How to Manage Traumatic Stress

5 tips to cope with traumatic stress

Trauma comes in many shapes and forms. One of the aspects of a traumatic event is the long-lasting impact it has on a person's anxiety. Those who suffer from PTSD often experience intrusive, unpredictable thoughts that negatively affect their everyday lives.

Here are 5 simple, healthy coping tools to manage traumatic stress:
meditating managing traumatic stress

1. Breathe
Regulating your breathing can make a world of difference for your stress levels. There are many different deep breathing techniques to try so you can find the one that works best for you.

2. Focus on your 5 senses
The 5-4-3-2-1 method is quite common for those who suffer from anxiety and is a simple way to immediately reduce stress. Start by mentally cataloguing 5 things that you can see, then 5 things you can hear, 5 things you can sense, 5 things you can taste, and 5 things you can smell. Repeat this process by recognizing 4 things, 3 things, and so on. This technique helps ground you in reality and focus on the present rather than the traumatic memory.

3. Use a weighted blanket
A good investment to make if your traumatic stress impacts your sleep is a weighted blanket. Research has proven that using a weighted blanket acts as a security blanket and the extra weight can feel comforting like a hug.

4. Mindful meditation
Practicing any form of mindfulness can reduce stress quite effectively. Finding the perfect meditative technique can be a great tool to add to your toolbox for dealing with traumatic stress.

5. Think positively for 12 seconds
All it takes is 12 seconds to help reroute the destructive path your mind may be heading towards due to traumatic stress. If you feel yourself slipping into intrusive thoughts, focus on something positive. This can be a fond memory, the beauty of nature, or anything that brings you joy. Focus on this positive thing for 12 seconds for your brain to properly make new neurological connections that will overtake the traumatic memory.

PTSD and trauma is not an easy thing to deal with on a daily basis, but these tools may help ease some of the stress and anxiety that accompanies it. If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health struggles or trauma, clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers are here to help.

Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

https://nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2020/7-Tools-for-Managing-Traumatic-Stress

https://www.verywellmind.com/ways-of-coping-with-anxiety-2797619