Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

6 Ways To Deal With Traumatic Stress

The brain’s response to trauma can cause physical symptoms and large amounts of stress. It’s also common for people who’ve gone through trauma to feel anxious or have flashbacks to the event. If you’ve experienced trauma, you’ll want to know what steps to take to eliminate these symptoms. 

 

This article will go over six ways to deal with traumatic stress. You’ll also learn about common responses to trauma, so let’s begin.

What is Traumatic Stress?

 

Traumatic stress is your body’s response to distressing events. Your brain enters “flight or fight” mode, often lasting a few days to weeks after the event. However, if your symptoms last longer and interfere with your life, it becomes PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Some common responses to traumatic stress can include:

 

  • Negative impact on relationships: You may feel isolated from your loved ones or have more conflicts.
  • Physical symptoms: Chest pain, nausea, and headaches become more common.
  • Emotional symptoms: Negative feelings, such as anxiety, sadness, or grief, can intensify.
  • Changes in thoughts and behavior: Flashbacks of the event can occur. You might also find it harder to focus, eat, and sleep.

Dealing With Traumatic Stress

If you suffer from traumatic stress, you have many different options for dealing with it. 

 

Depending on the severity of your trauma symptoms, you may need to contact a psychologist for professional help. They can assist you by teaching you healthy coping methods. 

 

However, not everyone suffering from traumatic stress needs professional treatment; some recover independently. Keep in mind that there are always professionals ready to help if you need it.

 

Here are some ways to deal with traumatic stress:

1. Talk With Loved Ones Often

friends on swings

Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

 

Right now, one of your best options is to contact someone you’re close to and talk about your feelings. You’ll want to ensure you’re ready to discuss the traumatic event first.

 

Also, don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones for help. They may cover extra household chores or other responsibilities to bring down your stress.

 

Spending more time with loved ones can offer you health benefits. Doing so improves your mental health, lets you know you have a support system you can rely on, and relieves stress.

 

So, you’ll want to spend more time with your loved ones whenever you can. Talking over the phone or video calls is the next best option if you can’t meet in person.

2. Practice Good Self-Care

Next, you’ll want to prioritize your physical well-being by caring for yourself. Make sure to eat healthy food, exercise when you can, and meditate. 

 

Practicing good self-care can mean many different things to all of us. You can keep a gratitude journal, drink more water, and set aside time to relax daily.

 

The most important thing is that you focus on being healthy, whatever that may mean to you. Traumatic stress is stored in the body, so you’ll want to find positive ways to release it.

3. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is an effective treatment for PTSD. It can break down problems, so you can deal with them in smaller chunks. You’ll also learn how to change negative thoughts and behaviors.

 

Cognitive restructuring is a CBT technique that you can use when dealing with traumatic stress. It allows you to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones. There are plenty of CBT strategies that work well for those with PTSD.

 

Different tactics work best for others, so you can freely experiment with different CBT strategies until you find a technique that works the best for you.

4. Consider Medication

You can take some medications to help deal with traumatic stress. Based on your medical conditions, symptoms, and lifestyle doctor can prescribe the correct type of medication like hydrocodone, sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and venlafaxine etc.

 

Medication can help with relief from some symptoms, including anxiety and depression. You’ll need to talk with a professional about what options are best for you and see what they can prescribe. Everyone responds differently to medications, so your prescription will likely change for a time.

 

In short, consider contacting a professional for an official diagnosis if you want to try medicine for traumatic stress.

5. Get on a Daily Routine

clock

Photo by Jessica Delp on Unsplash

 

It’s also important that you get back to your daily routine. A simple routine can help you through the recovery process. Getting back to a daily routine after a traumatic event can feel challenging, but working through it will help you get your life back on track.

 

Start by always waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends, and shower shortly after waking up. Then, make your bed and have some breakfast. You can also take some time to journal in the mornings or meditate to help with traumatic stress.

 

Having a daily routine will help establish a sense of stability in your life after an event disturbs it. You’ll feel more in control in the morning, and that feeling can carry on throughout the rest of the day. That confidence can also translate into better habits and a more positive mindset over time.

 

It can take a few months for a daily routine to feel normal and effortless, so you’ll want to start as soon as possible.

6. Validate Your Experiences

Make sure to take the time to validate your experiences. Let yourself know that there is nothing “wrong” with you and that this traumatic stress is a normal response to what happened. 

 

Reminding yourself of this as you heal is important. It keeps you present and will lead to understanding and acceptance. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel; ignoring your emotions will slow your recovery. 

Deal With Your Traumatic Stress Today

The sooner you start managing your traumatic stress, the sooner you’ll start feeling like how you used to. Talking with loved ones, self-care, and medication can all help. Make sure that you contact a psychologist for professional assistance if you think that you need it.

 

Featured image: Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash