Recovering from trauma takes time. Working with a therapist is a huge step in healing, but recovery also means taking small steps everyday towards a life where you aren’t just surviving, you are thriving.
Last week, we shared five tips from Janina Fisher, PhD and the team at My.Therapist.com on ways to process and heal from trauma in everyday life. The free download (available here) was so good, we wanted to share it with you! Here are her final five tips for practices that will help you to recover from trauma.
- Remember that feeling worthless is a survival strategy
When you are tempted to believe trauma-related thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy,” remember that these thoughts are not really true! They reflect past rules taught to you in order to keep you quiet. They were untrue then, and they are untrue now.
- Know that Mindful Noticing is an antidote to overwhelm
When you feel something distressing and fight back by trying to suppress the feeling or going numb, the feeling becomes scarier and more overwhelming. Instead, practice mindfully noticing the feeling. Noticing a feeling is like noticing what it’s like to have the sun warm you or to have a sore throat. Noticing helps feelings rise and fall and then settle.
- Use the “hot stove” technique
Being able to voice your feelings depends on being able to tolerate them long enough to communicate them. That is difficult when your body and mind dissociate from emotions they perceive as too dangerous. Learning to tolerate these emotions requires treating them as friends, not uninvited guests or enemies. Use the “hot stove” technique: Briefly touch the feeling with the tip of your finger for just a few seconds. Practice befriending 10% of the feeling – or 5%. Think of the feeling as information you might not like but need to know.
- Remember, it can be a milestone just to say no
Trauma often teaches your body to automatically say yes, to resist selfassertion, and to freeze up or go numb when there is any impulse to assert yourself. To begin healing, get into the practice of saying no. Sometimes it’s easier to start by simply imagining yourself saying no or making a stop gesture. Your job is to slowly help your body overcome its resistance to saying no instead of yes.
- Remembering how you survived is more important than remembering what you survived
When you focus on the traumatic events that happened to you, it often distracts from an even more important question: How did you survive? Validate all the ways you adapted, kept yourself going, and grew despite it all. Appreciate the ingenuity of that child or adult who grew up in a dangerous world.
Thank you to Janina Fisher, PhD and the team at My.Therapist.com for providing this free content to the public. We have published a condensed version on Watersedge. To read the original version of all ten tips, visit my.therapist.com here.
Do you live in survival mode? Have you experienced a traumatic event or felt threatened and unsafe as a child? We would love to help you. Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245, Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now and make an appointment.
The post 5 (more) practices to heal from trauma appeared first on Watersedge Counselling.