How to Understand and Overcome the Impact of Trauma on our Bodies
Our bodies respond to trauma, or any negative experience that impacts us, in several ways. These responses are our bodies best attempt to help us recover from the trauma and prevent us from enduring any future difficulties.
The problem, though, is that these responses can also cause us considerable pain. In this blog, we will look closely at the way trauma affects our bodies and what we can do about it.
After trauma, our bodies become very guarded, fearful, and tight. From a biological perspective, our bodies are armoring us so that we are no longer impacted by future threats to our well-being.
After a notably painful experience, our muscles get very tense and tend to stay tense. Research tells us that when our muscles remain tight, over time this causes them to become exhausted and ineffective. Such consistent tension can also cause us to experience aches and pains, sometimes chronic ones.
We also tend to have higher blood pressure and elevated resting heart rate. Additionally, it becomes much easier for even the seemingly smallest thing to startle us and cause us subsequent anger, anxiety, and discomfort.
Nightmares and insomnia are also common, which further compound our fatigue, exhaustion, and unpleasant emotions. Due to these unpleasant symptoms, chronic health conditions and poor health are also common.
Here are just some steps we can take to reduce the negative impact of trauma on our bodies:
Seek the right kind of support and help. You want to talk to a therapist, or someone else you can trust, to really appreciate and empathize with the experience(s) you’ve been through.
Seek opportunities to participate in activities that soothe your body and help you feel better about yourself, such as massage and yoga.
Try to be patient with yourself as you recover from the impact of trauma, as it can take time to fully shed its influence.
Work with a therapist to improve your awareness of your body’s responses to various experiences. The more connected you become to your body, the more you can help to help it.
Practice 5-10 minutes of mindful meditation, where you do your best to sit quietly and notice, but not dwell on, your thoughts, emotions, and bodily experiences.
If you have any questions about trauma or how to recover after a traumatic experience, I'd be happy to speak with you.
If you would like to schedule your first session, call me Jordan Zipkin, LMFT, at 561-214-4113 for or for more information about my services, read my bio here