Whether you have trauma from a single event or a series of repetitive events, your trauma will become stored within your physical and emotional body. So recognizing the signs your body is releasing trauma is an important part in your healing journey.
How does trauma get stored?
In order to recognize the signs your body is releasing trauma, it's helpful to understand how trauma gets stored in the body in the first place.
When you experience trauma, your body's stress response gets activated, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. This creates physical sensations of stress throughout the body like muscle tension, a rapid heartbeat, and changes in breathing. When the physical sensations become intertwined with the emotional aspects of your trauma, your body creates a somatic memory.
Somatic memories are stores of physical sensations, emotions, and bodily experiences that your body subconsciously remembers. And the somatic memories of your trauma become stored in both your brain and your body's tissues and nervous system. This is why it's common for trauma survivors to hold their body very tightly — because there's a somatic memory of bracing for a threat. And also why one sign your body is releasing trauma is when your body finally unclenches from this tension.
So when your body becomes stuck in its stress response, this leads to emotional reactions, physiological responses, and physical discomfort that are associated with that trauma.
How do you release trauma?
Releasing trauma isn't something that can simply be done by just going to talk therapy. This is because the somatic memories from your trauma become engrained in your body at a cellular level. Which is why the signs your body is releasing from trauma range from emotional signs to physiological signs to physical signs.
The only way to actually start releasing trauma, and experience these cathartic and transformative signs your body is releasing trauma, is to get your body out of it's stress response and physically release your somatic memories with somatic therapy.
Here are 7 signs your body is releasing trauma:
You recognize and acknowledge your emotions and feelings.
Recognizing and acknowledging your emotions and feelings is a crucial step in understanding the signs your body is releasing trauma.
When you pay attention to the nuances of your different emotions, you can begin to understand which emotions you're genuinely feeling at ant given moment, and which emotions are simply showing up due to past trauma. This emotional awareness serves as one of the primary signs your body is releasing trauma, as it signifies a conscious effort to confront and process deep-seated (and often suppressed) feelings.
When you have stored trauma, you may find yourself grappling with a range of intense feelings, from anxiety to sorrow. But as you engage in this introspective process, the signs your body is releasing trauma become more evident through the gradual easing of those emotional burdens.
You feel less stress and more at ease.
Feeling a full-body sense of calmness can be one of the profound signs your body is releasing trauma.
When you experience reduced stress levels, your body is gradually letting go of accumulated emotional burdens and somatic memories. This transformative process is marked by a notable shift in your overall well-being. You might find that the weight on your shoulders begins to lift, and a newfound tranquility enters your daily life.
Recognizing these emotional signs your body is releasing trauma is crucial for healing and self-awareness, while also allowing you to foster a deeper connection with your own emotional landscape.
Your muscles unclench.
The feelings of your shoulders, jaw, and back unclenching is one of the most notable signs your body is releasing trauma.
When trauma gets stored in your body, your muscles will involuntarily contract as a protective mechanism. So as the healing process unfolds, a release of tension will occur, and you're muscles will gradually unclench.
These physical sensations of signs your body is releasing trauma reflect the intricate connection between emotional well-being and physical manifestations.
You're more present.
When you find yourself feeling more present and engaging more fully in a situation or activity, it's one of the signs your body is releasing trauma.
When you have stored trauma, it's common for you to focus on past anxieties and future uncertainties, rather than the present moment. And as you're releasing, you have a more grounded connection with the here and now. The process is subjective, but it's often described as a gradual release of emotional weight, resulting in a more profound connection to the present. Recognizing and embracing these signs your body is releasing trauma is an important step towards healing, as it signifies a positive transformation in your emotional well-being.
You wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
Sleeping through the night and waking up actually feeling like you got a good night of sleep can be one of the subtle yet profound signs your body is releasing trauma.
In these moments, your mind and body collaborate to create an atmosphere of ease, signaling a positive shift in your overall well-being. This sensation often accompanies a gradual release of tension that may have been stored in your body. And as you experience the tranquility of a good night's sleep, it becomes evident that your body is actively engaging in the process of healing.
You're more patient and less irritable.
One of the significant signs your body is releasing trauma is being less irritable and more patient in situations that might overwhelm you.
As you heal from trauma, you'll notice notice a gradual shift in your emotional responses to minor stressors and stimuli. Your heightened patience manifests as a newfound capacity to navigate daily challenges with a sense of calm and resilience. And your decreased irritability reflects your body's release of accumulated tension and stress. This transformation is a poignant sign your body is releasing trauma and beginning to allow for a more balanced and composed approach to life's demands.
You feel like you're living rather than just existing.
Feeling like you're truly living, as opposed to merely existing and getting through each day, is an incredible sign your body is releasing trauma.
This sensation goes beyond the routine activities of your daily life and encompasses a profound sense of engagement with each moment. You'll have heightened awareness, a renewed connection with your emotions, and an increased capacity to experience joy.
Acknowledging and welcoming the signs your body is releasing trauma is a crucial step in your healing journey
Trauma can cast a shadow over your life that extends into your emotional and physical wellbeing. But releasing your trauma acts as a catalyst for rejuvenation, breathing life, presence, and fulfillment back into areas that may have felt dormant. As you heal, you'll empower yourself to navigate the complexities of your emotional and physical landscape with resilience.
Experience a trauma release with a 30-day somatic exercise program.