What is Subconscious Wounding? How to Heal Yours
What is Subconscious Wounding? How to Heal Yours
Subconscious Wounds. The body holds onto wounds from early childhood and shows up in different ways. Traumatic events people ignore can also flare up if triggers arise. In fact, the body retains memories of trauma. Bessel van der Kolk writes about this in his book, The Body Keeps Score. He discusses how the connection of mental disorders and subconscious wounds or trauma creates fear for traumatized people.
To put it simply, he states that trauma and the subconscious mind are linked, and this wounding can deeply impact someone. Subconscious wounding describes any trauma, bad experiences, or harmful beliefs that become embedded in the subconscious mind. Over time, these can alter the thoughts in the subconscious mind, making someone change their core beliefs.
It can also take a toll on their self-image. For example, they can develop a harsh inner critic that talks them out of trying different challenges. Someone may also have reactive behaviors that need healing. These wounds follow people throughout their lives and can create much mental, emotional, and spiritual distress. As a result, they may not feel safe to show up as themselves, or may not be able to trust easily.
A damaged or hurt subconscious mind can make someone feel like they can’t trust themselves. As a result, they can develop shyness, anxiety, depression, perfectionism, low self-esteem, and dysfunctional relationships. An individual can further develop trauma and challenges as their beliefs are impacted.
How Does Subconscious Wounding Show up in Our Lives?
According to a PsychologyToday article, subconscious wounding is about the trauma someone has endured. But it’s also about the way they respond to triggers as well as their beliefs about them. Triggers can be music, places, smells, foods, objects, conversations, memories, or experiences that remind someone of their trauma.
Thus, this puts the focus on someone to take control of any wounding with helpful habits and lifestyle choices. Fortunately, there are many tools available someone can use to heal inner trauma and understand the subconscious mind.
Someone can ask themself, “How can I heal emotional wounds?” or may wonder if they should ignore them and let time heal them. Some may wonder if they can even heal emotional wounds at all. Others may feel they just go away with positive thinking. But it’s not that simple.
First, these wounds can stem from early parental neglect or other traumatic experiences someone endures as they age. Over time, someone’s experiences in life can worsen negative self-talk. In response, the body will often store these traumatic incidents and can even show up as physical pain.
Additionally, physical symptoms can pinpoint how traumatic mental, and emotional conditions cause distress. These include but are not limited to:
- Nervous twitching/restlessness
- Gastrointestinal issues (like irritable bowel syndrome)
- Increased heart rate/chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Muscle cramps
- Hormonal imbalances
- Heavy menstrual cycles
- Feeling tired
To add, subconscious wounding can be present from trauma and worsen over time, due to triggers. They can impact how someone functions at school, or at a job, and can complicate relationships.
How to Cope with Emotional or Subconscious Wounding
There are some benefits to exploring open emotional wounds. This can look like facing wounds head-on, holding space, and practicing shadow work to address them. Holding space in shadow work connects someone to those parts of themselves that are vulnerable, angry, or fearful without judgment.
Additionally, our shadow side can reveal inner truths at the depths of our emotions. As a result, they can help to set someone free from mental or emotional suffering or give them more self-understanding.
Shadow work was first coined by Carl Jung and used in psychology to understand hidden emotions. However, some Christians see its value and integrate it into a faith practice. It helps people confront trauma directly by understanding their dark side.
Let’s use an example. Imagine ignoring a gash or injury on the body. Say someone uses this part of the body daily without tending to it. Over time, the wound will not go away. It will create tension, stress or discomfort, calling for the person to nurture it. It may even get worse until it’s healed. Practicing shadow work for the subconscious mind and emotional wounds works the same way.
It’s helpful to remember shadow work doesn’t encourage harm to self or others. It provides someone with the space to fully uncover emotions many may judge as “shameful” or “negative”. Exploring this method can mean journaling about these emotions or asking self-reflective questions to get honest about these triggers.
