7 Trauma-Informed Coping Mechanisms That Really Work

guy sitting at windowTrauma is very difficult to cope with and can have lasting effects on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. It is important to find ways to effectively manage the impacts of trauma and to create a sense of safety and stability. Coping mechanisms are tools that can be used to help individuals who have experienced trauma to process their emotions and move forward. Finding healthy coping mechanisms and not falling into self-destructive habits can be challenging though. 

Here are seven trauma-informed coping mechanisms that can help individuals reclaim their lives and heal from their trauma.

  1. Identify your emotions
    When you have experienced trauma, it can be difficult to recognise and identify your emotions. You may feel overwhelmed by intense feelings of fear, anxiety, or even panic. It is important to understand and identify your emotions in order to cope with trauma and begin to heal.

    When it comes to how to cope with trauma, there are a variety of coping tools available to help you better understand your emotions. One approach is to take time to pause and check in with yourself on a regular basis. Ask yourself, what am I feeling right now? Allow yourself to name and acknowledge the emotion without judgement. Acknowledging and accepting your emotions can help you process them more effectively. If you have difficulty identifying your emotions it can be beneficial to keep a journal. Writing down what you are experiencing and feeling will give you a voice and help you to get some clarity on what you are feeling in a specific moment.

    Acknowledging and accepting your emotions can also be helpful for those who have experienced abuse or any other form of trauma. Practising emotional awareness can be a powerful tool in your mental health journey. Taking the time to identify your emotions and learning how to cope with them will help you start the healing process.

  2. Understand your triggers
    One of the most important steps in learning how to cope with trauma is understanding your triggers. Triggers are memories, feelings, or situations that can cause a person to experience a sense of panic, anxiety, or distress. These triggers can be associated with past trauma and can cause physical, emotional, and psychological distress. It’s important to take the time to identify and understand what triggers your traumatic memories, so you can better manage them and avoid being overwhelmed.

    To better understand your triggers, consider what emotions or thoughts arise when you experience certain events or situations. You may also want to explore your past traumas and examine how they may have impacted your current mental health. By identifying and understanding your triggers, you can begin to develop effective coping tools that can help you manage your trauma-related stress and anxiety.

    Triggers are unique to each individual, and everyone has different strategies for managing them. Some strategies might include learning relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation, or seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor. Avoiding your triggers is not a realistic long-term solution, but with the right coping tools and support, you can begin to process and heal from the trauma in a healthy and safe way.

  3. Find the right support
    When it comes to learning how to cope with trauma, you don’t have to go at it alone. It can be difficult to overcome the feelings of helplessness, anger, and fear that often accompany traumatic experiences such as abuse by yourself. Therefore, it’s important to reach out for the right kind of support to help you in your healing process.

    Finding a qualified mental health professional is an important step when it comes to managing your recovery. A therapist or counsellor can provide you with coping tools and strategies that may make it easier for you to work through your trauma. Additionally, these professionals can provide a safe and supportive environment in which to process your feelings and learn how to cope with trauma more effectively.

    In addition to professional support, finding people who understand what you’re going through can also be extremely helpful. Whether it’s a friend, family member, support group, or online community, having someone to talk to and lean on can make a big difference when you’re trying to cope with traumatic experiences.

    No matter what type of support you seek, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to reach out for help. Finding people who understand your experiences and can offer emotional support is a crucial part of the healing process. By taking the time to identify the kind of support that works best for you, you can take the first step toward reclaiming your life.

  4. Avoid isolating yourself
    When it comes to coping with trauma, a lot of people tend to isolate themselves. After experiencing a traumatic event, it can be easy to retreat into yourself and try to block out the outside world. This can make the healing process more difficult and can even exacerbate symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Isolating is a self-destructive pattern that in the long run does more harm than good. Being aware of what you are doing and avoiding isolating yourself can be one of the most important steps in the healing process.

    It’s important to remember that you don’t have to face trauma alone. Connecting with loved ones, attending counselling or therapy, or joining a support group are all great coping tools to help you find comfort in difficult times. Even if you feel like you don’t need any support right now, having people who you can talk to and who understand what you are going through can be incredibly helpful. Remember, even small moments of connection and support can make a huge difference in your recovery.

  5. Develop a self-care routine
    When it comes to how to cope with trauma, developing a self-care routine can be one of the most powerful coping tools. This means setting aside time for yourself to relax and engage in activities that help you manage your emotions and stress levels. Your self-care routine can be as simple as taking a walk, reading a book, or meditating. Or, it can include activities like yoga, journaling, art therapy, or talking to a therapist. No matter what activities you choose, the important thing is to set aside regular time to focus on your mental health.

    The key to an effective self-care routine is to find activities that make you feel relaxed and empowered; something that recharges you. Do activities that bring joy and happiness into your life and make you feel good about yourself. You can read more about self-care here.

    It’s also important to remember that self-care is an ongoing process, so don’t beat yourself up if you have a hard time sticking with it. Allow yourself some flexibility to adjust your routine if something isn’t working out. With some practice, you’ll find the right combination of activities that help you stay grounded and in tune with your emotions.

  6. Give yourself some time
    When you’ve experienced trauma, it can be difficult to move forward in your life. One of the most important coping tools is to give yourself some time. Take a break from your everyday activities and focus on simply taking care of yourself. This can help you manage your feelings and take a step back from stressful situations.

    Allow yourself to process your emotions without judgement or fear. Give yourself permission to experience whatever comes up, whether it’s anger, sadness, confusion or something else. Recognise that these emotions are normal and valid responses to what you’ve experienced.

    It may also be helpful to practice self-compassion and understand that healing takes time. By giving yourself space and understanding, you’re taking an important step toward recovery. It’s okay to take things slowly and make adjustments as needed. Everyone experiences trauma differently, and the healing process is different for everyone as well. So just be patient with yourself.

    Create a plan for how to cope with trauma in a healthy way. Consider activities that you enjoy and that can help restore your mental health and wellbeing, such as yoga, art, journaling or taking walks in nature. It’s also important to include meaningful connections with people who care about you and provide support.

    Ultimately, it’s essential to give yourself time to heal from traumatic experiences and not rush the process. By doing this, you can gain clarity and strength to move forward in your life.

  7. Seek professional help
    When trying to cope with trauma, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Reaching out for professional help can be a powerful coping tool. Mental health professionals, such as counsellors, psychiatrists, and psychologists, can provide invaluable guidance in helping you work through traumatic experiences. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotions associated with your trauma, a professional can provide the space and expertise to work through it.

    At first, it might feel intimidating to open up to someone like a counsellor about your trauma. However, having someone to talk to who is objective and understanding can help you find effective ways to deal with the pain and fear associated with your trauma. They can also provide coping tools to help you manage symptoms and get back on track.

    Finally, it’s important to remember that seeking professional help is an act of self-care. It shows that you’re taking steps to improve your mental health and prioritize your wellbeing. If you’re struggling to cope with trauma, don’t hesitate to reach out for help – it could be the start of a life-changing journey.

Scroll to Top