Seven Ways to Help Yourself Achieve Healing
How do you help yourself achieve healing? We have identified seven ways!
There is so much running through your head following an emotional or physical trauma. Hours, days, even weeks later, it may be hard to know where to start in regards to recovery. Some days you feel completely fine, healed even. Others, it feels as though you’re drowning. That’s ok, that is normal and you are not alone! Even if diving straight into professional therapy feels too overwhelming at the moment, there are ways to help yourself achieve healing and begin to feel emotionally and physically whole again.
Move your Body for Healing
Get up, get moving – get walking, running, dancing, swimming – whatever it is that might get your heart rate slightly elevated will be advantageous for your entire body. In addition to obvious physical benefits, exercise has been suggested to be an aid in repairing the nervous system and restoring the body’s natural equilibrium that likely has otherwise been disrupted in the event of trauma.
Connect with Others
If joining a local support group or talking to trusted loved ones feels too overwhelming, try joining a group on Facebook, where you can feel more anonymous behind a computer screen but still talk or just simply connect with others in similar situations. Many of these groups have such great resources for you to help work through personal challenges and make lasting friendships with people who understand exactly what you’re going through.
Staying grounded allows you to feel things in the present moment, taking you out of that fog you may have otherwise been experiencing since the traumatic experience occurred. Grounding can be achieved through mindfulness, deep breathing, or yoga, just to name a few.
Sleep to Achieve Healing
Sleep is the body’s natural way of healing both mind and body. Just as after a physical surgery, your brain needs sleep to help repair the body and mind from all it has been through. If your body is fatigued, this is its way of telling you that it needs to sleep more to achieve healing. Any additional rest you give your body will be used to restore the mind and body and help you achieve healing.
Stay Nutritionally Focused
Make it a point to keep junk foods out of the house and snack on things like nuts, cheese, fruits, and vegetables during the day if you feel hungry. When you only allow these types of food into your pantry, you’ll be more inclined to binge Netflix and munch away a bag of SkinnyPop popcorn than a whole chocolate bar (or three!). Avoiding drugs and alcohol is also central to recovery as using these toxic substances can increase feelings of anxiety and depression and even make recovery harder.
Write it Out
“Mind dumping” refers to writing or verbally emptying their mind of all thoughts and emotions onto paper or a recording device. Individuals using this method do not have to say or write things in any particular order, nor do they have to even make sense to anyone else. This is just for you! Mind dumping generally puts emotions we’d been dwelling on into a much different perspective and allows us to find ways to work through them in ways we may not have seen before.
Many psychologists and counseling centers now offer Telehealth options, so you don’t even have to leave your home to talk to a licensed mental health clinician. Or if you’re looking for a reason to get out of your house, going to an hour session of counseling can be a great way to get a few minutes of fresh air, connect with another adult, and really begin to address ways to achieve recovery and healing.
“Recovery is the ability to live in the present without being overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings of the past”. There isn’t a timeframe of how long healing should take and it is imperative that you do not compare yourself to another, even someone who went through a similar situation. Everyone deals with trauma and stress differently and so doing what is best for you is perfectly fine, even if it feels abnormal in relation to how others cope. Step back, take a deep breath and assure yourself that you can do this!