Tips to heal the past

Many individuals walk through life carrying baggage that impedes them from being fully immersed in life, generally speaking, this comes from some instance in their past which was traumatic to them. Sometimes this issue is simple, other times it may even require years of therapy, but either way it should be addressed and handled in a productive way, so that life can normalize and become more fulfilling. All of the catchy buzzwords and memes people throw around today such as, “Don’t look back you aren’t going that way,” don’t n fact do anything of genuine value to heal the individual from their trauma or issue.

More often than not, unresolved issues become wounds that bleed all over those the person enters into an interpersonal relationship with; friends, family, significant others, etcetera. Trauma and unresolved issues with one’s past can result in many difficulties in life and leave unresolved, grow into serious problems, phobias, and affect just about every avenue of a person’s life. Resolving these issues take time, therapies, and treatments, as well as stepping outside of your comfort zone, but again no growth can be garnered while one remains in their comfort zone. Without challenge, without courage, those issues will fester, linger, and take hold of an individual’s life in ways that are often unexpected and highly detrimental. 

So, here we are with the understanding I’d outlined, now on with the tips…

Tip #1Get help – First and foremost seek out a qualified mental health professional, a psychologist, a psychotherapist, or a therapist of some sort; no matter who it is you reach out to, just get some external help. This is always and will always be my first tip, as no amount of tips, tricks, or words on a website can entirely heal a person’s trauma. They can help, they can guide someone, and they can even make everyday life better, but they cannot wholly resolve an issue. If the issue is somewhat minor, sure tips like these can make a world of difference, but for anything more than a minor issue, get help as soon as you can. There is no shame or judgment in seeking out a qualified mental health professional, it is no different than finding any other type of doctor for a physical health concern. 

Tip #2Write out your problem – Sometimes the best first step to combatting an issue, is to know the face of the enemy, therefore you should write out exactly what it is that plagues you. Remember to write the following; Who, what, when, where, why, and how. Who was involved; what happened and what was the result; when did it happen and when did the symptoms of it manifest; where did it happen; why did it happen; and how did it all go down. Sometimes my clients find this cathartic, other times they find it difficult, regardless of how difficult or cathartic it is, it’s a powerful technique to give some thought to and give your problem a more fleshed out feel.

Tip #3Write a letter – If your problem stems from someone external, such as an abusive ex, or you’ve done something that set some negative thing into motion, write a letter to the person (but don’t send it). This is another way to get the problem out there that is cathartic in nature and helps to resolve things a bit. If over the years your problem has affected multiple people, write multiple apology letters (again, don’t send them) to those you’ve affected. 

Tip #4Meditation – There’s nothing religious or metaphysical about meditation, it is simply a phenomenal way to clear your mind and focus on the problem more deeply. Meditation can clear up the mental clutter and find creative ways to view a problem or situation that the stresses and everyday issues of life can cloud. Try to meditate on your problem five minutes a day and gradually increase up to ten minutes and allow your inner dialog to speak without fully thinking about it very much (almost being detached from it).  

Tip #55-7 breathing – This is an anxiety and mind-clearing exercise that I’ve successfully used with clients for years to help in their everyday lives. Place your tongue behind your upper teeth and breathe in slowly for a count of five, then exhale slowly for a count of seven, then repeat and do this for as long as it is needed, counting each sequence of breaths as you exhale. You’ll find over time that you’ll need fewer and fewer cycles to help you through whatever it is you’re going through.

Tip #6Take some “me” time – Do yoga, workout, paint, practice music, take up a martial art, take a long bubble bath, listen to music and let yourself go; whatever it is, make time to do it for yourself. This is not an act of pampering, it is an act of nurturing! 

Tip #7Do something – Go for a walk through a park, spend some time outdoors, clean up your house, do something, and don’t allow yourself to be “stuck,” in a pit of nothingness or despair. Make yourself get onto a self-care routine, make your bed first thing in the morning, and be sure you follow a grooming routine, it may seem difficult at first, but it becomes highly beneficial the longer you do so. 

Tip #8Talk with trusted people – Friends, family, coworkers, anyone who you are friends with and who you can trust to talk about your issues with, do so. Talking to someone who you trust to have an empathetic ear often helps more than you might expect. 

Tip #9 Set life goals – Set a goal for something you want to do, nothing too big, just something like going to the doctor for a check-up, then once that’s completed, set another goal. There’s no rush to complete the goal, but in completing them, you find a sense of satisfaction and forward momentum in life, which can help many issues over time. All of your goals should lend towards helping you move forward and get or do better than you were, but remember to make them small and incremental in nature.