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Navigating Sexual Abuse Trauma: A Mindfulness Approach

Experts and various others have taken a look at methods to help with healing the effects sexual trauma leave behind for the survivor. We take a look at mindfulness as a support during sexual trauma healing.


Sexual trauma can have profound and long-lasting effects on a survivor's mental and emotional health. The negative side effects of sexual trauma may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-blame, and physical symptoms such as chronic pain, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems.

Coping with these effects can be difficult, but mindfulness techniques can be an effective tool for survivors to manage their symptoms and promote healing.

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, with awareness and acceptance of one's thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, manage physical symptoms, and improve relationships with others. Here are some mindfulness techniques that can be particularly helpful for survivors of sexual trauma:


1.Breathwork

Focusing on the breath can be a powerful way to ground oneself in the present moment and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Simple breathing exercises, such as deep belly breathing or counting the breaths, can be effective in reducing feelings of panic and fear.


2.Meditation

Regular meditation practice can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as promote a sense of calm and inner peace. Guided meditations that focus on self-compassion and forgiveness can be particularly helpful for survivors who are struggling with feelings of shame or self-blame. Guided meditation can also help avoid dissociative issues that arise from sexual trauma, by helping focus the mind on the meditative exercise.



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3.Mindful movement practices

Yoga and tai chi can be effective in promoting healing and reducing symptoms of trauma. These practices help to connect the mind and body, which can be especially important for survivors who may have dissociated from their bodies as a way of coping with the trauma. Practicing these movements mindfully can help survivors to become more attuned to their physical sensations, and to feel more comfortable and in control of their bodies. somatic Healing/ Experiencing Techniques have also shown to be incredibly helpful in addressing the trauma stuck in the body, helping to create a safer space within the body, when the body didn't always feel safe.


4.Daily mindfulness practices

Simple mindfulness practices can be incorporated into daily life, such as taking a mindful walk, noticing the sensations of the sun or wind on the skin, or savoring a favorite food mindfully. These practices can help to build a sense of self-awareness and inner calm that can be beneficial for survivors of sexual trauma.


While mindfulness techniques can be helpful, it's important to recognize that survivors of sexual trauma may also benefit from professional help and support. coaching, Counselling and Therapy can provide safe spaces for survivors to process their trauma, and may include specific techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to address the negative effects of trauma.


In conclusion, mindfulness can be a powerful tool for survivors of sexual trauma. By becoming more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, survivors can learn to manage their symptoms more effectively and to build a stronger sense of self-worth and resilience. With the right resources and techniques, it is possible to heal and move forward from the trauma.

Have you tried mindfulness to heal your sexual trauma?

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