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How to navigate and heal your trauma

Mindfulness, Mind, Body, Soul Wellness & Healing | Counsellor & Mental Health and Wellbeing Coach in Newcastle Australia

Trauma isn’t something that you can simply get over.

It’s going to take time to heal, and in most cases, it’s probably going to be hard and painful. But I can promise you, with personal and professional experience, it is worth every single thing you do.

To heal from trauma, we need to look through the lens of not only the conscious mind, but also the unconscious mind and the energetics behind the trauma and I wanted to expand on that.

The conscious mind is the part of our mind that holds awareness of our thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and actions in the present moment. It is the aspect of our mind that we are actively aware of and can intentionally control.

The conscious mind is the part of mind that’s connected with logical thinking, reasoning, and decision-making. It’s what analyses information, makes choices, and takes action.

The conscious mind is needed for consciously engaging in the healing process. It involves activities such as seeking out therapy, learning coping strategies, and making intentional choices to benefit our well-being. We cannot address the unconscious or energetics of trauma if we are not consciously wanting to heal.

Whereas the unconscious mind consists of thoughts, memories, and emotions that are not in our immediate awareness. It works beneath the surface of conscious thought and influences our behaviours and reactions without us consciously knowing.

The unconscious mind is closely tied to our emotions and processes information. It is also the part of us that brings on our defence mechanisms to help protect us from overwhelming thoughts or emotions.

If we want to heal from trauma, there is going to be unconscious stuff that needs to be brought up and dealt with.

Now, if we’re talking about the energetics of trauma, which is more of holistic view, is the energetic imprints that traumatic experiences may leave on us. This could be felt as lingering emotional energy, physical sensations, or disruptions in the body's energy flow.

Remembering that trauma is not only stored in cognitive memories but also in the body, which is where somatic memories come in which is what I spoke about last week.

Addressing the energetics of trauma involves acknowledging and releasing stored energy linked to the traumatic experience. Basically, it recognizes that trauma can impact not only our thoughts and emotions but also the overall energy flow within our body.

Trauma affects us on all three levels—consciously, unconsciously, and energetically. Addressing all three levels will give us a better understanding of the impact of trauma and will let you heal the trauma with a holistic approach that is sustainable and ongoing, which is what I’m all about!

I am going to give you some places to begin your healing journey, but I would be doing a disservice to you if I didn’t mention getting professional support with your trauma healing.

When you work with a professional, such as a counsellor or coach, you are being given a supportive and non-judgmental space where you can explore and express emotions, thoughts, and concerns without fear of rejection or criticism. It’s more unlikely that you will become re-traumatised during the process, you will learn lots of skills, techniques and coping skills specifically for you and through the process, you will gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your strengths, and your capacity for resilience. A professional has been trained in working with trauma and they will be able to support you to heal in a safe way for you, your body, your circumstances and your trauma.

So yes, you can heal trauma on your own, but it will take longer and more than likely will involve more bumps in the road. If you are in a place where you can financially afford professional support, I cannot recommend it more, but I also recognise that not everybody is in that place, so I will give some ideas on how to heal without professional support too.

Before we get into that, I thought it would be helpful for you to have some questions to ask when looking for professional support in your healing journey.

The first question is are they trauma-informed? This would usually be listed on their website somewhere or you could ask them. This means that they recognise the impact of trauma, prioritise safety and empowerment to avoid you being re-traumatised.

The second question is what are their qualifications and do any of them specifically involve trauma? This is of course a little self-explanatory, but you want to work with somebody who has the knowledge of how to heal trauma safely with the client’s best interests in mind.

The third question is what is their approach to trauma? You want to ensure that the professional support approaches trauma healing in a way aligned to you. For example, my approach to trauma healing is by addressing the conscious, unconscious and energetics of the trauma. I do this specifically by working somatically, which means to work with the body’s experience of the trauma, but there are other ways to work with trauma too.

The fourth question is do they work from a client-centred approach, or I call this a you-centred approach. This means that they would be valuing your experiences, your goals and whatever you come to each session with. Ultimately, you would be incredibly active in the healing process and that’s what you need.

The fifth and final question is do you vibe with them? This is so important. To heal trauma, you need to feel safe, supported and comfortable with who you’re working with. If you aren’t, then the work is going to feel like pulling teeth. And that’s nothing against that counsellor or coach or whoever, it just means they weren’t the right fit for you and that’s great, you know and now you can move on to find somebody who is a better fit. A lot of counsellors and coaches are more than happy to have a quick, free chat to see if they’re the right fit for you. If it isn’t advertised on their website, send them an email to ask because believe me, we want to make sure we’re the right fit for you too.

I have two examples of counsellors I have tried to work with that just were not the right fit. One of them was a lot older than me, we had nothing in common, she spoke a lot about her husband and from the first conversation with her, I knew she wasn’t right for me. That one session together felt like an eternity and I felt so uncomfortable, I didn’t want to share anything and didn’t want to see her again.

The other example is actually of a couples counsellor, and she was lovely, I loved what she was saying and the concepts she explained, but if my partner and I had nothing else to say about whatever it was, she would just intentionally sit there in silence, and don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for that for sure, but she did it so often that it made me and my partner, Karl, feel so incredibly uncomfortable.

So doing a vibe check is going to be super important for you!

As I mentioned earlier, working with professional support is my highest recommendation, but there are things you can do to start the healing process if you’re not in a place where you can work with a professional and I wanted to share some of those things!

The first trauma healing tip is to recognise and acknowledge that you deserve healing. As a human being, you have the right to live a life that is filled with safety, love and happiness. Regardless of past experiences or traumas, everyone has the capacity for growth and healing.

