Learning techniques to manage the symptoms of trauma, such as anxiety, panic, flashbacks, and triggers, is crucial for the journey of healing and recovery. These techniques can help you regain a sense of control, reduce the intensity of symptoms, and promote overall well-being.
Grounding techniques are strategies that help you stay present and connected to the current moment, allowing you to detach from negative thoughts, flashbacks, or feeling disconnected. Examples of grounding techniques include focusing on the five senses, observing your environment, and engaging in activities that promote a sense of stability and safety. Deep breathing exercises can help you regulate your emotions and activate the body's relaxation response. By focusing on your breath and practicing slow, deep inhales and exhales, you can reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
Below are some examples of these techniques. By incorporating them into your daily life, you can develop a toolkit for managing the symptoms of trauma and promoting your healing and recovery.
After a trauma, it’s normal to experience flashbacks, anxiety, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Grounding techniques help control these symptoms by turning attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing on the present moment
This technique is especially useful when you're feeling overwhelmed by a swirl of thoughts and feelings. It’s a simple exercise to centre yourself and connect with the world around you (to drop anchor).
This is a deep breathing technique that can help you slow down your breathing, clear your mind, and decrease stress in your body. It is a simple but powerful relaxation technique that can be practiced anywhere and is useful in stressful situations when you want to re-centre yourself or improve concentration.
The Observing Thoughts and Allowing Them to Pass exercise is a mindfulness practice that is helpful for reducing stress and anxiety, improving focus and concentration, and enhancing self-compassion. It involves non-judgmentally observing and letting go of thoughts as they arise.
This is a relaxation technique used to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and induce a state of calmness by systematically tensing and then relaxing various muscle groups in the body.
The RAIN Technique is a mindfulness practice used for self-compassion and emotional healing. RAIN is an acronym that stands for Recognise, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture.
When the limbic (fight or flight) system is in a state of extreme arousal, it may be difficult for us to regulate our emotions. Similarly, when a computer is working so hard that it is overheating, it will eventually become overloaded and freeze. The only way to recover from this is to restart the system, thereby returning it to a working state.