Tips to help manage trauma

Here are a few tips!

Don’t discount or ignore emotions – even if you feel like they are bombarding you and changing the way you normally behave. Face those feelings and see if you can connect the dots to what you feel and what happened. Speak to someone!

Support yourself as you accept the new you – your behavior will naturally change. Did you narrowly escape a house burning and now you don’t want to sit by the cozy fire during a snowstorm? Duh. Who would? You’re taking good care of yourself when you ease back into normal routines at your own pace. Take your time. Only you know when you’ll be ready.

Avoid thoughts that blame yourself – don’t be your own worst enemy by believing things like, If only I hadn’t gotten in the car, or, if only I had turned off the stove, or, if only I hadn’t flirted with that person…. The “if only” thoughts are not helpful. Don’t blame yourself. It happened. You did survive. Now it’s time to heal.

Pay attention to your body – you are still overcoming the trauma, but you are now back in control! When your body feels funny, like you are super scared or anxious or feel hyper and alert, but all is safe around you, spend a few minutes breathing deeply and repeating a calming mantra like, “I am safe. My body is calm.”

Pay attention to your mind (thoughts) – when your thoughts start racing and you are putting yourself down and feeling guilty, replace those thoughts with a helpful inner dialogue. Return to your mantra or speak to each thought. For example, It happened and I am healing now. I deserve to feel better. I am on the road to recovery. I am a good person.

Look for the silver lining – a silver lining does exist when it comes to trauma, but it may not always present itself at first. This is what people call post traumatic growth. This is when you experience a positive change as a result of a life-changing experience, like trauma. You may begin to appreciate life and relationships in a new way as a result of surviving something horrific. You may feel stronger and more in control as a result of surviving. Many changes can occur and they are normal precisely because everyone is different;-).

These posts are meant to help you understand trauma, but to really overcome the symptoms of trauma, you need to speak to a professional.

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