8 Steps to Overcome Childhood Trauma as an Adult

Even the most attentive and loving parents can do lasting damage to their kid’s sense of self. Parents can tell the kid who’s crying not to feel bad because everything is okay, without realizing they are doing more harm than good to their emotional wellbeing.

Although their intention is to stop seeing their kid hurt, they are actually preventing them from feeling their feelings. This, in turn, can make the kid start seeing all emotions as terrifying.

Instead, the kid should learn that emotions are only temporary – they have a beginning, middle, and end! The goal is to realize that they will survive no matter how bad they feel.

But, most kids were never allowed to go through this healing process when the wounding incident happened. That’s why their childhood trauma haunts them as adults.

8 Steps to Overcome Childhood Trauma as an Adult

Luckily, there’s something they can do to get over the unresolved trauma. Here are a few steps that will help adults heal their childhood trauma.

Step 1 – Recall It

First, sit comfortably in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths until you relax. Then, think of a situation that has upset you recently, and focus on something that has provoked a strong or at least mild emotional reaction.

Review exactly what happened as if you are back in that time and place. Let yourself feel those emotions again, and when they start to arise go to the second step.

Step 2 – Sense It

8 Steps to Overcome Childhood Trauma as an Adult

Be aware of your emotions and physical responses that you experience at that point. They could be tightness, tingling, burning, etc. Explore each of these sensations and describe them in detail to yourself.

Do this silently while you continue breathing deeply.

Step 3 – Name It

Try to connect each of those sensations to an emotion. For example, that heat you are feeling inside could be anger or the tightness in your chest could be anxiety. Just name your emotions to get a greater sense of your experience.

Step 4 – Love It

Accept that everything you feel is normal. What’s more, love yourself for feeling all those emotions, like anger, anxiety, and sadness. It’s a sign that you are human. Once you’ve accepted and love yourself for feeling these emotions, go to the next step.

Step 5 – Experience It

8 Steps to Overcome Childhood Trauma as an Adult

Let your emotions spread and flow without trying to hide or change them. Just observe them and accept the discomfort and pain you feel, knowing that these emotions will soon be gone.

Remember that allowing yourself to feel these emotions and your body to react to them the way it wants will help you heal. Don’t hold your tears, and if you feel like you want to cry, cry. If you feel the urge to punch something, punch the air or yell.

The important thing is to express your emotions productively. Once you’ve experienced them, move on to the following step.

Step 6 – Get the Message

Think about the emotions and sensations you are experiencing now, and try to find a link between them and some experience from the past. Can you guess the root of your trauma? Think about the possible message that these emotions are trying to send you.

Step 7 – Share It

Feel free to share your reflections with a close person if you want to. Or, you can write them down on a piece of paper, describing the wounding incident in detail. How did it happen? How did you react to it at that time?

8 Steps to Overcome Childhood Trauma as an Adult

How do you see the whole situation now? You can also write a letter to the person that hurt you.

Step 8 – Let It Go

Find a way to let go of the energy spent on the whole trauma, and visualize it how it leaves your body.

Final Words

This whole journey might be uncomfortable and difficult at first, but with patience and persistence, you will get the reward you’ve always wanted.

You will finally release the energy you’ve been spending on the trauma and replace it with a new, more positive one that will help you enjoy life more.

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