Are there things in your past that you can’t undo? Do you see problems arising from your childhood that plague you to this day, manifesting themselves in your actions and behaviors in ways that you feel you cannot control? If so, it is time to heal childhood trauma.
It’s easy to feel helpless when it comes to aftermath of childhood trauma. But there are ways to recover and free yourself from this pain. Here are three practical ways to heal childhood trauma.
1. Take a step-by-step mindful healing exercise
The steps required to heal childhood trauma often involve sitting up properly and fully immersing yourself in healing efforts as part of a routine. Trauma is a very complex thing and requires careful handling, after all. While you can control your symptoms in more indirect ways, healing from trauma needs much more attention.
Fortunately, a mindful healing exercise can work, developed by a marriage and family therapist. Andrea Brandt, Ph.D.
Dr. Brandt has more than 35 years of experience in her field. He claims that this healing exercise is very beneficial to most, if not all, of his clients for whom it is relevant.
The healing exercise helps you cope with the emotions associated with trauma and can enhance positive thinking with regular practice. Here’s how to do it:
To begin to heal, you must be present. Therefore, go to a quiet place, away from disturbances, and begin to ground yourself. To do this, sit down and close your eyes, breathing deeply and concentrating on your body. Bring awareness to your arms by contracting and relaxing your muscles, feeling the weight of your limbs. Feel the ground below you and root yourself in it. Visualize the energy in your coccyx connecting you to the core of the earth.
Step 2: Remembering
Once you feel grounded, look through your memories and think of something that has recently bothered you. It can be anything that created a reaction, be it mild or strong or somewhere in between, or made you feel suddenly numb. Think carefully about this incident and imagine it in as much detail as you can, as if you were transported back in time, engaging your senses as well.
Step 3: Detection
Once you start to feel those emotional reactions return, breath deeply and calmly relax for a moment. Then observe your body, paying attention to whatever sensations are occurring. Are your fists clenched? Is your pulse racing? You are sweating? Describe each feeling to yourself, quietly in your mind, in clear detail. Work with them until you have described all the physical experiences you are dealing with.
Step 4: Name
For each sensation, find an emotion that explains it and associate the two. If you have clenched fists, for example, you may be angry, and if your pulse is racing, you may be anxious. If you have trouble naming emotions, it may be helpful to find a list of complex ones before starting the exercise so that you can relate them more quickly. Differentiating many similar emotions accurately can be very helpful for positive healing.
Step 5: Love
Acceptance and love they are necessary for healing. Although these emotions are complex, repeat to yourself, “I love myself for feeling (emotion).” Name each emotion and proclaim your love for yourself, remembering to love and accept yourself.
Step 6: Experiment
Now sit quietly with your feelings, the sensations they create, and your reactions to them. Look at them silently, as you would a passerby, and don’t judge, hide, or try to change them. Acknowledge each emotion and experience and welcome them, expressing them in a natural and healthy way, so cry, yell, or hit a pillow if necessary.
Step 7: Receive
Now connect these emotions and feelings to other things from your past. Are they related to trauma, bad experiences, and difficulties stemming from long-standing pain? What is the message that your feelings are trying to convey to you? What are they saying or what would they say if they could speak or describe you? If you are having difficulty, grab a pen and paper or journal and write freely to fully express your thoughts without stopping for 10 minutes.
Step 8: Share
Your reflections may have been revealing. If you wish, you can share these reflections with people you trust. If you don’t want to share them with others, please share them with yourself. Please write down your feelings and the healing process, describe your emotions and connections to your past, and reflect on each of them.
Step 9: Release
Finally, imagine all that trauma and negative energy in your body and imagine that it leaves you or is expelled from your being. You can also do this in a more physical way by throwing away the things that are reminders of your trauma, or by standing under or in running water and imagining that the energy is being drained from you.
You can repeat this exercise as many times as necessary for your recovery process. It is somewhat similar to mindfulness practices, which have been shown to also have positive effects on trauma and trauma disorders.
