Tips To Cope Up With PTSD At Workplace

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that hinders the daily functioning of oneself. PTSD is caused by exposure to serious, traumatic events, such as near-death experience, serious injury or sexual harassment, disastrous events like fires, wars, accidents, robberies, accidents, etc. Nightmares and flashbacks are your common companions. Every day is a task since you’ve to deal with stress, trauma, anxiety, combined with several emotions of fear, anger, frustration, etc. While facing such severe mental health problems, staying in one place and focusing on work can be very difficult. You are only physically in the office, but mentally your mind keeps you busy with swirling negative thoughts. 

PTSD can be triggered any time, anywhere. Working for long hours, completing projects, interacting with people, etc.  may lead to emotional outbursts, problems in concentration, difficulty in processing information or talking to co-workers, being startled easily, panic attacks, having flashbacks, etc. Hence, it is important that you have a mental health treatment. 

  • Know your triggers

It is possible that when you’re at the workplace there might be few objects or things that may trigger the flashes of the traumatic event. Prevention is better than cure- The first step in coping up with PTSD is to know your triggers. Knowing your triggers will help you avoid them, and null the possibility of you having flashbacks during the workplace. Flashbacks can be triggered by simple reminders of the tragic event such as sound, object, image, smell, or a place and person, etc. If the tragic event has happened at the workplace, it becomes very difficult for the person to concentrate and the person can be in a constant state of hyperarousal. Identifying these triggers can help you nip them in the bud. Flashbacks are uncertain and can occur at any time of the day. By maintaining a diary you can keep track of when, where, how, and why the flashbacks occur. Once you know that cause of trigger, you can consciously avoid them and try to keep yourself engaged with other things. This way your focus will be shifted from the tragic memories and you can concentrate at work. 

  • Decorate your office desk 

Decorating the environment around you will make you comfortable and happy. Place pictures you like, mini plants, or other decorative things that will remind you of happy memories or give you a sense of security. Since flashbacks can be triggered at any time of the day, keeping things that give you happy vibes will shift your attention to something else when a flashback occurs. You can also decorate your office desk with fresh flowers so that you can smell. Hang quotes that motivate you and help you concentrate on work. 

  • A few tricks that help 

There a few tricks that you can try to calm down yourselves and quickly move you out of fight, flight, or freeze mode. Chewing gum can help you relieve stress, reduce salivary groups cortisol levels. You can also try chanting or humming, When you repeatedly chant “OM” you can feel a sound vibration through your vocal cords that helps clear all the sinuses, bring down your blood pressure and relieve stress. Keep a stress ball handy. It will boost blood circulation and also relieve stress. You can also use an app to track your symptoms of trauma. Keep a soft pillow or a blanket that makes you feel safe. 

  • Grounding techniques 

Grounding is an effective way to treat PTSD flashbacks or nightmares is to learn grounding techniques. When you have flashbacks or nightmares, you lose touch with reality and everything around you feels surreal. Grounding techniques use the 5 senses – Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. a and brings you back to reality. Here are a of grounding techniques you can use- 

  • Sight- Make a list of steps you can do to cope up with flashbacks, this can be things you write to yourself to remind you of the present. You can also start counting the furniture or counting numbers in your head, thus you can effectively distract yourself. 
  • Smell- take a whiff of coffee or perfume of your choice. These scents will help you relax and soothe you. 
  • Sound- Listen to loud music while working. You can also talk to a co-worker who can talk you out of it. 
  • Taste- Grab a lemon and bite into it. You can also use chocolates, or warm soup, hot beverages, etc.
  • Touch – take a piece of ice and run it down your skin. Try popping bubble wrap. Massage your temples. Hug someone near you, your close friend at work, or even pillows and blankets. This will give you a sense of security. 


  • Communication 

It is a tendency to avoid social interaction when you’ve gone through a traumatic event. You may feel embarrassed to talk about what you’ve gone through or even have a shock from the debilitating experience. Hence, avoiding people may feel like an easy option. However, being alone will only give you more time to stress over the past. Even at work, you may overindulge yourself in work, however you should go easy on yourself. Confined in someone close at your workplace. Talking to people around you will help you vent out your feelings and give you a sense of support. 

  • Consider counseling 

If you have serious symptoms of PTSD for a long duration, it is better to seek neurocritical help. Many offices have in-house counseling, whom you can approach to find some basic help. Sharing with a professional will help you cope up with PTSD. A therapist will look after you and direct you to take the right steps. Apart from this, you’ll be talking to someone who can attend to your mental needs and give solutions to all your questions. They will help you regain your composure and draw you out from the tragic shock. 

  • Maintain a Journal

Writing in a journal will help you cope up with PTSD. Start by writing your deepest feelings, thoughts, experiences of the traumatic experience. Later while you;re at work, make observations on things that upset you, things that did not go as you had planned. Also, note down things that were good in the day. At the end of the day, you can read them out aloud and find the silver lining amid everything.