Traumatic experiences can range from accidents to natural disasters, and they can leave lasting scars on the people who experience them. If you're one of these individuals, however, you don't have to let your trauma rule your life. You can start identifying, processing and working through your feelings with these helpful tips.

Understand Your Triggers

"Triggers" are moments or memories that remind you of the trauma that you've experienced. They might be directly related to the incident, or they might be seemingly random things that just so happen to cause a similar fight-or-flight response in your brain. Understanding your triggers can help you to either avoid or confront them depending on the path that you want to take towards healing. If you are unable to pinpoint specific events that trigger you, speaking with a mental health professional regularly can help you identify, understand and cope with these triggers.

Consider Different Treatment Methods

Talking to a therapist is one of the most common ways to work through trauma, but there are additional treatment methods that you can try individually or with their help. For example, you can engage in heart rate variability (HRV) training to recognize when you're having a fear response to outside stimuli. You can try eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to re-program the way that your brain reacts to certain triggers. These things aren't guaranteed to work, but under the care of a qualified professional, you can make an attempt and see what happens.

Seek Legal Assistance

It's worth seeking out the services of a legal professional or injury lawyer after a traumatic accident. This is especially true if the accident wasn't your fault. A good lawyer can assist with everything from filing a lawsuit to obtaining a written apology from the people who wronged you, and not only can this help with closure, but it can also put some money in your pocket to pay for therapy, hospital visits or missed bills while you can't work.

Utilize Relaxation Techniques

You're probably familiar with the soothing effects of a hot bath, but there are other things that you can try as well. For example, yoga can gently stretch and relax the body, and meditative breathing techniques can help you calm down and find your center. Massage can be used to relieve some of the physical symptoms of PTSD. Don't be afraid to think of relaxation techniques as their own kind of medicine. Additionally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Relaxation for you might mean knitting or listening to music when someone else relaxes by running and boxing. Whatever works for you and is part of a healthy routine is appropriate for the healing process.

Be gentle with yourself after a traumatic experience. It's okay if you need some time to process your emotions and figure out what you want to do, especially if the trauma is recent. Think of these tips as potential guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules that you have to follow right away. There's no shame in taking things slowly. Remember that everyone heals at different paces and in different ways.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, home, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.