Trauma Coping Skills

Trauma Coping Skills

Trauma is a response to something deeply upsetting that has happened to someone. 

It is an emotional event that happens and can be comprised of various different symptoms. 

There are short-term symptoms like denial and shock. 

Then, there are the longer-term effects of trauma that can be devastating to one's life, like flashbacks, upsetting emotions that pop up out of nowhere, and it can even sometimes cause physical symptoms such as headache or even nausea. 

While trauma is undoubtedly something that nobody needs to go through, the reality is that it has and does still happen. 

But the key to coping with trauma is learning the tools and tricks in order to deal with the trauma that one may have been through. 

Trauma is rough, and going through it can be different for every person. 

Processing trauma can also look different for each person. Here are some trauma coping skills that we have to share with you:

Be Patient With Yourself

You need to be gentle with yourself while you are trying to heal from trauma. 

It is not something that can be overcome in one night. 

But, it is something that you have to work at, a little bit each day, to help take that emotional distress and disturbance away for good, eventually. 

But you have to be patient, especially with yourself. 

Even if you do experience a little setback in your healing journey, it is not like you cannot get back up and continue your healing journey right where you left off. 

Give yourself some grace when dealing with a traumatic event that has happened.

Acknowledge The Pain

This is something that can be pretty hard to do, but it is a skill that has to be done in order for one to move past the trauma you endured. 

When it is quiet, or where ever you can find a quiet place in your home, perhaps after the kids have gone to bed, sit with your current feelings.

Then, allow yourself to feel all of the things that you have been feeling. 

Be kind to yourself, and remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with you, and what happened is not your fault, no matter what you may be thinking. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness actually says that the part of validation is key to the healing experience.

What you are going through and feeling is completely normal.

It is a normal response to trauma, and you need to allow yourself to heal from all of the things that may have transpired. 

This is not about somebody else validating what happened, but it is about you and how you are going to heal yourself from the past. 

You need to take care of you.

Keep Yourself Focused

We can easily be swept away by our emotions, there is no doubt there. 

If you feel yourself getting anxious or upset over the situation, try to maintain your focus on something else. 

There are a few ways that you can do this. 

First, you can choose to focus on your breathing. 

Taking some deep and cleansing breaths, slowly, in and out can help to slow your mind down. 

A great way to breathe is called "box breathing." 

Essentially, you breathe in slowly to the count of four, you hold for four seconds, and then slowly exhale out of your mouth to the count of four seconds. 

Step four is to repeat these steps until you feel yourself refocus. 

The other way to help you calm down in a moment of distress is to remember your five senses. 

Really think about them in that moment that you are having trouble. 

What do you see with your eyes? 

What do you smell? 

Do you hear something, or is it quiet? 

Is there a taste in the air? 

What are your hands doing? 

By focusing on these questions, you are diverting your attention away from a distressing situation. 

They are two powerful tools that you can take with you and use anywhere. 

Journal on a table

Keep A Journal

Keeping a journal can be a most powerful tool in your healing journey. 

There are times, in our heads, where we cannot just make sense of what is going on, especially if we are feeling emotionally vulnerable. 

By taking to a journal to write everything that is in your mind down on a piece of paper, then you can visualize it better and find strategies and solutions to help you cope. 

Journaling everyday is also a great habit to get into, as it will also give you insight into how far you have come on your journey. 

Writing things down is a very healthy coping mechanism, and many counselors actually recommend it. 

Consider Counseling

You may need help on your way to healing, and that is perfectly fine. 

Sometimes, we can't fight these emotions alone. If you have people that you can reach out to that understand your trauma, it is great to lean on them for support. 

But they do not have all of the tools and techniques that counselors have at the ready to help you work through the trauma. 

Trauma counselors can help you to process the events that went on, allow you to dig deep with your feelings, and ultimately, in the end, help you heal from the trauma that you have endured. 

We have many counselors that specialize in trauma here at Overcome Counseling. You can view a list of them by clicking here.

Conclusion

When faced with trauma, even years after it has happened, you may feel debilitated by it, and not know how to move forward. 

Remember, the feelings that you feel about it are valid.

Once you are able to readily accept that, then you can begin on the road to healing. 

Using these various tips and tools can help you to cope with the trauma that you have been through, and can ultimately help you on your journey to heal from it. 

Counseling can also be a wonderful resource when you are trying to process your trauma, no matter how long ago it happened. 

Resources 

https://www.apa.org/topics/trauma#:~:text=Trauma%20is%20an%20emotional%20response,symptoms%20like%20headaches%20or%20nausea.
https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2020/7-Tools-for-Managing-Traumatic-Stress
https://www.theguesthouseocala.com/what-are-some-common-healthy-coping-mechanisms-for-people-dealing-with-trauma/


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May 16th, 2022

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