No Hierarchy in Trauma; How to Make Space for Healing
August 30, 2019
Trauma is defined as ‘too much, too fast, too soon’ and we have probably all had an element of that experience in our lives before. There are ways in which we can help our own healing when it comes to trauma. Often this starts with taking a deep breath, making space, and finding a way to face the stories we have been told or are telling ourselves. Here are a few ways we can start to make space for healing….
Breaking Down Hierarchy
One of the most important stories to tackle may be the argument that there is no hierarchy in trauma. Many of us are quick to shrug off our own traumas no matter how big or small by saying ‘It wasn’t that bad’ or ‘Other people have it much worse’. We live by this invisible hierarchy of where we are on the scale and it can only serve to make us feel like our experiences aren’t valid which in turn can get in the way of healing. That’s not to say that society sees all people and experiences as equal, we live in a world where there are privileges and of course this all plays into healing space.
Seek Professional Support
Healing is a hard thing to do. It can be a long and complicated road and whether recovering from emotional or physical trauma, it’s always advisable to seek some form of professional support to help see you through if possible. Therapy can be a wonderful thing for many people as it provides a safe and supportive space for us to hash out and explore our own feelings and experiences. While talking with friends is also amazing, sometimes it can be super helpful to have someone there who isn’t emotionally connected to us in the same way. Someone who we don’t have to see and deal with every day and someone who has the knowledge to help guide us through the process. Not everyone has access to therapy, but it’s worth noting that these days therapy doesn’t always need to happen in an expensive office space.
Tell Your Story
Saying things aloud can have a huge impact on our healing as it helps us to process things. When experiences are locked inside our own head and we don’t need to put them into a physical language it can make the facts convoluted. By telling our own story; whether through therapy, sharing with close and trusted friends, or even writing it down we are finding new ways to process the information. Another great place to turn may be looking towards online or local support groups specializing in certain areas of trauma.
Listen to your Body
There is a belief that the body can lock in trauma and affect our reactions to certain things in life. As part of our healing journey, it may be worth trying to connect the mind to the body and work through understanding why we react the way we do to things. Getting a better understanding of the fight, flight, and freeze responders and delving deeper into understanding our own nervous system can be an amazing way of unravelling learned behaviour and taking back autonomy.
Learn How to Ground
Working through our own trauma can cause painful shifts and spirals, so it’s important that we find ways to ground ourselves in the here and now. From daily routines to having a space to call your own where you feel comforted and safe, meditative practices, learning how to relax, and simple breathing techniques – there are many exercises that help us from becoming too fully immersed in negative and painful thought patterns for too long.
Remember trauma recovery and finding your own pathway to healing is a hugely personal thing and is bound to be different for everyone. Be kind to yourself, practise compassion, and surround yourself with people who make you feel strong and supported.