Navigating the Storm: Strategies for Coping with Traumatic Stress

Traumatic stress is the result of a cataclysmically terrifying or disturbing experience. The emotional and physiological after-effects from experiencing or witnessing deeply traumatic events can send you into shock. If a person has been through an event where there was a real threat of death, sexual violence, or severe injury, then you could be diagnosed with this condition.

A traumatic stress response is pretty standard and expected after terrifying things happen. Nevertheless, if not treated properly, they can result in long-term problems. Fortunately, there are effective ways to deal with and manage the symptoms of traumatic stress. Continue reading to know more about traumatic stress, and the ways to manage and mitigate its impacts on mental health effectively.

Common Reactions to Trauma

A variety of reactions may result from exposure to a traumatic experience:

  • Emotional: Stunned feeling, refusal to acknowledge what happened, rage, terror, guilt, shame, mourning, despair, and shock.
  • Cognitive: Nightmares; flashbacks; bewilderment; focus problems; amnesia.
  • Physical: Nausea; migraines; tiredness; chest pains; digestive upsets; muscle tightness.
  • Behavioral: Isolation; alarm reaction/sudden frightful startle response/jumpiness at any unexpected noise or movement; bad temper/irritability; constant vigilance/watchfulness/preparedness for danger/being on guard against possible threats/avoidance.


Remember that these responses are how your mind and body react instinctively when in danger. They can last for several weeks or months as you process it. They begin to disappear gradually over time with support.

Healthy Coping Strategies for Trauma

However hard you try you cannot make traumatic stress responses vanish overnight but there are constructive ways of handling them:

  • Allow yourself some time to heal and let yourself heal whenever that is possible do not rush yourself into “getting over it” faster than your body wants you to after all healing takes time.
  • Stay connected with those who care about you and whom you feel safe around. Social support can be beneficial here.
  • Stick to your routines wherever possible as this will help add stability while regaining inner balance.
  • Avoid the media if possible to avoid being overwhelmed by traumatic reminders. Unplug occasionally.
  • Avoid the media if possible to avoid being overwhelmed by traumatic reminders. Unplug occasionally.
  • Share your feelings in words, tears, paper, or paint—whatever works best for you to let go of pent-up emotions.
  • If you feel anxious or disconnected, use grounding techniques like deep breathing to soothe your nervous system. This is about calming your nerves.
  • Engaging in any physical activity will decrease stress hormones and increase feelings of well-being. Even such gentle activities as walking are helpful.
  • Use relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and nature exposure for a calm mind.
  • You must get enough sleep, food, and water to maintain a healthy brain. This requires support from the brain.


Do not do anything that could harm you further such as excessive alcohol intake/drug consumption/risky behaviors. All of these only worsen trauma impact in the long run albeit tempting at times.

If any symptoms persist, consider trauma-focused therapy or trauma counseling in NYC. There is no need to be ashamed when one is seeking help dealing with a devastating experience.

Remember that things like bad dreams or flashbacks should not worry you because it’s temporary after trauma. Still, if you notice an increase instead of a decrease in their frequency over a period of two or more months it’s time to consult a trauma psychotherapist in New York, who may be helpful.

When to Seek Help

Nightmares, flashbacks, emotional numbness, hypervigilance, memory impairment as well as impaired relationships and daily functioning are among the lasting effects of traumatizing experiences.

It would be advisable that upon realization of persistent trauma symptoms spanning several weeks or months which interfere with one’s sleep patterns; work performance; concentration levels or even everyday life activities call for professional assistance before it’s too late.

For instance, there are good trauma specialists in NYC who provide cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), support groups; medications; somatic therapies, etc.

Don’t struggle alone, ask your doctor for referrals, check out provider directories, call local clinics and advocates, and look at your insurance plan. You can also consider scheduling a consultation with Gita Sawhney at GS Mental Health & Wellness Centre in Manhattan, New York. Trauma recovery is possible with time, effort, and competent guidance. You should feel safe and healed.

Reclaiming Your Power

After the trauma, it is expected to feel powerless and shocked by what occurred. Eventually, you can dig deep inside yourself to regain strength and control. These strategies include:

  • Always remind yourself, “This trauma does not define me.” You are a complex, tenacious human being with inherent worth.
  • Recognizing triggers and implementing grounding plans for managing them. This allows one to maintain composure.
  • Find those things that bring meaning, purpose, or growth to life besides the trauma; these rekindle hope.
  • Set achievable goals each day that can help build confidence and competence. Celebrate every success.
  • Asserting oneself and advocating for what one needs to reinforce power and control in interactions.
  • Look for ways in which you can support others. Service empowers the helper as well as heals trauma.
  • Put back activities that are delighting or enlivening. It reconnects you with life.


Another way to go is exploring mind-body treatments such as yoga and martial arts that enhance body awareness and capability.

FAQs About Strategies
for Coping with Traumatic Stress

Q1. When should medication be used for severe trauma?

If severe flashbacks, insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks, or depression continue even after therapy and coping mechanisms are fully implemented, it may be important to consider an assessment for medication. Only take medicine prescribed by your physician.

Q2. How long do traumatic stress symptoms typically last?

This varies but often many individuals gradually improve over six to twelve months with good self-care and professional help when necessary for trauma treatment in New York. Symptoms may fluctuate, increasing and decreasing in intensity, over the years. The path is different for everyone; progress occurs at one’s own pace.

Q3. What should I do if traumatic stress symptoms don’t improve over time?

If after months following the traumatic event symptoms such as flashbacks, emotional numbing or severe anxiety continue at their original levels or increase further then seeing a qualified counselor or therapist who can help process the trauma in a controlled and supervised environment is often helpful. This can help symptoms go down to a manageable level.

Schedule your Consultation Today

It requires time and bravery to maneuver through the darkest moments of the storm, but you are unyielding at heart. With compassion, faith, and the belief that healing is possible, you can withstand destructive storms and regain your inner harmony.

If you are searching for the right place to heal from your traumatic stress, make an appointment with Gita Sawhney, at GS Mental Health & Wellness Center, Manhattan New York. Just keep moving forward and there will be skies full of blue and brighter days.

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