Join a support group. Connecting with other people who are facing the same issues can help you feel less isolated and help you understand how to recover from emotional trauma.
- Make new friends. If you are far from friends and family, it is important to reach out and make new friends. You can join a club to meet people with common interests, take a class, or reach out to work colleagues.
Tapping Away Trauma
If we can let go of the past and clear our trauma, everything can change. To get through to the other side, we must face some difficult emotions head-on.
Tapping is one way we can heal trauma and start living life again. Many people have successfully used this method to release anxiety, fear and other difficult emotions that are keeping you from living and enjoying your life.
Many people have also experienced the power of tapping stress relief to release tension and chronic stress.
Tapping meditation is an effective mind-body tool that calms the nervous system and helps you refocus.
The beauty of this practice is that you can do it anywhere. It’s easy to learn and use whenever you need it.
Trauma is not your fault, but you can take responsibility for your healing.
Tapping Therapy is one way to take a step toward healing and learn how to recover from emotional trauma.