Until we become aware of the unconscious aspects of our mind, they will continue to influence our lives and we will refer to them as fate.
While it may not be the first thought that people think about when they talk about this topic, did they know that past trauma can affect our subconscious?
Traumatic events include not only serious danger but also any event that causes psychological harm.
Trauma can cause a variety of negative consequences, including cognitive, behavioral, and physical ones. If not resolved, these effects can be long lasting.
Here are seven ways your past trauma might still be affecting you today:
1. Anger management issues
We often imagine people who have been traumatized or struggle psychologically from their traumatic experiences as despondent, anxiety, or even depressed.
If you’ve had trouble controlling your temper before, then it may be because there was some unresolved trauma that caused you to repress or displace your emotions.
2. Struggling with intrusive thoughts
People who have experienced a trauma, especially if they were not able to resolve their issues, are at high risk for developing post-traumatic syndrome (PTSD).
One of the most common symptoms of PTSD is experiencing intrusive memories, which are recurrent unwanted thoughts that are extremely distressing.
They’re usually accompanied by strong emotions of guilt and anxiety, which may also manifest as dreams or flashbacks.
3. You need to improve your emotional intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) refers to the ability to understand and control one’s emotions. It has been shown to be an important predictor of success in school, at work, and in relationships.
Those people who have a high EQ (emotional quotient) tend to succeed, reach their full personal and professional development, and have better relationships with themselves and others than those who don’t.
However, unresolved traumas can decrease a person’s self-awareness, ability to regulate his/her own emotional states, and ability to interact with and connect with others, reflecting a lower EQ that needs improvement.
4. Addictive tendencies
Some people are at greater risk for addiction than others. People who have low self-discipline and/or high needs for excitement are more likely to develop an addiction.
Traumatic experiences trigger these behaviors which we call addictions. They’re usually triggered by coping mechanisms that lead to unhealthy habits.
5. Avoidant tendencies
Next is avoiding tendencies, which is common among people who have suffered from trauma. The most common example of these is social isolation (i.e., cancels dates and spends most of his/her time alone), and emotional detachment (i.e., pushes others away, feels emotionally detached).
Avoidance tendencies often emerge due to a fear of experiencing painful emotions associated with the past and an unwillingness to experience intense emotions related to the present.
6. Fear and distrust of happiness
If you’re afraid of being happy, then you’ve got something else going on emotionally. It may be difficult for you to understand at first, but if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you don’t want to be happy.
Those of us who’ve experienced a traumatic event in our lives can certainly relate.
Studies show that people who’ve experienced trauma tend to hold onto painful memories from their pasts for a long period of times and may be unable to let go of them.
To be honest, it sounds crazy, but these folks find comfort in their pain by reminding themselves that it’ll always be there. But genuine, lasting, happy feelings feel scary and foreign to someone who has experienced so much suffering.
7. Poor and unfulfilling relationships
One way to know whether your past trauma is still affecting you today is by noticing if you’re struggling with unsatisfying, low-grade relationships.
It may be that your relationship lacks meaning and emotional connection, and/or that you tend to sabotage yourself when trying to maintain these kinds of connections.
Emotional vulnerability and wariness to connect with people may be rooted in a past trauma that has not been resolved yet.
So if you’re having trouble coping with your mental health issues, don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
It may not come as easily or as fast as we’d like, and it will certainly be a painful ordeal, but overcomeing our past traumas allow us to no longer be characterized by them.
As Helen Keller once stated, “Yes, the universe is full of suffering. However, it is also full of opportunities for triumph.” What mountains will you be climbing?