Part Two: Dealing with the Impact of Traumatic Experiences

A traumatic event can create ongoing physiological reactions that are beyond your immediate control.   

The desire for wanting everything to go back to normal, to just get on with achieving your goal and dreams and to avoid the pain of remembering, can stop you from giving yourself the necessary care and support that you need to heal. 

Consequently, you can end up stuck in the very cycle of torment and/or pain that you have been trying so desperately to avoid. 

This can leave you reeling and confused through to despairing.

However, no matter what the cause, whether a car accident, surgery, bullying, war, rape, physical assault, by applying the steps below, you can take back some necessary control and help speed up your healing and recovery.

Take back Control: Surviving Trauma Self-Care Strategies

1.      Accept that you are going to be upset, frustrated, and angry.

Who wouldn't be? Not only have you endured a frightening event that you would never choose to experience, but it has also left you dealing with an aftermath of related consequences. 

Feelings that are accepted can eventually dissipate. Feelings that are avoided, accumulate, and can come out when you least want or expect them to. 

If you find though that the feelings are overwhelming, or that you are reacting in ways that are hurting or harming others and your relationships, a professional counsellor can help you with more effectively managing your emotions.

2.      Find out as much as you can about how such experiences can affect you physically, emotionally and mentally, and the reasons why. 

Traumatic experiences often leave a psychological and physiological wound or injury that, like any wound or injury, needs specific (sometimes specialist) care.

Arming yourself with knowledge will assist with managing faster the recovery process.

Click here for information on the possible symptoms that can be experienced after experiencing a traumatic event.

3.      Learn techniques to address the possible trauma related symptoms.

Learn how to ground yourself, self-sooth, reassure the brain, and process the experience so that it stops replaying in various forms and keeping you stuck in a never ending cycle of avoidance and pain.

Click here for a link to tips on how to manage various trauma related symptoms.

4.      Be extra nice to yourself for however long it takes to heal.  

Incorporate daily activities into your life that make you feel good and are nurturing.

Make a list of activities that make you feel good and sprinkle them throughout your day and week. Schedule them in as a necessity to help with healing. 

Include some form of exercise that you enjoy to release tension and increase 'feel good' endorphin. 

5.       If you are feeling overwhelmed and it’s all too hard, get professional help.  After what you have experienced, you have a right to appropriate care and support.

If you are not sure whether what you have experienced could be considered a trauma, scroll half way down my blog Are you Hurting: The Antidote to Psychological Pain to Part One: Dealing with the Impact of a Traumatic Experience.

Also, click here for a link to a webpage that will give you more ideas in relation to self-care.

I would love to hear of self-care strategies that you have found helpful, so please feel free to share in the comments box. Click on title and scroll down to bottom of page to share.