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Image of a stressed woman in a crowd

Find out how to manage stress after a traumatic event by following CDC’s tips for self-care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information to help individuals cope with stress.

Strong emotions like fear, sadness, or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities. If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.

Sometimes stress can be good. It can help you develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations. Stress can be harmful, however, when it is prolonged or severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.

Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that cause you to feel threatened or anxious. Stress can be related to positive events (such as planning your wedding) or negative events (such as dealing with the effects of a natural disaster).

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