Have you ever been haunted by a traumatic experience? You may even be plagued by painful memories resulting in nightmares, flashbacks, or anxiety. If you endure sleep disturbances, mood changes, increased irritability, and difficulty maintaining relationships with others, you are likely suffering from the repercussions of a life altering event. Some of these traumatic experiences may be characterized as a sudden loss or grievance, sexual assault, or car crash. But the bigger question becomes, how do we return to our normal lives following these experiences without Psychotherapy or medical intervention?
Address The Trauma Head On
If you are having trouble re-living the event that resulted in extreme emotional discomfort, it is better to acknowledge that it did happen rather than suppress the event. This may lead to feelings of guilt and other cognitive distortions such as self-blame. It is preferable to bring those emotions to the surface and experience them. For example, if you do not allow yourself to cry, those emotions may manifest themselves as anger and you might create a distance between yourself and others, destroying your own friendships and relationships.
One Day At A Time
There is no guidebook for dealing trauma. However, the best way to tackle your emotions is by addressing them one moment at a time one day at a time. If you are feeling the need to cry, you should let it out rather than suppress it. If you do not allow yourself to process the hurt, maladaptive coping strategies such as denial, anger, guilt, and isolation are employed. It is critical for you to come to the point where you have to realize that you can not control what happened in the past. There is nothing you can do except prepare for the future. It is necessary for you to recognize that you should not allow other individuals to evaluate your progress in the journey of healing because that leads to self-loathing. You can only do your best to make it through one day at a time. Do not become discouraged by the days that remain difficult. Remember you are learning to create a new normal for yourself. Find optimism in those good days. Those are the moments you keep progressing through your personal challenges.
It is crucial for your own personal growth that you remain occupied. This prevents you from traveling back into your past and dwelling on those negative emotions even if you have already addressed them. Make sure you engage in activities that bring you enjoyment, rather than staying inside. For example, going for a walk helps to clear the mind or listening to music can be inspirational for creativity. Those are just some ways to release some of the negative energy by focusing on something positive. If you have been isolating yourself, it would be good to make plans with small groups of friends or family so you do not become overwhelmed. As intimidating as it may be, you want to slowly build back those connections with others.
Believe In Yourself
All in all, remember that recovery is a process. Each day will present different challenges but if you keep your head up and believe in yourself you can become stronger than the trauma that once knocked you down. You have to have faith that your bad days won't be a sign of regression but a display of mental endurance that you should be proud of.