Are You Ready To Heal?
Mental wellness is not a moral high ground. Wellness doesn’t mean you are good, just as sickness doesn’t define you as bad. Mental wellness comes as a result of you doing the work.
You are the biggest obstacle to feeling better. No one can help you reach your aha moment, and it has to come from within. If you are not sick and tired of feeling like crap, you won’t have a reason to make yourself better.
My Lowest Point
I remember my lowest point; I was in so much mental pain, and yet I knew I still had to get up and perform; there was no other choice. My kids where my reason to live. I got myself up and made an appointment to see my Doctor. Now at that time, that is what I knew. I knew I needed to see the Doctor for my mental health, but I Didn’t know how to help myself.
The Doctor prescribed a pill, no surprise there. And then I got myself a therapist per the Doctor’s recommendation and began to see a nice lady once a week. These are the typical steps that people usually take, and it works.
Talking Doesn’t Always Work
But it doesn’t typically work 100% of the time. What ends up happening is that you get tired of talking; yes, it’s therapeutic and sometimes helps. But you get back into a routine of sickness and depression.
So what do you do if you are sick and tired of your mental state? You do what took me years to finally see. You go within yourself and begin to heal past trauma.
Self-hate and depression repeat if you do not let go of past trauma. Past trauma is the devil of mental health. It keeps people down and in an unhealthy state by guiding the parasympathetic system to keep everything the same for protection.
Trauma Is A Safety Mechanism
Trauma is there to help you stay safe. When you were little, you built-in thoughts, walls, and coping mechanisms to help you survive. It doesn’t matter how serious the issue was or how insignificant. If your brain decided you needed protection, you built a trauma response to help you deal with it.
For example, I built a trauma response to not having my needs met at an orphanage by becoming super independent and distant. My mind decided to survive.
I had to develop a way not to be disappointed, so I built an inner dialogue that went like this. One, I am a strong woman. Two, I don’t need help to survive. Three, I can get myself out of anything. And Four, I don’t need to share that discomfort with anyone.
So fast forward to me at 30 years old. My boyfriend, now-husband, asks, suggests I look for a new car, and starts to give me suggestions for getting a safe, reliable one. I become angry at the thought that he thinks I would not know that information and get angry and defensive; it turns into a terrible fight.
Or the fact that I have a hard time accepting hugs; they make me feel confined. I taught myself that I did not need reassurance in the form of touch. Reassurance was always taken away, so I avoided my husband’s touch every time I could.
You Take You Where Ever You Go
You will always take your traumatized self wherever you go. You can’t escape who you have become. But if you begin to heal the trauma that keeps you injured and isolated, then you can slowly decide what things you really need. Once you do that, you start living your truth. You start living your best life.
Living your best life is what we are here to do, and it means something a little different to everyone. That might be living by the ocean with just enough to live a happy life. For others, it might mean traveling in luxury. What you decide is a good life has no moral high ground. Let’s work on your trauma.
So What is Trauma?
The American Psychological Association states that trauma is “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster.” Trauma can also be caused by divorce, sickness, or the death of loved ones.
You can experience shock with most traumatic events, but not always. Some trauma is subtle and caused by the thoughts you have during an event, such as when a child is really sick.
Trauma symptoms can be emotional flashbacks, irregular emotional responses, and physiological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, headaches, nausea, and fatigue. In fact, every kind of life event can contribute to trauma, such as poverty, school situations, moving.
Trauma can damage the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Meaning, your emotional thinking, your memory, and the way you rationalize are affected. Trauma overstimulates the fight or flight response, which leads to an overproduction of cortisol. Cortisol can damage your body by forming free-radicals.
Trauma can lead to a varying degree of responses such as the above symptoms and self-sabotaging effects called blocks. We call these blocks because they block the growth required to develop healthy self-developing habits and routines. Trauma can cause you to avoid situations, refuse to grow, and move out of your comfort zone. Traumatic events can stunt goals.
Understanding trauma can help you recognize why we behave in specific ways, helps us understand our fears, and how to begin to heal. Trauma is an injury that requires careful attention and healing.
Healing The Trauma
There many ways to find the source of your trauma. From asking immediate family directly or doing deep introspection yourself. Some have even been successful by doing hypnotherapy and even shamanic therapies or mushrooms. I used a meditation method to go deep into my subconscious and ask where my trauma laid, and I then began to heal one by one.
Method One: Meditation/Mindfulness
One of the major methods for deep-seated healing trauma is Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is AKA mindfulness and meditation in the Spiritual world. Meditation and Mindfulness are powerful tools to loosen deep trauma.
Caution needs to be had with all unearthed trauma. Released trauma can be painful and even cause body symptoms such as headaches, nausea, actual sickness, breakouts. It can even lead to periods of depression and anxiety.
