5 Ways To Recover From A Traumatic Childhood
- Stop Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
- Practice Self-Care
- Seek Personal Support
- Seek Professional Help
- Combat Negative Thoughts
Healing from childhood trauma can be a long, arduous journey. Many people never fully recover and must learn to manage to live with the fallout for the rest of their lives. Sufferers of childhood trauma and the people who help them should take these five tips to heart in order to aid the healing process.
Another helpful resource: Top 15 Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology Online Degree Programs
1. Stop Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Childhood trauma survivors often adopt coping mechanisms as a way of dealing with the intense stress, fear, and emotions that are associated with the trauma. Survivors need to be able to recognize their defense mechanisms and know when those are not a healthy way of dealing with fear, sorrow, and stress. Noticing the behavior is the first step to fixing it. The next step is to consciously replace that behavior with anything else that is benign and distracts from the harmful behavior.
2. Practice Self-Care
It can be hard for childhood trauma survivors to take care of their bodies. Oftentimes they have powerful image issues and may even hate themselves. This is why it is extra important for childhood trauma survivors to practice adequate self-care. They should take mental health days off from work and school if they need them. They should eat a healthy diet, exercise sufficiently and get a good night’s sleep every night. Doing these things will ensure survivors remain healthy, and physical health can significantly improve one’s mood.
3. Seek Personal Support
It is important for sufferers to remember that they are not alone. There are family members, friends and informal support groups who care deeply and want to help in any way they can. Survivors need to seek out these people in their lives and accept help from them. They also need to take the risk and learn to trust new people, no matter how hard it may be. Being able to trust others and open up emotionally will truly help the healing process. Keeping emotions bottled up is unhealthy and refusing to trust others will result in a life not lived to the fullest. This is a normal part of healing from childhood trauma.
4. Seek Professional Help
At some point, professional help might be needed. Childhood trauma survivors should never, ever feel ashamed about seeking the help they need. They should be sure to find a mental health professional who clicks with them and whom they feel comfortable speaking with. It can be awkward and embarrassing opening up to a mental health professional, but that is what they are there for. No one needs to fight their battles alone. These professionals will identify the root causes of the problems and offer advice, understanding and perhaps medications in order to help their clients live more normal lives.
5. Combat Negative Thoughts
For many childhood trauma survivors, negative thoughts are a part of everyday life. These thoughts can interfere with their health, their lives, their work and their personal relationships. One of the best ways to combat negative thoughts is to recognize them whenever they come up and consciously think a different, positive thought instead. This can be exceedingly difficult, but it is worth doing. Per Psychology Today, survivors should focus on what they do like about themselves and their achievements to drown out the negatives.
Anyone who suffered trauma in their childhood and isn’t happy with their present state of being should utilize the tips listed above. With some intense dedication and willingness to change, healing from childhood trauma can be achieved.