5 Signs You Have Emotional Trauma (And How To Heal)

Whoever said sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me forgot about emotional wounds. Ever stop to wonder why that forgotten birthday still hurts, even though it happened many years ago, or why you still stay awake at night wondering why someone backstabbed you in high school? Those are emotional wounds that have not healed. Unlike physical wounds, they aren’t visible, and we don’t have a surefire simple bandaid for it.

The good news is that healing these wounds takes a few different tactics that we may not have thought about before.

So, let’s go through how to recognize that you need that emotional first aid kit and how to use it. Number one, being alive, but not living. Sure, being alive can be clinically spelled out in cold terms. Your heart is beating, you’re able to remember your name, you can perform work functions, you eat food, and you sleep at night, but living is different.

It’s when you follow a passion, do fun things and do anything outside the bare necessities.

Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, and since then, you felt undeserving of happiness, so you cut yourself off from all these things. And before you know it, you start living in survival mode. You’re alive, but not really. Step back and look at the situation, understand that you have a right to grieve, to be angry, to be hurt.

Connecting with others can help you understand that living your life is not causing these things to happen. You may, in fact, find that not living your life is in fact hurting those around you who are still there for you and care about you.

Number two, being disproportionately angry or sad or emotional or ugh. Emotional wounds are wounds. When wounds are still tender and raw, a breath of fresh air can feel like fire.

You know yourself, you know what normally gets to you, and when you start getting angry at things where two seconds later you think, what was that all about, why did I yell at them, that’s a sign of a possible wound that needs attending. You might not even be getting something directed at you. You could be looking at random paint colors and suddenly you’re sobbing. You’re not losing your mind. It’s your emotions trying to communicate to you, saying, hey, you have some processing to do so we can get to healing.

It likely means that there’s something that hasn’t been fully acknowledged and dealt with. It may be perceived as embarrassing, or you thought you were done with it. But if you’re still emotionally everywhere, perhaps it’s time to take a second look and acknowledge these emotions.

Number three, you can’t stop replaying the situation over and over. Admitting the situation and talking about it is good.

You have to admit that it’s there for it to be healed, but if you keep talking about it without direction or purpose and on repeat, it’s gone from helpful to harmful. So, when talking about the situation or assessing it, always ask yourself, what am I getting out of talking about it? Is there something I still don’t understand that will help me move to the next step? And ask yourself honestly if you are repeating things because you are denying what you already know but hoping to get a different answer.

This is not closing a wound, it’s reopening it and undoing all the hard work you’ve done before.

Number four, self-growth stunted by fear. Part of living or experiencing life is continuing to grow, learn and reach out. Being heard emotionally can make you hyper-aware of other intense emotional opportunities. For example, if you were in a harmful relationship, you may stop getting into relationships where you feel deep emotions, but you’re robbing yourself of the life you deserve if you do this. You deserve to learn and grow despite the ups and downs that have come.

It’s normal to fear the unknown and the “what if,” but having the courage to grow anyhow is worth it. We’re not saying, don’t fear, because that’s inhuman. It’s how you deal with it that matters. Understand your fear and recognize that the bad thing is not the only option that will happen.

Recall, remember and recognize all the factors that are on your side.

Realize that these factors exert just as strong a force as anything else. Do what you need to to give yourself the best chances possible. It could be having a backup plan, or it could be a different approach from the one taken before, but you can do this. And number five, sleep schedule. What sleep schedule?

Have you been losing sleep, even when you haven’t been down in caffeine or stay-awake meds? If so, something is going on emotionally. Ironically, getting good sleep is one of the things that will assist with healing that wound. So, tackle this by getting yourself an honest-to-goodness routine. That’s right, sleep prep.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started making your own personalized routine. No food or electronics one hour before your goal sleep time. Meditate to calm and quiet your mind. Sip some warm tea with natural calming agents like chamomile. Sleep helps your whole you recoup.

Persistence and courage are required to heal emotional trauma.

Many of us can agree that emotional trauma cuts deeper and last longer than most physical injuries. With something so complex, it’s easy to feel like we have no choice but to hurt forever, but that’s not true. If we can choose to put in the time and the effort, we can choose to heal, and we don’t have to do it alone. To navigate this journey, it’s normal and even encouraged to speak to the guidance of a seasoned professional.

You are worth the time and effort. Don’t rob yourself of the best life you could live. How do these points resonate with you? Please feel free to comment and discuss any methods you’ve tried or things you’re puzzling over. Thanks so much for watching and we’ll see you soon.


President Russell M. Nelson on the Healing Power of Gratitude​

Read More: President Russell M. Nelson on the Healing Power of Gratitude

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