Having trouble sleeping?
Struggling with physical intimacy?
Do you often feel sick and/or tired?
Do you cringe when someone touches you unexpectedly?
Your body may be reacting to unhealed trauma.
Before you shrug and assume this doesn’t apply to you, be aware that intense, life-threatening events (ie: accident, illness, natural disaster, abuse) are not the only causes of trauma.
Any distressing experience can be traumatic, including:
- Parenting style
- Toxic relationships
- Financial stress
- Academic challenges
These are just a few examples, which is NOT to say that if you experienced them you’re definitely traumatized. However, if you’ve been through an upsetting experience and haven’t adequately processed your feelings, you may be suffering as a result.
When the mind doesn’t do the emotional processing, the body will often take over. This can show up in any number of ways, including:
- Panic attacks
- Physical illness
- Aches & pains
- Low/high libido
- Poor concentration
- Weight loss/gain
It may also be helpful to note that trauma can impact your sex life even if the trauma you experienced wasn’t sexual. People often feel confused about difficulties in the bedroom. Be aware that any unprocessed emotional disturbance, even if it wasn’t sexual in nature, may impact your ability to perform or enjoy sex. This doesn’t make you weird or mean that you’re broken.
If you suspect that unhealed trauma is taking a toll on your body and mind, these treatments may help:*
- Counseling—if traditional talk therapy isn’t for you, try an alternative approach such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing, Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) or adventure/wilderness therapy (to name just a few).
- Breath work
- Energy Medicine
*seek practitioners who offer trauma-informed care (ask them)
- Healing Trauma by Peter Levine
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk
- When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Mate
- The Trauma Therapist
- The Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Podcast
- Trauma Queen
- Insight Timer
- Ambi Pro
These are just a few resources that may support body-mind healing. Feel free to comment or connect with me to share any other practices that have helped you feel comfortable in your body. The best advice comes from first hand experience!
No matter how distress affects you, be patient with yourself and your process. You don’t have to suffer forever. Awareness will help you discover ways to find relief.
With Love & Compassion,
Adina Arden Cooper
I'm a lover, a guide, a supportive companion. A storyteller, an artist, an ally and an advocate. I help individuals thrive and communities come together through counseling, coaching, and community building. I believe that shared humanity is a powerful strength and that our stories connect us in beautiful and sacred ways. As I stumble, skip, or soar my way through this life, I invite you to join me on the journey. Likewise, I'm honored to travel with you. In witnessing one another, we find meaning.