6 Ways to Overcome Devastation

Devastating, traumatizing stress is one of the most unpleasant traumatic experiences we can have. Whether it’s news of the unexpected death of a loved one, a serious illness, financial loss, violence, the loss of a relationship, there’s a kind of stress that makes simply staying in our bodies a Herculean task. I’ve experienced this kind of pain on several occasions. Taking the actions below helped me navigate those choppy waters, and come out on the other side a bit more battered, but also more whole.

1. Homeopathic support – A friend told me years ago about a man whose wife died during a dental procedure. They had five children. Can you imagine? An ordinary day turned horrifically tragic. A close friend of the distraught man insisted that he take Dr. Bach’s Rescue formula diluted in water. After several glasses of the Rescue formula-infused water, the man began to feel a bit better oriented to face his new reality. When I first heard this story, I was highly skeptical. Yet, when faced with an intense crisis, my willingness to receive help from any and all sources led me to the health food store, where I picked up the Rescue formula. The intensity of my stress did lift on and off, as I took the formula, and applied the other principles below. Whenever I felt myself veering off track again, I’d take the drops, and would shortly return closer to equilibrium. If you’re skeptical, as I was, I’d encourage you to give it a try. You’ve nothing to lose, but have peace of mind to gain.

2. Friends and family – Unless you’ve been Scrooge all of your life, there’s nothing like a crisis to show you how loved you are. When under extreme stress, do not isolate. Reach out to people in whose presence you feel safe, or who you know can keep a confidence. Trust your intuition. You know who to turn to. You know who will make it worse. The love you receive may take many forms: a shoulder to cry on, a warm meal, free babysitting, keys to a country house, a massage. Be open to receiving the comfort and care offered by those who care about you.

3. Physical anchors – Tending to simple physical tasks such as eating, staying hydrated, sleeping, and basic grooming is a respectable accomplishment when we’re mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. When wondering what to do next, gently ask yourself, “Am I hungry, thirsty, or tired? Have I brushed my teeth, showered, combed my hair?” These are the times when your motto should be, “Easy does it.”

4. Keep moving – If you are able, exercise. The release of adrenaline and the boosting of serotonin in your system will help ease anxieties.

5. Have faith – Crises test our faith. I’m not talking about our belief in specific dogma, but our overall confidence that we are appropriate for living, that we can ride the waves, that, ultimately, we will be okay. If you have faith in a Higher Power, now is a good time to pray, to pour out your heart, to be still and listen. A few minutes of meditation can help you watch the noise going in your head and, perhaps for only moments at a time, detach from it, recognizing that you are bigger than what is happening to you, and that your life will go on despite the pain you’re in.

6. Know you’re not alone – Everyone goes through difficulties at one point or another. It seems to be part of the curriculum of being a human being. Be as kind to yourself as possible, breathe, be loved, and know that the persistent intensity of your pain shall pass.


Janine Hofmann
Janine H6 years ago

Thank you very much for the interesting article.

Yes, i think crying could help. But i also had the experience that it does not. In childhood i had to learn to hide tears (so it is not only boys who have to do this, also girls). People said "why?", "why crying because of stupid things", "crocodile tears" (is it really so, that this animal cannot show sadness/pain?), etc. So i learned to cry when i am alone, as child i did hide in the school library (somewhere, were it was seldom that someone came) or in the "girls toilets"... so many similarities to the "Harry Potter" books, always alone, without friends, not welcome, the only comfort with books,... (Harry, Hermione). When i frist read the books i didn't know of these similarities, it hurt seeing into something like a mirror.
Also there was the experience, that when tears can be seen that terror of other people will not stop, that it grows... although i heard, that some people stop then. But it was not that kind of people in my "life"... experiences of psychic and physic violence since childhood by others from school and by confirmands, and later by a new step father... All these "wounds" are still there, and they do not seem to heal. I do not believe that time can heal. Long time beetween these things during school time and the "step father" all was buried, because of learning, trying to forget, trying to avoid everything that could remind, ignoring news,... but all these did not work, the "wounds" were opened again, an

Sheri P.
Sheri P6 years ago

Great tips, thanks! I hope I won't need to use them terribly soon or too often...

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga7 years ago


Dr Kathi A.
Dr Kathi A7 years ago

I am one of those who is at my best when under pressure or in a crisis. When all is at point nothing else I can do will make difference, adrenaline kicks down & I can relax. I just guess my hard-wire mode & up-bringing has made me how I am. Is good during these times.

Not sure it is good after these times. As, I do not seem to break down afterwards. Not sure why this is?

Loesje v.
Loesje Najoan7 years ago

Dear Lenee L. thanks God that you were not alone when your father committed suicide a few years ago. Be strong Lenee...
Homeopathic support as a Rescue formula for me new and interesting I like to know more about it.
Terri thank you for sharing.

sheila b.
sheila b7 years ago

Rescue Remedy is helpful to take the edge off. It is very effective for anxiety. I was buying it at the health food store until I found it in our grocery store. It's great to see more homeopathic remedies in the market.

Ellinor S.
Ellinor S7 years ago

thank you

Melanie S.
Melanie S7 years ago

Thank you! I was debating about the Bach Flower remedies. Good advice to follow.

Elena Ella
Elena Ella7 years ago

Thank you for the article!