Five Steps To Help You Cope With Trauma
July 6, 2015
Whether you are a victim of a crime, have experienced wartime conditions, were in an accident, or were a victim of childhood abuse or domestic violence, you are likely familiar with emotional trauma. People who experience trauma often feel helpless and hopeless. The result is an inability to manage life’s stressors effectively. The list below provides five steps to deal with the immediate effects of traumatic incidents. If you are feeling unable to cope with emotional trauma, do not be afraid to talk to a counselor or therapist:
Recognize that you are reacting normally:
People who have experienced trauma often feel crazy and out of control. They may start to believe that they are unable to manage their thoughts or their lives, which can generate stress and hopelessness. According to Dr. Martin Cohen, the way you are feeling is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. Don’t beat yourself up for the way that you feel. Feeling off balance is a normal part of trauma recovery.
Talk about what you are experiencing with people you trust:
Find someone who you trust that you can discuss your thoughts, feelings, and reactions about the traumatic event openly. The recipe for feeling better is 80% talking. Talk about how you are feeling and talk about it some more. Keep talking about it until you have no need to talk about it anymore.
Create a safe space:
It is very important that you have an environment where you can feel safe and tranquil. Find or create a safe space for yourself where you feel comfortable relaxing. If you need to sleep with a nightlight on, that’s ok. If you need to meditate or listen to music, that works too. Whatever you need to do to make your environment safe and welcoming, do it.
Try to develop a routine:
Traumatic events can throw your life into a state of chaos. Try to resume your normal activities as quickly as possible and develop a daily routine that feels comfortable to you. Having structure can help to increase feelings of safety and wellness. Try to avoid isolating yourself and seek out friends and family for help when you need it.
Take good care of yourself:
Eat well, exercise, get enough rest, and love yourself. Don’t let your health slip to the wayside. If you are healthy and well-rested, you will be better able to handle the emotions that result from trauma.
If you are feeling depressed or unable to cope, call the Crisis Call Center 24/7 at: 800-273-8255 or 775-784-8090 for assistance. Prevail Health also has a great online mental health program that can help you deal with any depression and anxiety you may be experiencing.