It is hard to imagine losing everything you own in just a few minutes. Many in Louisiana right now are still reeling from the devastation. Please Pray for Louisiana. I just received a request to volunteer in Louisiana, however I will be leaving for an assignment in Alaska, August 22nd.
In the meantime pray for the families and responders heading to Louisiana. Below are some ways you can help if you are in the midst of a crisis and trauma.
Here are 4 methods for healing from post-traumatic stress.
1. Move your body to disperse stress chemicals. When a trauma occurs, our first reaction is to freeze like a deer in headlights, take flight without thinking or flood with emotions that are out of control and many times do things we would not normally do. We hold our breath and tense our muscles. Meanwhile, our brains are being flooded with stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and histamine. It’s vitally important to move your body to disperse these chemicals so the trauma doesn’t become frozen into muscle memory. To recover from anxiety and fear related to trauma, gentle stretching or restorative (gentle) yoga can help you to release and recover a sense of inner peace and feelings of safety and security.
2. Stay away from news reports. It’s easy to fall into the trap of obsessively reading or watching news stories, to try to make sense of tragedy. There’s also a belief that news gives you more control, safety, and knowledge of what to expect next. However, studies show that traumatic news stories flood the brain and body with the same amount of stress hormones as if the trauma had occurred to you personally. This can lead to Secondary PTSD, and the symptoms of PTSD (flashbacks, anxiety, worries about safety, feeling unsafe and insecure, addictions, etc.). Limit your exposure to news stories. If you feel anxious while hearing about news, be sure to engage in stretching exercises to disperse the stress chemicals. This is especially true for the elderly or shut-in. Please check on them and make certain they aren’t on media overload.
3. Listen to gentle music. Soothing meditation music lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and soothes us like a lullaby. Pandora Radio has a gentle music station called Nature, or you can search for music genres like “Spa music,” “Worship music,” or “Nature Sounds” to find soothing background music. I highly recommend playing soothing music at home, at work, and in the car. Please note: Sometimes the sound of rain can trigger additional trauma in the cases of flooding. Please be aware and cautious of this.
4. Spirituality. When tragedy occurs, it may test your faith. Still, studies show that those who have spiritual or religious beliefs have healthier responses to traumatic events. Believing in God’s protective power, and/or “that everything happens for a reason” helps you to feel peaceful. You retain a sense of safety, instead of believing the world is dangerous and haphazard. Praying and meditating are instantly effective ways to heal from stress and anxiety.
If post-traumatic symptoms continue or interfere with your relationships, job, or other functioning, please seek professional treatment from a trauma-specialist therapist. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Email me at CinderellaReleased@gmail.com or 24/7 prayer 850-661-6104.