I’m slowly getting more clarity on how emotions can escalate without reason in my head.

It starts with unease in the body. I may feel down, restless. There may be a reason for that: feeling a bit lonely, waiting for a message from a loved one, practical decisions waiting to be made, or simply the cycle of hormones that have significant impact on how I feel.

The mind notices the unease. And when the brain space isn’t used for something that takes full bandwidth (work, conversations with people, etc), I can simply wait for the trauma brain to take over.

Thoughts enter, stories develop, more unease is created in the body – and then we have an endless vicious circle that keeps repeating, sometimes ending in a full on catharsis or anxiety taking over.

Not much fun!

Understanding the emotional escalator helps a lot. I keep doing reality checks with myself: is what my brain thinks, really happening?

Resistance is futile. Resistance just makes it worse as my trauma brain starts defending why it is right. Telling my fearful parts that it’s understandable why this is what they are thinking helps way more. Breathing deeply, telling myself I’m lovable and safe, and embracing all the emotions (again and again).

Healing a trauma brain takes a long time. Don’t forget to celebrate the small steps.