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The Transition House, Inc.

How to cope with trauma

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Trauma is an emotional and psychological response that occurs when a person experiences something frightening, upsetting or disturbing. Traumatic experiences can range from natural disasters to military combat and could include events like surviving a car accident or sexual assault. Feeling anxiety, nervousness or grief after a traumatic event is common. Fortunately, most people are resilient and are able to recover after a traumatic experience. Here are a few things you can do to cope with trauma.

Healthy coping skills to heal from trauma

  • Remember that healing takes time. It’s okay to grieve and mourn. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself the time you need to move on.

  • Share your experience with people who can relate. Join a support group at a counseling center or speak with friends who empathize with your experience and care about you.

  • Maintain healthy habits like eating a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated and getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. Stress can take a toll on your physical health, so do what you can to feel rested and nourished.

  • Get back to your daily routines. Eating and sleeping at regular times and returning to work can help you feel normal again.

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol which can prevent you from actively coping with trauma and may even delay healing.

  • Try not to make major life decisions like moving or switching jobs. Big life changes can cause additional stress.

  • Express what you’re feeling by keeping a journal or creating art. Communicating your experience can help you cope.

  • Speak with a counselor if you have trouble coping on your own.


While recovering from a traumatic experience is possible, prolonged distress can be a sign of something more. If you are having trouble moving on and find it hard to return to normal, psychotherapy and, if necessary, medication can help.

Understanding the symptoms of trauma is a good first step to getting the help you need. The good news is PTSD is treatable, and healing is possible. Take an assessment or contact one of our counseling centers to find the treatment that’s right for you.

Request an appointment at TTHI Counseling Center

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