If you’ve worked with me or followed me for a while now, you have probably heard me talk about big “T” or little “t” trauma. Big T traumas are things like abuse, child neglect, rape, etc. Little t traumas we all have experienced in our lives – things like getting yelled at by a parent or teacher, getting made fun of by a peer, being left out of activities by friends or loved ones, etc. Basically, anything our little brains couldn’t process at the time because we hadn’t emotionally developed enough to make sense of what was happening. No matter if we go through Big T trauma or little t trauma, those experiences are stored in our subconscious minds.
Subconscious trauma is a result of a stressful event. It’s not generally the event itself that is traumatic, it is the meaning we attach to the event that is traumatic and what we carry with us into our adult lives. Trauma is a result of the meaning you gave the event and what coping skills you had at the time to process through the event. Physical, mental, or emotional abuse, or any traumatic experience in childhood can be stored in the subconscious mind and cause lingering trauma into adulthood. Subconscious trauma can hinder people from living their best life and enjoying the present moment. So, in today’s post, I am sharing practical steps on how you can start the healing process and learn to live your life to the fullest.
The first step on any healing journey is becoming aware of the issue at play – in this case, being aware of the traumatic event that took place and specifically naming the trauma. There’s something to be said for the power of really naming a trauma or giving it a “voice.” Once you are aware of the traumatic event, or the feelings that you took away from an experience that still plague you today, you can move to step 2, identifying the significance of the trauma.
Once we are aware of the trauma we have experienced and have given name to it, it is important to be brutally honest with yourself about how significant an impact the trauma has on you. Are the effects of this situation popping up in your conscious mind multiple times a day? Every day? Every week? In triggered moments? In certain places or around certain people? Taking an honest inventory of the frequency and ways the traumatic experience affects you is also very important to healing.
You’ve probably heard me preach it before, but we must “feel it to heal it!” I don’t know of many people, friends and clients alike, that were taught to feel their feelings early in life. We are a culture that inadvertently heralds the distraction from or numbing of our emotions. We have food, sex, alcohol, social media, drugs, Netflix… you name it that “helps” us not feel our painful feelings. But the problem with this approach is, the feelings keep popping up until you learn to feel and heal them. There’s no shortcut to this one – we must feel our feelings.
If I could offer my experience with this truth: I used to think if I truly allowed myself to feel my feelings, they might take me to a place I could never come back from. Admittedly, sitting in the pain of the moment can seem excruciating at the time. But I am here to promise you, you will survive the moment. A feeling, when genuinely felt, lasts anywhere from 60-90 seconds. When we don’t attach a story to what we are feeling, we can feel the feeling and it passes on its own. No takedown necessary ;)
Always, always, always seek support to help process through trauma. Depending on the severity of the trauma, seeing a mental health practitioner specifically trained in the area you experienced trauma in might be the best avenue. If you’ve done some work around healing, but feel like you are stuck or have hit a roadblock in accessing the subconscious mind to do further healing, something like Rapid Transformational Therapy (the type of hypnotherapy I practice) would be helpful. Finding someone you trust to help you process through trauma is extremely important, and that is going to look different for everyone.
Our subconscious minds are so powerful. It guides 95% of what we do every day, so tapping into it and healing what needs to be healed is incredibly transformative to our lives. Should you need further support on this, please feel free to explore my offerings. I’m all about healing through working with our subconscious minds.
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