Swallowing your anxiety and bottling up your emotions has negative long-term ramifications. You may be able to skate by with this strategy for a couple of days; however, moving on from a traumatic event without acknowledging that it happened will be challenging. Learning how to cope with trauma after a car accident involves acknowledging it happened, talking through it, and finding your happy place.
Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends
After acknowledging it happened and accepting that your feelings are valid, it doesn’t hurt to talk to a friend about what’s happening. Getting it off your chest might help you absorb the physical and mental anguish you’re experiencing, particularly if you open up to someone you trust.
Find Some Support
While talking to a close friend or family member has benefits, it’s not always easy to share your emotions with someone near and dear to you. Sometimes, it’s easier to open up to others who have experienced the same thing.
Going to a support group for those recently in a car accident could help you move on. Since you can relate to every person there because of your personal experience, you will have a small circle of individuals who know exactly how you feel. In turn, you can open up without feeling judged.
Seek Professional Help
If talking to a friend or a support group doesn’t suffice, and you’re still replaying the horrific incident, it might be time to get professional help. A therapist can advise and assist you as you go over your trauma. Additionally, a therapist listens intently to you during your time together. Other than guiding you through your feelings, they can also prescribe something if there is a severe mental stranglehold.
Stay Active & Positive
Even if it is tempting to spend the whole day in bed, being active may help you deal with trauma. You can activate your endorphins when you are doing something you enjoy. Those good vibes can make you forget about your trauma and get you in a positive frame of mind.
Once you have a positive mindset, you can think of everything that makes you happy. You can think of yourself as Wendy and the other Darling children in Peter Pan as you manifest your happy thoughts to fly to Neverland. There may be no magical place to drift off to like in the book, but you can find your version of Neverland at home.
Hopefully, you navigated through your thoughts with the help of a friend, support group, or therapist, leading you to get up and do the things you love. Now, the last thing you can do is sit back and relax. You can do this in several ways—for example, you could read a good book or roll out a yoga mat. Yet, the most beneficial form of relaxation is getting a massage.
A massage is mentally relaxing, and a massage therapist can focus on the parts of your body that hurt the most. If you don’t have the time or don’t like the feeling of someone strange touching your body, you can opt for a massage chair to relieve stress after your accident.
Everyone learns how to cope with trauma after a car accident in a way that best suits them. These ideas aren’t universal since everyone copes in different ways. Nevertheless, exploring these options should yield positive results for many undergoing the same ordeal.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her outdoors and performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.