And I’m not going to lie, sometimes this takes vulnerability. Being open to face your emotions, confront your challenges and heal your trauma can bring up some shitty stuff, but by believing, embracing and embodying the fact you deserve healing is what’s going to truly allow you to heal.

If you are not ready, willing and able to recognise and acknowledge that you deserve healing, then nothing else matters.

The second trauma healing tip is to create safety. As well as the first tip, this is crucial to healing trauma. Establishing safety—both within yourself and within your environment—can take days, weeks, or even years.

There are many things you can do to create safety within yourself, but this is something that will be gradual and will take time so please don’t rush this step. Some ideas for creating safety within are:

Using self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and patience

Imagine and create a safe inner space within your mind. This can be a visualization of a peaceful, secure place where you can retreat when you feel overwhelmed. You can then return to this mental space when needed.

Establish and communicate healthy boundaries with yourself. Recognize when you need to set limits on activities, thoughts, or interactions that may trigger you.

Regularly check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling.

Find self-soothing activities that bring comfort and relaxation.

And when I refer to creating safety within your environment, this could be:

Create a clean and organized living area

Ensuring your home is secure and you have the appropriate physical safety measures. This may include locks, security systems, or other measures that contribute to your overall safety.

Establishing a routine that brings structure and predictability to your daily life

Designating a quiet space for reflection and self-care. This could be a meditation corner, reading nook, or any space where you can engage in activities that promote relaxation.

The following trauma healing tips will also help encourage the safety within yourself and your environment too. Again, this stage can’t be rushed, it’s going to take time whether you’re working with a professional or by yourself.

The third trauma healing tip is to educate yourself on trauma. Learn about the effects of trauma, coping mechanisms and the different ways of healing trauma. Which by the way, you’re already doing by listening to this episode! When you have the knowledge, you can be more self-aware throughout the healing process and make more informed decisions on how you want to move forward from a safe space.

The fourth trauma healing tip is work on the basics. I want to laugh every time I say this because I say it so often but guys, this is so important in any stage of life or your healing journey. You need to support the basics to heal trauma. There really are no if’s or but’s about it. If you want to heal trauma, you need to prioritise the basics. I have two episodes and a free e-book diving into this much deeper, but as a quick run through, they are:

Drinking plenty of filtered water

Moving your body each day

Eating enough nutritious foods

Getting enough quality sleep

Getting sunshine and fresh air daily

Leaning on your support team

And having healthy habits and routines

When I speak of the basics, I also usually mention practising mindfulness and regulating your nervous system but for the purpose of this episode, I wanted to explain these two points a bit deeper and why they’re so important for healing trauma.

So, that means the fifth healing trauma tip is to practise mindfulness.

There is nothing more important to trauma healing than safety and mindfulness allows us to create that safety.

When we practise mindfulness, it allows us to focus on the present moment, which creates a sense of grounding. This can be super valuable for anybody who may experience flashbacks or intrusive memories related to past traumatic events. By bringing our attention in the present, we  can reduce the intensity of traumatic memories and create safety in the present.

A few mindfulness practises you can start today are:

Mindfully breathing by simply bringing your attention to your inhale and exhale.

Meditating with a body scan meditation, visualisation, self-compassion meditation or loving kindness meditation

Use grounding techniques to connect you with the present moment and immediate surroundings.

Mindfully walking by paying attention to each step, the sensations in and on your body as you walk and the movement of your body.

Mindfully eating, similar to mindfully walking but instead you bring your awareness to your meal, noticing flavours and textures or different sensations.

A wonderful app I recommend to all of my clients is the Insight Timer app. It has thousands of free meditations available to start your mindfulness journey.

The sixth trauma healing tip, if you hadn’t of guessed already, is working on regulating your nervous system. Now this seems to be quite the trend at the moment, but you know what, I’m here for it haha. There is nothing that could go wrong with nervous system regulation so I’m all for it.

Trauma dysregulates our nervous system, so to heal that trauma, we need to regulate it again. Some great ways to do this are:

Practising mindfulness, which you now already have some ideas on how to do that.

Following the basics of hydration, movement, quality sleep and nutritious foods

Using cold therapy which could be cold-plunging, holding or biting frozen ice, standing in front of an air conditioner, drinking ice cold water or placing a frozen face washer against your skin.

Using grounding statements such as “I can feel my heart beating in my chest and I am okay” to help remind soothe your emotions and remind you of something that is true in the moments of dysregulation

You could also do breathwork exercises that are also listed on the Insight Timer App I mentioned.

The seventh trauma healing tip is to practise self-awareness. This is what’s going to allow you to identify your triggers, understand your emotional responses, explore your thoughts and beliefs and recognise coping mechanisms. I will admit, this particular step is much easier and I suppose faster to do with professional support, but you can absolutely start on your own too. Some ideas for self-awareness work when healing trauma is:

Any mindfulness activity I’ve mentioned.

Journaling, which you can find loads of free journal prompts online

Developing an awareness of your emotional landscape. This is pracitising naming and acknowledging your emotions without judgment

Self-reflect on your values, goals and changes you want to make moving forward

Setting boundaries with yourself and other people, especially if they were involved in the trauma somehow

And that’s my seven tips to begin healing your trauma!

To recap, my first recommendation is to work with a professional, but if that isn’t possible for you right now, the trauma healing tips I gave today were recognise and acknowledge that you deserve healing, create safety within yourself and your environment, educate yourself on trauma, prioritise the basics, practise mindfulness, regulate your nervous system and practise self-awareness.

If you would like some loving support on your trauma healing journey, my books are open to new clients, so please reach out or book your session today.

With love & support,

Shorina | Mindful Soul Collective

Counsellor & Wellbeing Coach



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