Recovering from a traumatic event is difficult. Trauma, by its very nature, can be life changing. If you have experienced a trauma in your life, you may be struggling with feelings of constant danger, memories that frighten you, and a general sense of unease. You may also feel disconnected from those that you care about and struggle with trusting people again.
These feelings are normal after a trauma, and even though it can sometimes feel as though you are unable to move on, with the right types of treatment, self-help strategies and social support you can heal, move forward, and see progress one step at a time.
Self-Help Strategies to Overcome a Trauma
Trauma is a form of extreme stress – in some cases, that stress is so strong, it can raise your baseline of stress so that it takes less stress or change to cause a high stress reaction in the future. Recovering from a trauma involves getting your brain and body back to a pre-trauma state of balance.
The best way to do this is through interaction with other people who care about you, learning to relax even when under pressure, and finding ways to take stress out of your body. While this process is usually easier if you have the guidance and support of a psychologist to address many of the thoughts, fears, and anxiety associated with overcoming trauma, there are many things you can start doing now to cope with your symptoms.
- Building a Support Network – Take the time to build a supportive environment filled with people that care about you and your recovery. Reach out and connect with friends and family, or others who have experienced a similar trauma. Talking about your trauma will help you heal, whereas being alone will keep you overly occupied with your own thoughts.
- Relaxation Techniques – Many people who have experienced a trauma struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Learning relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques can help to relieve stress and reduce negative reactions to stimuli.
- Physical Activities – Staying active helps to keep you from dwelling on negative thoughts while keeping your body healthy. Learn new physical skills such as dancing or yoga to burn off any excess emotions that are troubling you, or use up your muscles by running and weight lifting so that your body doesn’t have the energy to feel as much stress.
The recovery for a traumatic event will take time, and it is important to remember that everyone heals at their own pace. Be patient with yourself throughout the process and expect both ups and downs. You can get through it – it simply takes time.
If months or years have passed and your symptoms have not lessoned, or you want to talk to someone that can help put you on the right path, you may need to seek professional help to aid in your recovery. Dr. Marc Shulman is a Long Island psychologist with years of experience helping patients work through traumatic events and reclaim their lives. If you are struggling with your post-trauma healing, call me today at (516) 732-0273 to start working towards recovery today.