Following exposure to a trauma most people experience stress reactions. When trauma survivors take direct action to cope with their stress reactions, they put themselves in a position of power. Certain actions can help to reduce your distressing symptoms and make things better. Plus, these actions can result in changes that last into the future.

Active Coping. Active coping with the trauma makes you begin to feel less helpless. Active coping means accepting the impact of trauma on your life and taking direct action to improve things. Active coping occurs even when there is no crisis. Active coping is a way of responding to everyday life. It is a habit that must be made stronger.

Positive coping actions.

  • Learn more about trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is useful to learn more about common reactions and what is normal. When you learn more you realize that you are not alone or weak.
  • Talk to others for support. It is important not to isolate yourself.
  • Distract yourself with positive activities. Pleasant activities can improve your mood and distract you from your memories.
  • Talk to your doctor or counselor. Part of taking care of yourself means using the helping resources around you. If efforts at coping don’t seem to help, you may become fearful or depressed.

 Practice relaxation methods. Try some different ways to relax, such as:

  • Muscle relaxation exercises.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • Meditation.
  • Swimming, stretching, yoga.
  • Prayer.
  • Listening to quite music.
  • Spending time in nature.

Know the recovery process. Understand that recovering from the trauma is a process and takes time. Knowing this will help you feel more in control.

  • Having an ongoing response to the trauma is normal.
  • Recovery is an ongoing, daily process. It happens little by little. It is not a matter of being cured all of a sudden.
  • Healing doesn’t mean forgetting traumatic events. It doesn’t mean you will have no pain or bad feelings when thinking about them.
  • Healing may mean fewer symptoms and symptoms that bother you less.
  • Healing means more confidence that you will be able to cope with your memories and symptoms. You will be better able to manage your feelings.

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We are here to help if you would like to learn more about coping skills. Whether there is a recent trauma or stress in everyday life, active coping is a habit that can be made stronger.

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