Seven Ways To Heal Childhood Trauma
The child we once were still lives. They live on inside of us. Sometimes they make their needs known. Sometimes they don't. But many of our inner children still need.
Although children are frequently thought of as being extremely resilient and capable of recovering from almost any scenario, traumatic experiences throughout childhood can have serious and long-lasting impacts that endure far into adulthood if they are not addressed. Childhood trauma can be caused by anything that leaves a child feeling powerless and alters their perception of safety and security, such as sexual, physical, or verbal abuse; domestic violence; an unstable or unsafe environment; parental separation; neglect; bullying; life-threatening illness; or invasive medical procedures.
If you’re living with the emotional and psychological consequences of a traumatic childhood, there is hope. Here are seven ways to heal your childhood trauma and reclaim your life.
Recognize the trauma for what it is and acknowledge it. Childhood trauma victims frequently spend years downplaying the incident or disregarding it by acting as though it never happened or by giving in to feelings of guilt or self-blame. The best way to start the healing process is to admit that a traumatic event did take place and that you were not to blame for it.
Retake command. Helplessness can persist long into adulthood, making you feel and act like a victim forever and leading you to make decisions based on your previous suffering. When you are a victim, your present is governed by your past. But once you've overcome your suffering, you have influence over the present. There may always be a struggle between the past and the present, but if you're prepared to give up the old coping mechanisms and crutches you used as a child to get by, you may take back control of your life right now and find relief from your suffering.
Don't isolate oneself; instead, seek out help. Many trauma survivors have a natural tendency to isolate themselves from others, but doing so can only make matters worse. Connecting with others is crucial to the healing process, so put up the effort to uphold your bonds and look for help. Consider speaking with a dependable relative, friend, or therapist, as well as joining a support group for people who have endured trauma as children.
Take good care of yourself. If you are healthy, you will be more able to handle stress. Create a daily schedule that enables you to get enough sleep, consume a healthy diet, and exercise frequently. Most importantly, refrain from using drugs and alcohol. These may offer brief solace, but they will inevitably intensify your symptoms of trauma and despair, anxiety, and loneliness.
Find out what accepting and letting go really mean. Just because you accept something doesn't mean you enjoy it or agree with it, or that you're embracing your trauma. Acceptance denotes your decision regarding how you will use it. You can choose to let it control your life or to let it go. Letting go doesn't make something miraculously disappear. Allowing yourself to let go means stopping to allow your negative memories and sentiments from a horrible childhood to prevent you from living a wonderful life right now.
Change your bad habits for positive ones. Bad habits can take many different forms, such as negativity and a constant lack of trust in others, or turning to alcohol or drugs when emotions seem too difficult to handle. Bad habits can be challenging to overcome, especially if you use them as a crutch to keep from reliving the suffering and trauma of your early years. You can gain the skills required to break your negative behaviors and replace them with positive ones through a support group or trauma coach.
Don't be too hard on yourself. If you were seriously injured as a child, you may experience uncontrollable emotions, a sense of helplessness, coping mechanisms, and distorted perspectives that are challenging to let go of. To let rid of these emotions will require a lot of effort and time. No matter how modest your improvement may seem, be patience with yourself and acknowledge it. Your recovery will ultimately succeed in the fight to repair your childhood trauma thanks to the small victories you achieve along the way.
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MimiRothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs for Grief Coach,Trauma Coach,End of Life Coach,and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years.