The Power Of Releasing Your Past
September 6, 2016

What To Expect When Healing Trauma

If you are healing from a traumatic event and notice you experience triggers from time to time, try these tricks to help you process through the triggers.

Trauma, as described by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems, usually for a long time.  The issues that come up from traumatic events happen periodically, they can be referred to as “triggers.”  Triggers show up when we least expect them.  They can appear in many forms, a sound, an odor or an environment that somehow reminds us consciously or unconsciously of the traumatic event.

When something happens that triggers us, we might react physically/emotionally, this is also known as the fight or flight response.  In the beginning, we typically fight the process, trying to block out the feelings so as not to have to experience the event again.  Creating awareness in both the body and mind is the beginning of the healing process.

If you are healing from a traumatic event and notice you experience triggers from time to time, try these tricks to help you process through the triggers.

1.  Check in with your breath.  An obvious sign of the fight or flight response is short, shallow breathing. When you feel this type of breathing, stop and check in with yourself. Are you frightened, angry?  Can you slow your breath?  If you can, try closing your mouth and inhaling, then exhaling very slowly through your nostrils.  Slowing your breath will help calm you. Once you feel a bit calmer, you can choose how to react.

2. Listen to your inner-voice.  What thoughts are coming up for you?  Are they real or not real? To manage these thoughts, create a mantra that empowers you.  As an example: “I’m in a safe place.”

3. Write it out. When healing trauma, journaling can be your best friend.  Write out your story, no judgement, no editing, just write. Get it all out, the event, how you felt, what you made it mean, how you are handling it today.  Once it’s out of your head, you create space, space between you and the event.  In that space you create the freedom to make choices about how you want to interact with the event.

Notice I’m not suggesting you confront anyone, or go public with your story.  This isn’t about them, it’s about you.  This is the opportunity for you to learn that you are not what happened to you.  You have nothing to explain or justify to anyone.  What happened is in the (near or distant) past.  Leave it there, so you can find your peace in the present moment.

Click here to read my newest blog about managing triggers on PositivelyPositive.com

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