How A Gratitude Practice Can Help Heal Trauma

It can be difficult to feel grateful after experiencing trauma. When you’ve gone through something traumatic, finding positivity in your life can be challenging. Nonetheless, the saying that “a little gratitude goes a long way” holds true. Surprisingly, expressing gratitude has been linked to various benefits in the healing process.

How is this possible? Gratitude serves as a fundamental step towards implementing proactive strategies for your journey to recovery. When viewed from a specific perspective, it becomes evident that by appreciating the positive aspects of your life, you may gradually release the grip of the negative ones. 

Fight Trauma With Gratitude 

Man Wearing Red Sweatshirt and Black Pants Leaning on the Wall

To kick off the treatment process, some trauma specialists may even begin by comparing your current state to where you were at the beginning of the traumatic event. They may assess how much progress you have made since the event and whether you have more positive aspects in your life to appreciate now than you did then. Going through trauma treatment can teach you how to identify and appreciate the value in your life, although this may not be immediately apparent depending on the severity of your trauma.

Do I Need To Go Through Trauma Treatment To Practice Gratitude?

Nobody has to undergo trauma treatment in order to practice gratitude. However, suppose you have experienced trauma and wish to practice gratitude. In that case, seeking a professional trauma specialist is strongly advisable. A trauma specialist can help you work through the past events without retriggering your trauma. Additionally, if retriggering still occurs, they will know how to help you return to the present moment. These people are specifically trained to help heal trauma. They want you to take full advantage to heal.

How To Practice Gratitude

You can do several things to practice gratitude, both in treatment and out.

Journaling

Starting a journaling practice is an excellent way to cultivate gratitude. Writing down and visualizing what you are thankful for can have a powerful impact. This visualization technique is also commonly used in therapy to help individuals focus on positive thoughts and can even support meditation. 

Meditation

Mediation can serve as another avenue to cultivate gratitude. However, this practice may pose more of a challenge for some individuals. Consider this: it’s natural to meditate on our gratitude for the people we care deeply about, such as friends, family, and romantic partners.

However, can you also express gratitude toward those for whom you don’t have as much affection? If you can, it demonstrates remarkable growth on your part to be able to acknowledge, “I may not feel close to them, but I will send them positivity and good energy.”

Sending Thank You Cards

Sending thank you cards is a timeless and meaningful way to show appreciation. If there are people in your life for whom you are grateful, consider surprising them with a random thank you card. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, but you will also feel great for expressing your gratitude.

In Conclusion

Expressing gratitude is a great way to start healing from past trauma. Gratitude can help you begin gradually releasing the pain from the past by focusing your energy on more positive things, such as journaling, meditation, sending thank you cards, or any other positive activity.  Practicing gratitude can also put a smile on other people’s faces. You heal yourself by doing something good for others. There’s no downside to practicing gratitude. If you feel sheepish about practicing these gratitude exercises on your own, you can enlist the help of a trauma therapist.

If you would like to learn more about trauma, expressing gratitude, and how expressing gratitude can help you cope with trauma, feel free to contact me.