5 Steps to Heal After Witnessing Traumatic Events

personal development May 25, 2021
5 Steps to Heal After Witnessing Traumatic Events

How to recover from emotional trauma?

Unless you live under a rock, chances are you’ve had a front row seat to the uproar concerning police brutality and racial injustice in recent weeks.  Widespread protests and debates were set off following the appalling killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN.  In the midst of all the commotion, not only have people viewed firsthand footage of Mr. Floyd’s death, but there has been a torrent of gruesome and disturbing imagery both in traditional media and on the Internet.  While it’s important to stay informed about sensitive situations as they evolve, be careful not to get trapped in an echo-chamber of nonstop turmoil.


Your Sanity is at Risk

Being exposed to traumatic events isn’t a trivial thing.  Depending on what you’ve seen, your mental health could be affected for a much longer time than you realize in the present.  The American Psychiatric Association suggests that after encountering a disaster “many people experience distressing thoughts, feelings, and physical symptoms and may engage in risky behaviors to help cope. Some may develop psychiatric disorders, like depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. The impacts and reactions can happen immediately or may appear after some time.” Here are a few things you should do to preserve your mental health in the midst of chaos and unrest:


1) Grieve

The reason why you feel disturbed by everything you’ve seen is because your conscience knows it’s wrong.  Don’t suppress this instinct.  Grieving is necessary to purge the body of shock.  Whether privately or with others, hold a vigil so that you can acknowledge the significance of the moment.

2) Activate Your Support Systems

A burden shared, is a burden halved.  Reach out to someone you can talk to, or confide in, about your distress.  Find a way to vent or exchange reassurance with other people.  Don’t allow negative emotions to build up in your heart without letting off some steam.

3) Find a Healthy Distraction

If you have a hobby or recreational activity which can take your mind off of things without being insensitive, then take some time off to be with your thoughts.  Give your brain some space to reset from processing disturbing information.

4) Motivate Yourself with Affirmations

Discouragement is a paralyzing force.  Unfortunately, moments of adversity are exactly when optimism is needed most.  Even if it feels like the sky is falling, keep reminding yourself that it’s possible for things to get better.  Keep hope alive for a brighter tomorrow.

5) Do Something to Make Things Right

If your conscience is disturbed by a problem you have the power to solve, then you won’t have peace without trying to make things right.  Find out ways that you can pitch in to make a positive difference, and use your resources to right what is wrong.  Ignoring the situation will only torment you with guilt.



Nobody’s saying you should bury your head in the sand when bad things happen.  But what you should be careful of is exposing yourself to an overwhelming amount of traumatizing information.  Don’t spend hours and hours scrolling through videos and memes of conflict.  Don’t glue yourself to 24-hour news networks without taking a step back to process and meditate.  Establish some structure in the way you consume information, and be mindful of your emotional state throughout. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative courses, workshops and events listed on our websites and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Academy can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success. For business development coaching by Richard Martinez, call at 626-202-2291 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


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