2. Practice sufficient self-care
When you are recovering from childhood trauma, you need a lot of energy and you should be in relatively good health. Traumatized people can easily forget to take care of themselves. Don’t fall into this trap! You need to take care of your mind and body to recover well. Here are some factors that you should incorporate:
Your lifestyle is essential to ensure positive well-being when faced with trauma. You don’t have to lead a perfectly healthy life – make sure you have a balance that can keep your body functioning healthily. Get enough sleep, avoid excessive junk food, and don’t abuse drugs or alcohol.
Trauma involves the ignition of the fight or flight responses in the human body. Exercise can help to relax many of those more extreme impulses and reactions by expending energy. Research has shown positive effects of aerobic workouts for treatments for people with PTSD when performed most days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Trauma can often make you want to isolate yourself, but this is very detrimental to your overall recovery process. To recover from PTSD and long-term trauma, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends staying in touch with positive and supportive people in your life. You don’t have to talk to them about your trauma. But you do need to have good interactions with others, especially those who love and care about you.
3. Get therapy
The reality of the matter is that healing childhood trauma is not something that can normally be done independently. While taking care of yourself and using certain helpful exercises can be beneficial, deep-seated trauma of a serious nature does not simply go away. Trying to heal it yourself, especially when related to PTSD or other traumatic disorders, is like trying to perform open heart surgery on yourself!
Talking to any mental health professional will give you an idea of possible treatment methods. It may take a while to find a therapist whose methods work well for you and for you. But once you do, they can usually determine the right treatment method for you. However, if you want, you can read about some standard therapies for childhood trauma. Then discuss them with your therapist.
It is normal to need therapy to recover from childhood trauma. That trauma leaves deep, cutting scars with roots. In fact, they may be buried in your subconscious and within repressed memories. There is no shame in getting help for the pain you are experiencing. Here are some common forms of therapy used in trauma treatment:
Cognitive processing therapy
Cognitive processing therapy, or CPT, is often the primary choice of the cognitive behavioral therapy subtypes for treating adults with PTSD from infancy. The American Psychiatric Association generally recommends CPT for the span of 12 sessions, which involves developing an awareness and understanding of the emotions and thoughts of PTSD. This is followed by formal trauma processing and the development of skills to manage trauma-based thoughts.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, is a form of therapy that uses eye movements to treat PTSD and other trauma by modifying memory patterns. The treatment process is divided into eight different phases that help patients along the way, from history to preparation and from evaluation to treatment to final evaluation. Studies have found EMDR to be very effective in addressing trauma-based unprocessed memories.
Long-term exposure therapy
Long-term exposure therapy, or PD, is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy used to treat many mental disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It is intended to help patients cope with their fears, memories, feelings, and circumstances that are difficult to cope with due to trauma. This generally requires a fair and trusting therapeutic relationship, and the American Psychiatric Association states that the total amount of treatment time for positive the effect takes about three months.
As the name suggests, this form of therapy harnesses the powers of creative and artistic expression to help heal trauma. It’s a good way to express trauma and pain without words and help build emotional resilience.
Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy
Focused on trauma cognitive behavior therapy, or TF-CBT, is another type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that is generally used for adolescents and adolescents. Studies have shown that TF-CBT can have a positive effect on young people who are dealing with the emotional consequences of a traumatic event. However, supportive networks and trusted caregivers are also necessary for the process.
Narrative exposure therapy
Narrative Exposure Therapy, or NET, is a TF-CBT alternative for PTSD specifically. It is a type of very short-term intervention that aims to help patients integrate trauma into the autobiographical timeline of their own life, which patients should continue to use after therapy is completed. According to investigate, NET works best to treat those who have faced many traumatic events in their past.
Childhood trauma is not easy to overcome. By performing mindful healing exercisesBy taking care of yourself, maintaining positive thinking, and seeking professional help in the form of therapy, you can take steps to free yourself from these sources of pain and trauma.