Featured Image Caption: Ways to Heal from Trauma
Sometimes, when someone has been through something traumatic, they might just try to tough it out and get over it on their own. They try hiding their feelings so they can avoid confronting their feelings. However, this will not change the trauma itself, nor will it help someone heal from the trauma. In fact, avoidance and trying to go it alone can make the emotions associated with the trauma worsen overall until it begins to harm your physical and mental health. Instead of trying to avoid trauma or heal independently, it is a better idea to seek out the support of your community. Your family and friends see your struggles and want to be there for you, but you need to let them in. In this article, we will look at the power of having a community when someone is healing from trauma.
Community Reduces Feeling Isolated
When someone goes through trauma, they can feel alone and isolated. Depending on the type of trauma they went through, sometimes someone with trauma can blame themself for what they experienced, especially if they are handling this alone, without a community reassuring them that it is not their fault.
By having a community to help you through your trauma, you can have a sense of belonging and validation, thus reducing feeling isolated and alone. Whether you are connected to others who have gone through similar trauma or being supported by a community of people who care about you, this can make it easier to heal.
Gain Emotional Support
Trauma can cause many types of emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Having a community can give someone emotional support, which can help them cope with their symptoms. This emotional support can come from having people who will listen, getting counseling, or even joining a support group. But having someone there who listens and provides empathy can truly help someone heal after trauma.
Creates a Safe Space
After experiencing trauma, someone can have trouble feeling safe and trusting other people. If they have community support, they can have a safe space to share their feelings without feeling like they are being judged. Whether this is through a support group or just having some trusted loved ones, sharing your experiences with them can make you feel understood. It can make a big difference in helping someone heal to have a place where they feel safe to share their feelings.
After someone goes through trauma, their physical and mental health can struggle. It can be hard to remember to engage in self-care when you are struggling. Having a community can help encourage you to take better care of yourself during this time. They can remind you to get enough sleep, eat healthy, get out of the house, and do things that bring you joy. All of this can help improve your physical and mental health, which can help you begin to heal from trauma. Sometimes, it takes some gentle prodding from the people in your life to remind you to take care of yourself.
Community Can Trigger Good Hormones in the Brain
When you spend time with people who are supporting you in some way, who can make you smile, that can help trigger dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which has the potential to help uplift your spirits. By having these good hormones being triggered in your brain, it can make you feel a little more comfortable and help you heal. Smiling and laughter can truly help someone heal.
Community Provides Validation
After experiencing trauma, sometimes someone can doubt themselves. By having a community supporting them, they can have someone there to validate their feelings and experiences. This can help someone feel like they have a better sense of control over their life and feel empowered. By feeling like their thoughts and experiences are validated, it can help someone through their journey of healing.
Other Ways to Heal from Trauma
Having a supportive community is important to healing from trauma, but there are some other things you can also try when healing.
One of the main ways that people can heal from trauma is by getting therapy. A therapist can help someone work through the mental blocks caused by trauma and find healthier ways of thinking about acting. It can help them learn to cope with their trauma, recognize triggers associated with it, and find new ways to handle them.
When someone is experiencing depression, anxiety, or has trouble sleeping that is caused by their trauma, medication is a good way to help someone move past that. Make sure you talk to your doctor about medication options to see what they think will work the best for you. Keep in mind that it can take some time for a prescription to begin working, and not all prescriptions will work for everyone. It might take a few tries before you find the right medication.
Having the support of a community is a powerful tool when someone is healing from trauma. A community can help someone feel safe, give them emotional support, validate their feelings, and reduce feelings of isolation. Healing from trauma can take time and work, but it is a journey that you do not need to take alone. Even if your community is small, only consisting of a couple of trusted people, it has the potential to help you heal over time.
By Geralyn Ritter
who is an accomplished corporate senior executive, miracle survivor of the 2015 Amtrak train derailment, and author of Bone by Bone: A Memoir of Trauma and Healing. Geralyn is the executive vice president at Organon & Co., a new Fortune 500 healthcare company dedicated to the health of women.
Member since November, 2023
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