Three methods traumatic stress happens and the right way to cope with it

by WellnessWivel
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It isn’t unusual for individuals to have an expertise the place they really feel unhappy. Often occasions, the occasion may be so traumatizing that it leaves us feeling confused for days, weeks, months — and generally even years — after it occurs.

Traumatic stress can manifest emotionally, bodily, and mentally in numerous methods. Therefore, you will need to know the way it can look in these three totally different kinds.


If you might have skilled a traumatic occasion and are combating traumatic stress, your feelings can change into extraordinarily intense. This could embody frequent outbursts of anger, the onset of panic assaults, and even emotions of nice disappointment and loss.

Another approach traumatic stress manifests itself emotionally is when individuals utterly detach from their feelings and really feel numb to new occasions or stimuli. This is a protecting response to stop their nervous system from changing into overloaded.


Due to heightened feelings, one can expertise bodily signs of traumatic stress. This can happen all through the physique in a wide range of methods. Some individuals could expertise shallow or speedy respiration, chest ache, or headache. Others report having tense muscle mass or feeling tense all through the physique or discover themselves stressed and have problem stress-free and sitting nonetheless.

While some individuals really feel bodily stress or ache all through their physique, this isn’t the case for everybody. Some are on the opposite facet of the spectrum; typically individuals discover themselves feeling utterly disconnected bodily.

It isn’t unusual for somebody experiencing traumatic stress to flinch and really feel disconnected from their bodily physique or the world round them. This may also be accompanied by a dulling of the 5 senses (odor, contact, style, listening to and sight). Some individuals really feel as if their physique is weightless – or they expertise lightheadedness and dizziness.


Traumatic stress additionally impacts how we really feel cognitively. When mentally experiencing signs of traumatic stress, one could have racing ideas centered on the current (and the right way to navigate the traumatic state of affairs), the longer term (due to their view of doubt concerning the now), or no matter causes them traumatic stress. causes stress.

Alternatively, somebody could have mind fog and be unable to entry phrases or ideas. This can seem like an individual who could be very confused or experiencing reminiscence loss. Some individuals have problem describing or recognizing their feelings. This is the mind’s approach of making an attempt to guard the physique. It will attempt to shut down any “unnecessary” exercise to give attention to scanning for hazard and security.

How to handle traumatic stress

When experiencing traumatic stress, you will need to chill out and floor your physique and thoughts to really feel protected. Using grounding or mindfulness methods or interventions assist regulate the physique and ship messages to the mind that say, “I’m safe.” Practicing these interventions permits the mind and physique to give attention to the current second reasonably than the previous traumatic expertise that causes us stress. NAMI provides a number of methods to assist people deal with traumatic stress. Some efficient strategies are:

5-4-3-2-1 Exercise

5 – Look: Look round at 5 issues you’ll be able to see and say them out loud.

4 – Feel: Pay consideration to your physique, consider 4 issues you’ll be able to really feel and say them out loud.

3 – Listen: Listen to 3 issues you’ll be able to hear (site visitors, birds chirping, and so forth.) and say them out loud.

2 – Smell: Say two issues you’ll be able to odor. If you’ll be able to’t odor something proper now, say your two favourite scents out loud.

1 – Taste: Say one factor you style. If you’ll be able to’t style something, identify your favourite factor to style.

4-2-6 Breathing train

Inhale via your nostril to a rely of 4. Keep it for 2. Slowly exhale via your mouth for six counts. By doing this you activate the a part of your nervous system that helps your physique to calm itself down.

Ultimately, traumatic stress can have a long-lasting influence on us. It can have an effect on our mind, physique, and the way we reply to stressors after a traumatic occasion — on an emotional, bodily, and psychological stage. These manifestations of traumatic stress can vary from gentle to extreme, however no matter depth, signs may be managed. If you are struggling, strive utilizing grounding methods and mindfulness actions to manage and transfer ahead.

Original publish NAMI

Photo by Tara Winstead:

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

By Brent Metcalf

A licensed medical social employee who practices at Tri-Star Counseling, LLC in Johnson City, Tenn. He has offered companies to people, {couples}, teams and households. Brent makes a speciality of trauma therapy, addictions and brainspotting remedy.

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