It can be hard to get past the negative effects of trauma and abuse in your life, but there’s no need to feel hopeless in the face of it all. Healing from abuse and trauma doesn’t have to take years – you can start feeling better and moving on with your life within months if you know what you’re doing and give yourself permission to move forward! Here are some steps to healing from trauma.
Break the Silence
This year, the National Sexual Assault Hotline has been flooded with reports from survivors. The stories are hard to hear, but they serve as proof that we cannot stay silent any longer. One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, and one in six men will be assaulted as well. That is an alarming number, but it’s important to note that these statistics only include people who have been able to come forward about their experiences.
Many victims suffer in silence for years before finally opening up about what happened to them. If this sounds like you or someone you know, I hope this post can help provide you with a roadmap of where to go next.
The First Steps in Healing
Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on an individual's emotional, social, spiritual and physical well-being. Learning how to cope with the effects of trauma is important for the recovery process. The first step in healing from trauma is recognizing that you are not alone. It may seem like there is no hope for this type of event to happen in your life, but there are many people who have dealt with similar situations.
One way to start coping is by seeking out some form of counseling or therapy. They will be able to help get through these tough times by listening and guiding you through any questions or concerns you might have about what has happened in your life.
The next steps in learning how to heal from trauma are talking to others, practicing self care and getting support systems set up around yourself. Talking to someone you trust helps because it gives them the opportunity to guide you as they listen.
Take Care of Yourself
It's important for survivors to know that they are not alone. There are many people who care about them and want to help. You may be afraid or embarrassed, but it's important to get help so you can heal. Survivors need a lot of support in order for them to heal after trauma. Support is any kind of help that the survivor needs. The survivor needs someone to listen when they feel sad or mad and just wants someone to be there with them without talking.
Some people might find it helpful to talk about what happened over and over again, which is called journaling. Others might need something else like drawing pictures or making music as a way to express how they feel.
Create a Support Network
Support can come from family, friends, professional counselors, or other organizations in your community. Connect with these people on a regular basis so you have someone to talk with who understands what you are going through. It can be difficult at times, but this will help give you the encouragement and motivation needed for the healing process.
Other ways to create a network are by joining online forums and communities, participating in self-help groups or religious services, attending workshops, volunteering for causes that interest you. For those feeling suicidal it may also be helpful to contact crisis hotlines like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
Sometimes it helps to have someone else’s shoulder to lean on when we’re going through challenging times. They say it takes a village for raising children, but it also applies here. Find people who you can talk to openly about what happened and how you're feeling. You need people in your life who want to know more than just the basics - they want to know about your heart, not just your experience. They'll keep reminding you that there's more life out there waiting for you, if only you'll get out of bed and live it!
If you're struggling, don't face the problem alone. Contact us today to learn more about online therapy and how it can help you.