Our brains and bodies switch to high alert mode in response to trauma.
Sometimes the high alert mode switch gets ‘stuck’.
We might have difficult emotions including stress, anxiety, worry and anger.
These emotions can have a significant impact on our quality of life.
Recovery from trauma means recognising these emotions, and taking action to manage them.
You might not be able to eliminate all negative emotions, but there are effective ways to manage our reactions and calm our body and brain.
The first step is to think about what situations we tend to struggle with.
Then we can predict the situations that trigger stress, or remind us of the trauma.Some of the most effective ways of coping are the simplest.
Learning to control the way you breathe when you are stressed can help you feel less anxious or angry.
We call this “controlled breathing”.
Taking the time to really focus on what is going on around us can distract us from feelings of anxiety, worries about the future or distressing memories.
We call this “grounding”.
Sometimes it can be helpful to watch what we are thinking, and try to focus on what is actually going on; what’s really most likely to happen.
Other times it can be helpful to find a way to express how we are feeling, and this can come in many forms.
It’s important to make time for activities that make you feel relaxed; to do things that are important to you.
If you can’t recall what you enjoy, try something new.
The more ways you have of managing stress and improving your mood and, the more in control you will feel.