January 29, 2021

By Kristin Herman

While trauma is a terrible thing for someone to go through, that doesn’t mean that you have to live with it for the rest of your life. Recovering from abuse-related trauma can be incredibly challenging, but it is possible. Here are six tips you can do to help you in the healing process.


1. Recognize the Effects of Trauma

Many effects of trauma stem from abuse. Common effects include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Panic attacks and anxiety
  • Substance use
  • Eating disorders
  • Flashbacks of sexual/physical violence
  • Feelings of self-hate and low self-esteem
  • Fearing people and relationships
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you notice any of these warning signs, it is important to address your trauma and seek professional help.


2. Understand the Importance of Healing

It’s important to know that healing is key to overcoming trauma. Healing is different for everyone, but for any person, requires the intention to release past traumas and recover. This intention can:

  • Allows survivors to focus on themselves. Negative thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming at times. But with healing, survivors can take their attention away from the negativity and focus on what their needs are.
  • Allows survivors to develop closer relationships with other people. It’s important to allow your friends and family to serve as your support system as you take part in the healing process.
  • Helps survivors relieve their pain by finding different avenues to cope, such as taking up a new hobby, returning to once-abandoned hobbies, getting out more, etc.
  • Helps survivors experience their feelings again after releasing all the emotion trapped within from past traumatic events.


3. Embrace Positive Affirmations

Refocusing the subconscious mind starts with “forcing” positivity. The negativity — or the inner critic — can stir self-sabotage and hold you back from embracing positive things.

Refocus the inner critical voice by putting in place a system of positive affirmations that you can use daily. Positive affirmations can interrupt those disruptive and unwelcome thoughts and turn them into something better.

Here are some positive affirmations that you can try:

  • “I love myself.”
  • “I am worthy.”
  • “I am beautiful.”


4. Exercise

You can also heal the mind through your body. Find at least one form of exercise that you can easily get into that helps you release the grief, rage and hurt that can stem from the aftermath of abuse and trauma.

Here are some great exercises to get into:

  • Kickboxing
  • Yoga
  • Dance cardio
  • Running

The best part is that while you’re exercising, you can listen to empowering music or positive affirmations. Just remember: Exercise is supposed to be beneficial, not self-destructing.


5. Embrace Creativity

Art therapy has proven to help survivors of PTSD by having them create and integrate. In 2018, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) had conducted a study where they had a group of participants take part in eight 75-minute sessions, where they were told to create artwork based on a certain theme (i.e., nature, religion, colors). Through this form of art therapy, NCBI reported that most participants in the study “showed regression in their drawings of the trauma or the aftermath.” As a result, creating something can help you to express yourself in a transformative way, thus helping you release the trauma and its negative effects on you.

Here are some great activities that you can do as part of art therapy:

  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Playing and or writing music
  • Arts and crafts

By creating something, you have the option of sharing it with the world or saving it as a reminder that you can overcome anything in life.


6. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

Finally, ask for help. It doesn’t make you helpless or powerless. It shows how brave you are to seek help and be open to receiving it. Find a validating mental health professional who specializes in trauma and understands the symptoms. You can also find a support group of fellow survivors who understand you. If you need more support you can Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline toll free at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or chat live online at www.thehotline.org.

Although the road to recovery is rarely short or easy, it’s always worth the effort. Plus, there’s no time limit to learn and heal; just take one small step at a time.


Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at Top Canadian Writers and Academized review. She is a contributing writer for online publications, such as Big Assignments. As a marketing consultant, she helps various companies improve their advertising strategies.

Submit To The NAMI Blog

We’re always accepting submissions to the NAMI Blog! We feature the latest research, stories of recovery, ways to end stigma and strategies for living well with mental illness. Most importantly: We feature your voices.


NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).