If you have been through a traumatic experience or event, you may be convinced that you will always feel the way you do now. However, Dr. James Campbell and clinical psychologists like him want you to know that this is not true–it absolutely is possible to overcome trauma and heal from those experiences. While a single article can’t provide immediate or complete relief, the following tools for overcoming trauma should help you get started on your path to recovery and help you along the way.
- Validation- When overcoming trauma, one essential tool for healing and recovery is to validate your own experience. This means acknowledging that what you have been through was real, and that the hurt and pain that it caused you is also real. Any post-traumatic symptoms you are experiencing are normal and reasonable responses to abnormal circumstances, and trying to downplay the suffering you went through will not help you in the long run.
- Breathing Exercises- Another tool for overcoming trauma is deep, mindful breathing. One of the most frequently recommended breathing patterns is to inhale for four counts, hold for two counts, and then exhale for six to eight counts. By exhaling longer than you inhale, you activate parts of the nervous system that help your body calm itself down.
- Sleep Aids- One of the most common effects of trauma is disrupted sleep patterns, and one step in overcoming trauma is restoring your natural, restful sleep. There are many sleep aids that you can use to help with this, but one of the most effective is weighted blankets. The pressure of a weighted blanket mimics the feeling of being hugged or held, which can help you fall asleep sooner and sleep more deeply.
While all of these tools can help you overcome trauma, you will get the best results by working with a trained clinical psychologist. If you are interested in getting professional support, reach out to the office of Dr. James Campbell, LLC today.