When Emotional Trauma Shakes Your Sense of Self—How to Regain Your Balance

What Is Emotional Trauma?

The reach of emotional trauma is far and wide. Meaning, there are no clear-cut situations that define it. In a nutshell, though, emotional trauma is any type of deeply distressing or disturbing situation or series of situations that disrupts your overall well-being.

For example, working for a toxic boss may be a traumatic experience for you. After months or years of abuse under their thumb, you may feel your overall well-being decline. Unhappiness, depression, and hopelessness may even sink in.

Another example could be experiencing a loss. It may be that you lost your job, a loved one passed away, a bitter divorce, or even the death of a beloved pet, to name a few.

As noted at the outset, emotional trauma happens in many ways, but no matter how it happens, it cuts very deep.

Identifying a Shaken Sense of Self

Emotional trauma cuts so deep, in fact, that you may even feel your heart sink to your toes. Of course, this is biologically impossible but the feeling is real.

More than anything, emotional trauma often descends upon you in a way that makes you feel older, exhausted, hopeless, and joyless. Actually, the leviathan of emotional trauma resembles symptoms of depression a lot.

Some keys to spotting a shaken sense of self include:

  • You no longer find pleasure in hobbies or activities

  • You frequently second-guess your decisions

  • Your confidence level has significantly declined

  • You’ve stopped setting goals or chasing dreams

  • Your eating and sleeping habits have changed

  • You’re more easily persuaded and often indecisive

  • Your personal sense of style has slipped away

  • You no longer try hard or even hope for the best outcome

Many people report looking in the mirror and not recognizing the face looking back at them. Yes, emotional trauma can impact you that strongly.

How to Regain Your Balance

Although a shaken sense of self can feel like the pits, regaining balance is doable. It’s just not going to happen overnight.

Consider some of the things you can do to help you regain balance by focusing on three areas:


Firstly, it’s vital to reset your autonomic nervous system so you physically begin to feel like yourself again. Emotional traumas have a way of setting you on edge 24/7.

A therapist can help you find the best way to reclaim your calm. However, deep breathing, meditation, and positive affirmations are a few favorite strategies you can try by yourself.


Because emotional trauma can shake your sense of self, you may lose certain beliefs or views about the world. As a result, you may also discard ideas about yourself. Confidence is usually the first to go.

To re-establish trust in others and yourself, find moments of connection. To connect to yourself may sound complicated, but really it’s just getting to know again what really matters to you—your core values.

In the shuffle of trauma, these sorts of elements tend to be left by the wayside. Regaining balance means living more purposefully, battling the push and pull of trauma.


Feelings of numbness, hopelessness, fear, or anger may consume a large part of your emotional energy. In short, emotional trauma can cause massive internal pain.

Healing your emotions after emotional trauma requires not just time, but it calls for you to acknowledge some really uncomfortable feelings. Though, it’s not necessary to dwell on them or let them gobble you up. Rather, acknowledge your feelings and let them pass through you.

Recovering from a traumatic experience doesn’t just “happen.” There’s no magic to it. When you work together with your entire being, however, you employ an unrivaled power of human resilience.

Certainly, there are good days and bad days as on any journey. But consider employing professional help and find out how trauma counseling may help you reclaim your sense of self. I would like to help. Please contact me today to learn more about the healing journey.