3 Essential Tips on How to Heal Emotional Wounds and Trauma

6 Minute Read

W hen we think of the term “healing”, we tend to first think of a physical injury— a broken bone, a strained muscle, an open wound. We can acknowledge that each requires time, rest, a tender touch, and medical attention in order for healing to take place and occur properly so that all is restored. But what happens when the wound is an emotional one? Learn three tips for how to heal emotional wounds and recover from trauma. 

What is emotional trauma?

Emotional and psychological traumas are the result of extremely stressful events that leave us feeling unsafe and disconnected from everyone around us. They leave us feeling helpless, powerless, and overwhelmed. Many people also experience painful feelings and memories as well as anxiety that won’t go away. 

Just like the traumas that the body endures, we need to recognize that we each experience a range of emotional traumas as the result of life’s many hardships. Emotional trauma is suffered by the mind, heart, or spirit. It can stem from any number of experiences, including:

 

  • Loss of a loved one through death

  • A bad breakup or divorce

  • Surviving abuse or emotional neglect

  • Sudden financial hardships 

  • Loss of property

Emotional trauma can leave us feeling helpless, powerless, and overwhelmed.
anxiety

Emotional and psychological traumas are the result of extremely stressful events that leave us feeling unsafe and disconnected from everyone around us.

click to tweet  Click to tweet

What are the symptoms of emotional or psychological trauma?

Emotional traumas can often be difficult to detect because symptoms manifest differently from person to person. Some might fall into a deep depression and pull away from everyone. Others might mask their pain with drugs, alcohol, or some other acting-out behaviors. Many people might appear to carry on as if it’s business as usual.

Issues of the mind and heart are harder to detect. Therefore, they are easier to hide from the outside world.  As a result, we fool ourselves into dismissing, ignoring, or avoiding them in an effort to convince ourselves that we are okay and should just “move on”. But just like any physical wound, a broken heart requires attention, care, love, and healing.  We must go through an emotional healing process.

generalized anxiety
Emotional traumas can often be difficult to detect because symptoms manifest differently from person to person.

How to heal yourself emotionally from trauma or tragedy

The best course of action for healing old emotional wounds is to be an active participant in your healing process. Here are three tips for healing emotional wounds to recover from trauma: 

Healing Trauma Tip #1: Practice Identifying The Cause 

Injuries to our mind, heart, and spirit must first be identified and acknowledged before they can be treated. So often we walk around carrying pains we don’t even remember picking up.  We carry them with us through life. Sometimes, this pain begins in early childhood and stays with us as we navigate adulthood. Other times, sudden shifts or unexpected life changes throw us into a crisis of identity that leaves us feeling lost. 

Either way, you will not be able to release the pain you have been carrying if you don’t know that you’re holding onto it.  You cannot heal an emotional wound that you invalidate or resist acknowledging. 

Ways to identify the cause of emotional wounds

As a therapist, identifying the root causes of clients’ emotional pain and suffering is part of my mission. Meeting with a therapist or counselor is a fantastic opportunity to get in touch with your suffering and general discomfort associated with healing emotional pain.  In order to address the underlying trauma, it’s important that you work with a therapist who is both trained in treating trauma and a good fit for your personality. Feeling understood and supported is key to this process.

If you’re reluctant to see a professional, or if professional help is not available, you can still begin to understand the causes of your pain through honestly examining yourself. Look at the people in your life.  Determine who and what is triggering your suffering and take notes.  Keeping track of thoughts and in a journal can help you find patterns.

If you can’t work with a therapist right away, taking stock of what is causing pain is an important first step. Then you can move toward deciding how to heal emotionally. 

If you can’t work with a therapist right away, taking stock of what is causing pain is an important first step. Then you can move toward deciding how to heal emotionally.

click to tweet  Click to tweet

Healing Trauma Tip #2: Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness means being self-aware and present in the current moment. This is key to a peaceful life at any stage, but especially after emotional trauma. There’s a reason why people need to take time off from work and social engagements after a breakup or significant loss. Slowing down allows us to acknowledge and validate our pain and wounded feelings. This is much better than masking it with busy schedules or obligations.

Additionally, because mindfulness aligns you with the power of now, the traumas of your past will slowly begin to have less control over your emotional state. I tell my clients that healing occurs in the present, not by drudging through all of the trauma forever. We may revisit the traumatic moments as a means of releasing the pain and so that the wound can be uncovered.  However, we do not live in the past or stay there for too long. Mindfulness can help retrain your brain to react differently to painful thoughts and memories.

Once you get to the root cause of your pain, you must lean into it and allow yourself to release it. The past only exists in the mind.  Where you once were a victim, you can now choose to be a survivor by focusing on the beautiful opportunities available to you in the present moment. This is what a positive mental healing process involves.

spring cleaning grounding
Healing occurs in the present, not by drudging through all of the trauma forever.

Healing Trauma Tip #3: Practice Patience

Another crucial aspect of emotional healing is patience. We all know that if you pick at a wound, it won’t heal. If you don’t rest a strained muscle, you risk further damage. The same is true of emotional scars. Stop interfering. Give yourself real time to heal.  You cannot put a deadline on your progress. 

The choice to heal emotions can be made at any given moment.  However, it may take a significant part of a lifetime to heal deeply rooted suffering. Rushing yourself will only result in more distress. Instead, breathe and continue to encourage yourself. Be proud of every step you are taking towards repairing your mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds. 

Are you prepared to heal emotional wounds that are keeping you stuck?

The therapists at Clarity Therapy NYC work with people every day who have experienced all kinds of trauma. They help clients develop a healthier view of themselves, strengthen their relationships, and build a new sense of purpose. As a result, people feel more peaceful, whole, and safe. Are you ready to work toward healing?

Your Turn: What coping methods have you found success with to heal emotional wounds? Share what’s worked for you in the comments below.

Dr. Logan Jones

Dr. Logan Jones is a Psychologist and Founder of Clarity Therapy. Sign up for his free 30 Days of Gratitude email series and follow him on Instagram at @drloganjones.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

There’s More To See

Keep Exploring

Did this article resonate with you?

If so, our therapists may be a good fit. We invite you to share your preferences on our therapist matching questionnaire so that we can provide you with a personalized recommendation.

STAY IN TOUCH

Get our best tips and advice on how to live with clarity, joy, and purpose when you join our newsletter.

GET UPDATES

In-Person Therapy Made Easy

Online Therapy Made Easy

Fees + Insurance

ADDRESS

276 5th Avenue, Suite 605,
New York, NY 10001

GET IN TOUCH
OFFICE HOURS

Monday–Thursday
7am–9pm

Friday
7am–8pm

Saturday-Sunday
8am–4pm

CONTACT US

Have a question? Ask away!
We look forward to connecting with you.

    ESSENTIAL READS