(Seek professional help if possible while going through the process of healing.)
While these responses are normal, they can make it difficult to move on with your daily life. The mind protects the body by using trauma to avoid a previous painful situation. So it’s natural for people to want to avoid fixing what the mind uses for protection.
Method Two: Healing Trauma Through Emotional Regulation
Being the observer in your own responses can help stop trauma from creating a negative response. Emotional regulation helps retrain you to see the response through an observational state rather than a responsive state.
This method is also what experts call Heart Rate Variability Training (HRV) method. You use your observation to acknowledge your body’s response to stress and take control before a full attack occurs. You put yourself in control.
Emotional regulation can be used in real-time trauma responses. It benefits individuals who have to deal with triggers more often. Being able to self-regulate and work through trauma responses is essential.
Method Three: Hemi-Sync Method
In this method, different methods are used to sync your brain’s left and right sides to help decrease the response to traumatic flashbacks or events in your brain.
My favorite Hemi-sync method is music. Music is played in waves that move from the right and left sides of your ear to meet at the center—creating a third synchronized sound that helps the brain work together.
This method is similar to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Science evidence illustrates that meditation develops the ability to use the whole brain in a synchronized way. In fact, research has indicated this type of synchronization is present in the brain at times of intense creativity, clarity, and inspiration. History is full of brilliant scientists, technologists, and artists who showed whole brain synchronization.
Healing Trauma Happens in Phases:
As you begin your healing, you will notice a similar path as those described below. This path occurs in phases most people who heal go through. The phases are needed to foster safe and effective healing.
Phase one: Stay Grounded
In trauma healing, you need to feel safe and grounded. Trauma makes you feel so lost and disconnected that you will think it unsafe to move into recovery if you don’t find safe ground. So safety is first. It would help if you found a WHY to feel connected to something. Finding your WHY is your safe ground. That’s why it’s crucial.
I often read that the number one reason people refuse to give up and commit suicide is that they had a WHY—the WHY is a deal-breaker to suicide. When you feel suicidal, the WHY has to be written down and remembered; without it, the mind will have a greater chance of failing you. But here is the dilemma, when you are feeling suicidal, the WHY is muted; it’s so low and squashed within you that you can barely hear it. Please write it down; look at it daily.
Phase Two: Healing
Once you are feeling safe, you can deal with your trauma. This part was hard for me, and I didn’t see my past trauma being an issue. I thought I was doing fine the way I was going. But I can guarantee you, if you don’t heal that trauma, you will hit the stopping point after stopping point. If you want to see the most significant change within you, you must start with the trauma.
This phase is the messy phase, the healing phase. You will deal with the issues and learn to recognize what truly was a big deal and why? You will learn to dig into your dirty laundry of trauma and begin to analyze each article. And why it made you feel unsafe and how to heal it properly.
Phase Three: The rebuild
Building your infrastructure after you have torn it down to heal is essential. It’s very cathartic to be at the end of a healed path and see the distraction it’s left. This is the phase where you see that trauma affected every area of your life and relationships. You are choosing to heal and work on those connections.
The rebuild can often leave you feeling lonely. Ofen people tend to get rid of failed relations, friendships, and things that no longer serve them.
As with anything new, it might feel vast and overwhelming to see how much work you have to do. But It’s a beginning, and you have all the joy of creating as you please with this newfound peace that trauma healing brings.
Your primary goal with trauma is to heal from it. The path of healing is very different for everyone. It can take years for some to recover a little and only months for others. Healing from trauma is not a raise. Take your time, figure out what things continue to affect you, and work on each one till healed.
Use the methods above, read more on each process and please seek help from a professional if possible. I am not a professional, but I do what I write. I don’t just push this way of being. I live it.
My favorite method for healing my trauma has been meditation and Hemi-sync method. I also meditate and use mindfulness in my daily routine. I use Emotional regulation to retrain my mind, not to form new trauma.
My own experience led me to believe that you create a circle of trying to change and landing back in despair without healing. If I regulate first, I won’t have to be back in the same trauma trap.
I am still healing, still working through the massive amount of trauma leftover from childhood. However, I am getting better and better, and my mind feels free, clear, and peaceful.
As I heal, I am convinced that as adults, we have to heal ourselves and stop the continuation of the family passed trauma. You don’t have to pass on your issues to the next generation.
We have all the power to heal it in our generation. Our children don’t have to go through the same hardships that we went through. I find peace in realizing I will do better now that I know better. Happy healing.
Latest posts by Lucia Stakkestad (see all)
- The Number One Reason You Should (Do) Journaling for Mental Health - August 26, 2021
- How Trauma Affects You: The Costs of Ignoring Trauma - August 18, 2021
- 6 Real-Life Examples That You Are Prepared To Change - June 17, 2021