How to cope with trauma and become stronger

I remember the first time in my life I experienced what I could really call trauma – I moved high schools. I went from this lovely private girl’s school to a big and rough government school. In that move, I lost all my friends. I lost everything that I was good at and had formed a part of my identity. I had never experienced anything like it and it left a scar. There was bullying. It wasn’t fun.

It was traumatic.

Trauma is a part of life. It will come regardless of how hard you run from it, how careful you are and how much you avoid things of pain. Maybe it’s a career change or it’s a divorce. Maybe it’s a break up or an illness of some kind.

If you are less resilient you are not weak.

We all deal with pain and trials differently. It may not affect your friend if she breaks up with her boyfriend but you may find it very difficult to get over this. She may be able to say, “oh that, we’re just friends now. I’ve moved on,” while it may take you 6 months to feel like you can get up and go again. We all have different levels of resilience and endurance in different places. Some of us get ill quickly. Some of us struggle with moods and anxiety. If it’s traumatic to you, it’s valid.

Know yourself

It isn’t a competition. Know what makes you feel better and stronger. What is it that drives you and get’s you back when you are tired and demotivated? Know your triggers and your downsides. If every time you spend time with a specific person it affects you negatively, then monitor this time.

Make sure that you are intentional about creating community for yourself.

Don’t overdramatize every event

It can be easy to become caught in the circle of drama, instead of recognising what is actually traumatic as opposed to what is just looking for attention. If you can say to yourself that you don’t often feel this way then I would say you are going through a rough patch and don’t need to worry about being a drama queen.

How to cope and become stronger

Be flexible

The sooner you realise that life won’t always go according to your plan the more resilient you will become.

Stress less

Figure out what works for you and what helps you to destress. If you are less stressed then you will deal with the traumas of life better.

Don’t deny help

When things go wrong it’s often easy to shut down and withdraw. This should never be the option you select. Always depend on people and let your close friends and family assist in carrying the burden.

Practice acceptance

It’s hard, but sometimes you have to force yourself to accept the situation. Even though it’s not fair and not what you would want. It’s the only way you are able to move through to the other side.

Be grateful

The best way to go through life, is to stay grateful. When we have a grateful heart we open ourselves up to the good in life in addition to all the pain and the difficulty. There is always something good, no matter the situation.

Remember this will all be a memory. No matter how much you hurt right now, it will get better.

You can always talk to God in your trauma and difficulties. Although He doesn’t always give you the answer you want, He does promise to be with us through tough times and give us a peace which passes our understanding.

Questions or comments? We’d love to hear what you think.

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