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How To Begin Recovering From Emotional Trauma

By: Kristina Murr

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Emotional trauma is what you’re left with when you experience a traumatic event. It’s what stays with you after you’ve experienced deep psychological harm, and it stays for a really long time. It affects every part of your life, too: home, school, work. You name it; emotional trauma can impact it.

But that doesn’t mean you’re a lost cause. Emotional trauma may be lasting, but it isn’t permanent. It’s possible to recover from trauma. It will take hard work and time, but recovery is possible. Here’s what to keep in mind.

Progress is not Linear

The first thing you have to know is that progress isn’t linear. You won’t start feeling a little better every day until you’re back to what you were like before the traumatic event. No, trauma recovery is unpredictable. You can feel fine one day, then barely be able to get out of bed the next.

And that’s okay. It’s difficult to live through, but it’s normal. It’s part of the recovery process. How well you’re feeling on a given day is NOT a good way to determine how much progress you’ve made since the traumatic event.

It’s better if you know this from the start. It’s more difficult to recover when you think your progress isn’t going the way you hoped. Every low can feel like a regression if it goes right after a high, but that’s not what it is at all. You’re recovering every day, whether you notice it or not.

Don’t Judge Your Emotions

It can be tempting to judge yourself for what you’re feeling, especially if you’re aware that, on some level, your emotions are irrational. After all, other people don’t feel like this. They don’t struggle the way you do. So, why do you have to?

But if you want to be able to heal and move forward, you can’t beat yourself up about what you feel. You have to accept what you feel and let yourself experience those emotions without judgement. Dismissing your own pain or anger or fear will just make you angrier or more afraid or pained in the long run. By choosing to feel your emotions and accept them as they are, you will be demonstrating great courage.

Take Care of Yourself

When you’re struggling, self-care falls to the bottom of your priority list. Everything else is important, but you? You can get by. Just as long as you don’t fall asleep during work. Or at least, that’s what you tell yourself.

In reality, you need to take care of yourself now more than ever. And not just in a way that relaxes you. You need to try to get enough hours of sleep. You must do your best to eat regular meals. And yes, the occasional bath or yoga session helps. Deep breathing exercises and other routines help too.

Emotional trauma doesn’t go away quickly. So, don’t miss the rest of your life while you’re waiting to get better. Challenge yourself to mentally stay present (without thinking about other things) as much as you can. We call this practice “mindfulness,” and it can help you enjoy present moments even when you are currently struggling with major life stressors or trauma.

Seek Support from Others

When you go through something like emotional trauma, it’s important to have a network of people you can rely on. It can be a couple of close friends you trust deeply or a family member you know will always have your back. Support from the people you care about can be invaluable.

But this isn’t enough to recover from emotional trauma. Emotional wounds like that run deep, and they won’t be soothed so easily. But counseling can help. Our counselors know how to deal with trauma. Our counselors can help you navigate the trauma and help you create a road map for dealing with the pain and after-effects of trauma. 

If you are looking for trauma counseling or a trauma therapist in Marietta, Georgia, we offer in-person trauma counseling in Marietta and online trauma counseling throughout Georgia. To schedule an appointment or a free phone consultation, email us at hello@awakencounseling.com or call us at 678-310-0358.

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