This is a list of monthly “trauma tips” from a trauma specialist to help you reduce the effects of trauma and chronic stress on your life so you can live from a place of healing, hope and happiness.
Healing from trauma is a different process for each person. As a trauma-focused therapist I never tell my clients to do anything that I haven’t tried or use regularly in my life. I have learned over the years through experience, research, feedback from clients and insights from other professional’s successful ways of healing emotional wounds as well as managing persistent stress. What I share with you here is both cutting edge and tried-and-true techniques for healing.
Trauma Tip #1
Sleep is the number one way our body heals itself. Did you know that between the hours of 10:00 pm-12:00 am are the most rejuvenate hours for our body? A few tips to think about to help with sleep include:
- Stop drinking fluids about 4 hours before you go to bed. This will reduce the need to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
- If you wake up and you can’t go back to bed easily listen to a book on tape or through audible.com. This is less stimulating to the brain than listening to music.
- Some people with trauma or overactive nervous systems like to use a weighted blanket. Research is showing that deep pressure stimulation can help reduce autonomic arousal. Weighted blankets are also helpful for people experiencing chronic pain and anxiety.
Trauma Tip #2
Trauma Care Audio-Guided Meditations by Roland Bal- click here
Trauma Tip #3
This is one of my intentions for the new year- “put down my phone”.
Our nervous system craves the reciprocity, the synchronicity of face-to-face interactions.” -Dr. Stephen Porges- Social Engagement System (SES) in Polyvagal Theory. Here is a good article on the benefits of “putting down our phones”.
Trauma Tip #4
Heal the Gut– digestion and mental health go hand in hand. I believe that improving digestion and nutrition is the missing link to good mental health.
“Where there is mental illness, there is always a history of digestive problems.”-Leslie Korn, M.D.
Here are some essential steps for relaxed digestion:
- Sit down to eat. Don’t eat while standing, driving or when multi-tasking.
- Eat with others when possible.
- Put down your phone and turn off your TV and computer.
- Be mindful when eating, chew your food thoroughly and stop eating before you are full.
- Experts suggest that you do not smoke, drink caffeine or alcohol when eating as it impairs digestion and the stress response.
Trauma Tip #5
I recently watch the movie “Inside Out”. I have been hearing about this movie from colleagues and clients for a while now and decided it was time to see it. It provides such a great description of our internal emotional world. This movie helps to normalize the fact that all of us have different sides or “parts” of ourselves. Each side of us can feel a certain way and can act a specific way by having a “job” to do. In the movie the main character is Riley. Each of her parts have a specific purpose in her life:
- Joy keeps her happy
- Fear keeps her safe
- Anger keeps her life fair
- Disgust keeps her safe from physical and social poison
- Sadness’s role keeps her from being too disappointed in others or herself.
What do your parts do for you? Try and get to know and appreciate of all the different parts of yourself even the ones that you pull away from or dismiss.
This information is provided by Lemecia Lindsey, LICSW. Lemecia has dedicated her private counseling practice to helping clients heal from trauma. She specializes in EMDR therapy, Neurofeedback and is an Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider.
*This list is not a substitute for medical intervention. Consult with a doctor to decide what is best for you.