Recovering from traumatic experiences

traumatic experience recovery

7 Steps to recover after trauma

A traumatic experience such as the death of a loved one, divorce or being made redundant from work can cause you unforgettable pain.

Unfortunately, experiencing trauma can sometimes lead to severe depression and other health complications.

Some of the biggest problems people face with recovering are they don’t know where to start and how to keep living.

It’s important to remember that life goes on and even if you hit a rough patch, you are a healthy person who can live a happy life again.

Below is a list of steps to help you heal from a traumatic experience; however, keep in mind that recovery is an individual experience and is different for everyone.

1. Accept that what you’re feeling is normal

Know that it’s ok to feel the way you do and don’t be ashamed to admit it. By allowing yourself to feel emotions, you are giving yourself the chance to begin the recovery process. No one should feel a “certain way” while recovering. Whatever you feel is very personal.

2. Express what you are feeling

Seek counselling and maintain close communication with family and friends. You need to express what you’re feeling in order to understand what you’re going through. Be open and honest; hold nothing back.

3. Maintain a daily routine

Return to “normal” as soon as you can. Having a routine not only helps to take your mind off things, but also provides a sense of safety and stability. Keep a healthy balance of your work and social life.

4. Be patient with yourself

Don’t get frustrated with yourself if you don’t recover as fast as you think you should. Everyone is different and will need a different amount of time to process traumatic experiences. Healing could take months or years–the important thing is to keep looking forward.

5. Turn a negative into a positive

Even the most horrible situations can have a positive impact, even if it’s as simple as giving you a new outlook on life. Don’t dwell on the negative and try to find something positive about what you’re dealing with.

6. Make time for yourself

Give yourself time to do things you enjoy–read a book at the park, drink a cup of tea on the porch, or go for a walk. Make time every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to do something you enjoy.

7. Allow yourself to let go

This is probably the hardest step in the recovery process. The moment you stop pointing the blame is the moment you free yourself from the past. Accept reality and give yourself the power to become free again.

Remember, recovery after traumatic experiences can be difficult for many people, but the human psyche can recover and grow.

Where to get help

Phoenix Australia has been Australia’s National Centre of Excellence in Post Traumatic Mental Health, with internationally recognised leaders in their field, for over 25 years.

The Blackdog Institute is the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan, its aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone

The Heal For Life Foundation has residential programs that empower people to heal from childhood trauma as part of a holistic approach to trauma counselling and healing.

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