Tricks for Managing Stress

According to Bruce Perry, trauma expert (Full Lecture here), you can deal with trauma using 3 steps, in this order:

  1. Regulate emotions:

–Create some structure and predictability: make routines, plan your day.

–Institute some kinds of movement, even for 5 minutes, several times a day. Use patterned, repetitive activity, like walking.

–Limit (dose) incoming information, and be sure the source is reliable.

–Pay attention to breathing: becoming aware, mindful.

–Allow your mind to rest: stop doing and trying, sit and do nothing for a bit (i.e., meditate).

–Journal or write about your experience.

2. Relate to someone, somehow:

–Contact someone you care about or who cares about you.

–Do movement with someone (this gives you TWO tools!).

–Do lovingkindness meditation.  Begin with yourself, and then move to each person in your life.

–Write a letter.

–Ask for help.

–Avoid dysregulating relationship experience; try not to give time or attention to people who generate negative emotion that impacts you badly.

3. Reason

–Distinguish what you can know from speculation or worry.

–Only accept credible sources of information.

–Acknowledge uncertainty and lack of control. Have compassion for the experience for yourself and other people.

–Recognize that many great minds are working on the problem.

–Remember other times you have managed difficult situations.

–Remind yourself that everything can be all right, even after a trauma.


About norasblog

I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Chicago.
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