This could look like asking why it’s hurtful when someone does a specific action versus avoiding it because it’s uncomfortable. Then someone can further discover wounds by writing about where this first occurred in one’s life.
Delving into one’s discomfort can bring about positive change. This can even occur with therapy. Talking about one’s difficulties can allow the therapist to offer sage advice. Therapy and shadow work can work even if someone is in a relationship and their partner has subconscious wounds. Both may possibly come out stronger, calmer, and more self-aware than before.
Holistic Tools to Heal the Wounded Body, Spirit and Mind
It’s worth remembering deep emotional wounds can impact everyone differently, so each person may need individual, personalized care. Leaving these wounds to time may be the worst option to practice. Why? Because this means leaving the mind untreated in a sense.
Fixing childhood trauma and emotional or mental wounds are complex. Therefore, treatment looks different for everyone. Fortunately, subconscious wounding can be addressed with several holistic tools.
As previously stated, shadow work and therapy for example can be the starting process in healing the hurt inner child of an adult. Along with talk therapy, there are tools to gently help wounds which include:
- Exercise (trauma-focused yoga)
- Diet and nutrition (supplements like ashwagandha or herbal teas)
- Nervous system regulation techniques (to reduce the heart rate or stress)
- Support groups (church or wellness groups)
- Emotional freedom techniques (EFT) tapping
- Sound therapy/sound healing
- Talk therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy)
Practicing daily meditation is a great option for calming the nervous system. For one, deep breathing brings energy to the body and mind. Then, the mind becomes focused and relaxed. Additionally, breathwork—a vital element of meditation—can reduce stress, anxiety and help people sleep better.
Sound therapy is another form of meditation that includes breathing. What makes it unique is it uses specific sounds to calm, energize and soothe. A facilitator plays instruments like gongs, chimes, drums and crystal or metal bowls in a ceremony or group. Attendees can lie down or sit and receive calming vibrations of sound that can heal the body, spirit and mind.
Sometimes intense or aromatherapy is part of the experience. If they visualize healing, use intentions or Bible verses as positive self-talk, over time, they can heal stresses in the mind.
Regulating the Nervous System To Cope with Subconscious Wounding
Exercising helps provide endorphins that offer relaxation. It can also keep someone confident as they build a strong body. Diet and nutrition can help if someone is talking to a therapist or medication as a compliment to it. Drinking herbal tea is safe, and can help relax someone if the subconscious mind creates stress.
Additionally, someone can stabilize the nervous system with Reiki, and hypnotherapy as well. The nervous system becomes unstable due to trauma. Regulating a traumatized nervous system has life-long benefits that can impact someone’s life. Using EFT tapping techniques can also help calm emotional and mental wounds as someone can create positive thoughts to replace negative ones.
With this specific therapy, someone can also rid themselves of heavy emotions. Trauma-focused yoga (called restorative yoga), can relax the nervous system, releasing energy and trauma in the body. Despite these tools being a great starting place, many of these therapies can be combined for the best results.
Someone can always analyze their behavioral history to see how emotional or psychic wounds impact them. Asking family and friends can provide useful insight on behavior. Performing self-check-ins can help someone better meet their needs.They can better understand where to start and where to do for guidance.
In situations where subconscious wounds can arise, it helps to maintain a spiritual outlook. Remember, God doesn’t give his warriors battles he doesn’t think they can overcome.
Tips to Heal Your Subconscious Wounds
- Practice restorative yoga for healing trauma
- Heal subconscious wounding with talk therapy
- Healing childhood trauma with shadow work by uncovering intense emotions
- Visualize the body and mind healing during a daily meditation practice
- Use positive self-talk to increase confidence and self-image
- Practice journaling to explore heavy emotions
- Ask loved ones for behavioral analysis
- Relax and regulate the nervous system with exercise and deep breathing
- Check in with yourself by being self-aware and monitoring physical health
- Using EFT tapping, sound healing or holistic tools when trauma is stuck in the body