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Riding the Emotional Waves: Healing from Past Trauma

March 31, 20244 min read

“Sometimes silence just seems so loud, but there is so much calm and clarity at the same time.” - Andi Byers

Emotions come in waves, sometimes gentle ripples, other times crashing tides. But what happens when those waves are stirred by past trauma?

Whew…that can be rough! The thing is no one prepares you for the splash the wave may have. It can be overwhelming. A broken dam that seems to quickly flood the space that you carved out so that you can breathe. You know the space in your mind where if it’s never addressed (or addressed again), it never happened.

Well, past trauma casts a DARK shadow over our emotional landscape, affecting how we respond to stressors in our daily lives. For many (me included), traumatic experiences can leave behind deep-seated wounds that manifest as heightened anxiety, hypervigilance, or even emotional numbness. These responses can make it challenging to manage stress effectively. Without addressing these underlying emotions, stress compounds, leading to further emotional distress and potential health consequences.

By now, you’ve picked up on the fact that I’m HEAVY into finding balance!

What I didn’t always understand is that my unresolved emotions were manifesting in a myriad of ways, each affecting my life in distinct ways. Sometimes I found myself easily triggered by seemingly innocuous events or experiencing intense emotional reactions disproportionate to the situation at hand. Other times, I struggled with chronic feelings of sadness, anger, or shame, unable to shake off the weight of the past experiences. Emotions like these emotions can seep into every aspect of our lives, impacting our relationships, work, and overall well-being.

I lovingly refer to them as the “joy stealers”. The emotions that we bury but still lurk beneath the surface, ready to resurface at any moment.

Still with me? Ok, so we know our emotions are willy nilly doing the electric slide, but how do we bring them back to the slow dance? How do we get to a point where function is restored and emotional healing is happening?

Regulating the emotions you have that are rooted in past trauma requires patience, self-compassion, and a willingness to confront the pain that lies beneath. No one likes a mirror moment but they are a necessary part of the healing journey. It begins with developing self-awareness, recognizing the triggers and patterns that perpetuate your emotional dysregulation. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and journaling can help tap into this awareness, allowing you to observe your emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them. I found that seeking support from trusted friends, family members and mental health professionals provided invaluable guidance and validation as I navigated the complexity of my emotional state.

So how do you keep yourself safe while you are figuring it all out? How do you even start navigating and processing the heavy?
  1. It starts with you identifying your triggers. Take a note of situations, environments, or people that trigger intense emotional reactions. Why? Understanding the why behind your triggers can help you anticipate and prepare for challenging situations.

  2. Be gentle with yourself! Self-compassion is a must. Acknowledge that healing takes time and that setbacks are a natural part of the process.

  3. Consider seeking therapy or counseling to work through unresolved trauma with a trained professional. Therapy can provide a safe space to explore your emotions and develop coping strategies tailored to your individual needs.

  4. Find a creative outlet! Art, music, or writing…something that brings you down from a spun up state. Find the thing that brings you JOY. It does exist.

  5. Learn to say no to activities or relationships that drain your energy and leave you feeling overwhelmed.

  6. When overwhelmed by intense emotions, practice grounding techniques such as focusing on your breath, engaging your senses, or repeating affirmations to anchor yourself in the present moment.

My day to day go to’s are:

  1. Name That Tune: I have a beast of a playlist that covers a range of emotions. I use it to have a ‘staff meeting’ with myself to figure out why i am feeling or responding how I am in the moment. I get to cry, scream, dance etc.

  2. Netflix and Heal (definitely my favorite!): Mindless self-care marathons. Comfy clothes + lounging + snack = a calmer nervous system.

  3. Nature Therapy. Take a hike…literally. Vitamin D and fresh air does wonders for your mental health.

Happy Healing 🫶🏽

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Andi Byers

Andi Byers is the Founder and CEO of Chronic & Iconic Coaching, Iconically Holistic, Invisible Apparel Co and ICONIC Business Solutions. She is a registered nurse, holistic wellness practitioner, master trainer, process improvement and business strategic alignment expert, published author, Air Force veteran and Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. I guess you can say I’m a woman of many trades! My purpose in this life is to make the journey JOYFUL despite the circumstances that life throws at us. I help women maintain joy using holistic methodologies to advance strategic growth in health, life and business without stress, overwhelm and burnout. I absolutely love what I do. I help women redefine what joy looks like, for them, unattached from the pressure of the expectations of others. My mission is to help women find their voice and use it to advocate for their wellbeing in all aspects of their lives. What I love the most about what I do is the relationships I get to build with these amazing women. I am grateful to be a vessel that provides tools to help them live the thriving lives they deserve. Certifications: Health & Wellness BSN MS Nutrition Master Trainer Holistic Nutrition Sports Nutrition Corrective Exercise Specialist Exercise Therapy Youth Fitness Transformation Specialist Business Solutions Six Sigma Black Belt Project Management CompTia A+, Net+, Security+ Microsoft Solutions DoD Records Management

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