Sadly, in today's world, trauma is more common than ever. Shootings at schools, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, car accidents, violent attacks, war, sudden loss- all of these create trauma and deep emotional stress. All human beings are emotional creatures with deep-seated feelings, whether we acknowledge them or not. Trauma can manifest in many ways and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) can show up years, even decades later.
Something recently triggered my feelings of PTSD from my childhood and it really threw me out of balance. I am normally a confident, happy and expansive person, but this plunged me back into feelings of powerlessness and despair. It took me a few hours, but here are some of the tools I used to bounce back.
How to Bounce Back from Trauma
1. Don't try to function as usual. I cancelled my afternoon appointments and knew
I needed to take care of myself.
2. Acknowledge your pain to someone you can trust. Explain your feelings and
ask for their help and support. Close friends, therapists or counselors can all help. If
they know you well, they know what will help- whether it's a hug, quietly listening to
you or just comforting.
3. Do something physical. I went for a bike ride. You may want to work out, pound a
punching bag, or go for a run to release the trauma.
4. Ask for spiritual assistance. Meditate, pray, be mindful. Walk in nature and take in the beauty. Be very gentle with yourself. Trauma is painful.
5. Take a nap. This one of the most powerful ways to release trauma. For me, everything is always better when I wake up.
6. Be ruthlessly impeccable about what you allow into your consciousness. Later that evening, I turned on one of my favorite tv shows and for some reason, it featured something horribly violent. I immediately turned off the tv and read an uplifting book. Don't compound trauma with more upset. Fill your mind with positivity.
7. Make a list of what you are grateful for. When you focus on your blessings rather than the trauma, you see how good your life really is and that the trauma is over.
8. Do something you love with people you enjoy. I was blessed to attend a women's networking group the next day with terrific people where I could be of service and connect with others. They lifted me just by their presence. I felt whole and exhilarated.
All of us experience trauma at some time in our lives. Hopefully, we get therapeutic support at the time of the trauma. But it can still show up years later. Find techniques that support your health and well-being and allow the best of you to come forward.
Love to hear what your favorite techniques are for bouncing back. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.