We take wound healing for granted: we clean a cut, wrap it in a bandage, and go on about our day. But our bodies also orchestrate a complicated series of events designed to heal emotional wounds, too.
These “wounds” aren’t visible on the surface, but they can be just as debilitating. They might manifest as feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, self-sabotaging behaviors, unproductive obsessions or compulsions, addictions, and physical ailments. They can also show up as terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks, difficulty functioning at work or home, avoidance of friends and loved ones, or a numb feeling that leaves you disconnected from yourself and the world around you.
Emotional wounds are rooted in the subconscious mind, where they can be difficult to access and clear out. They often come from childhood experiences — for example, when your mother inadvertently scolded you, your mind may have misinterpreted that as a message that you are not good enough or worthy of love.
It can be tempting to withdraw from others following a trauma, but isolation only makes things worse. Instead, make an effort to connect with people face to face and pursue hobbies and activities that bring you pleasure. If you have a friend who has been through a trauma, offer to listen attentively. But remember that not everyone who has experienced a traumatic event will want to talk about it, and that’s okay. Just be available to listen, even if they don’t.