PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe mental condition that affects a person who has witnessed a traumatic or disturbing event.
According to medical professionals, developing PTSD is a natural response to any distressing situation. You’ll be surprised to know that around 3 million adults in Australia are currently living with PTSD. In fact, women are twice as likely to develop this mental condition. Woah!
The major symptoms of PTSD include unbearable emotional pain and a heightened state of anxiety. You might even start experiencing excessive mood swings, sleeplessness, and flashbacks of a traumatic event.
You should know that the condition might last for years if not treated at the right time. Not only this, but the symptoms can affect your overall quality of life. It might be tempting to indulge in negative coping mechanisms such as alcohol and drugs to take the edge off. But they’ll end up causing long-term damage to your mental and physical health.
That being said, here are some healthy and surefire ways to calm down your nerves, and deal with PTSD and emotional pain. These tips will help you regain the power to enjoy your life without any shooting emotional pains and panic attacks.
Adopt progressive muscle relaxation
There are times when you might experience back or neck pains whenever you are feeling anxious or stressed. If that happens to you regularly, then you need to get on with progressive muscle relaxation techniques as soon as possible.
Undoubtedly, relaxation exercises are one of the best ways to cope with stress and anxiety. It alters the tension and helps in relaxing different muscle groups throughout the body.
There are fewer chances for you to have a panic attack if you are physically relaxed. Practicing this amazing technique will help you keep stress at bay and enjoy your life.
Do not shy away from social support
People dealing with PTSD often refrain from seeking social support, especially the ones who have experienced sexual or physical abuse. For instance, If you are sexually molested, you might trigger some flashbacks in a social gathering or similar-looking situations.
But research shows that seeking support and communicating your feelings to someone can help overcome the negative impacts of a traumatic event. In fact, having a trustworthy person with whom you can convey your feelings might also help you heal pain and gain emotional validation. However, there’s a good chance that people might fail to understand your situation and may not be able to help you deal with your anxiety issues. That’s where professionals and support groups come into the picture. The members of the support will understand your problems because they are also suffering from the same.
You should be aware of the fact that seeking help from your friends, family members, support groups, and professionals is not a desperate cry for help. Instead, it is a sign that you are willing to cope with your emotional pain and anxiety.
Learn about self-soothing
Seeking help from professionals and support groups is an excellent way to be heard and improve your mood. But panic attacks and the symptoms associated with PTSD and anxiety can occur unexpectedly, and your therapist or support group might not be readily available.
In that case, you need to learn about some self-soothing or self-soothing or self-care coping strategies to improve your mood and refocus your mind. These coping strategies can also come in handy for you to relax and manage your triggers.
For instance, suppose your mind is stuck on those PTSD triggers and you just can’t take your mind off of it. In that case, you need some distractions or find something amusing to look at. You can read a book or simply watch the wonders of nature. Try to entertain yourself by watching a funny video/movie or series. You can even see pictures from your best vacation or friends and try to relive happy moments.
All in all, whenever you feel you are about to have a panic attack and no one can help you look for things around you that make you smile. Distracting yourself will help in dissipating stress and save you from a fierce panic attack.
Try to write to express
According to psychologists, expressive writing or journaling can also help you relieve stress at a personal level. Numerous researchers have found that expressive writing helps in improving psychological health and repairing emotional damage.
All you need is a pen, a notebook, or a diary, and start scribbling down your thoughts. In fact, some people prefer having two separate journals- one for expressing their gratitude and the other for their thoughts and feelings.
For instance, suppose you recently had a bad breakup and can’t really figure out how to deal with shooting pains in your heart and grief. In that case, you need to write everything about the breakup, how that person made you feel and how important it was for you to take the heartbreaking decision. It’ll help you analyze why that person was not the perfect fit for you.
People with PTSD have even confirmed that expressive writing is one of the effective ways to reduce tension, anger, fear, and sadness.
Behavioral activation reaps instant benefits
Avoiding your situation is definitely not part of the solution. Many people argue that behavioral activation helps in momentary relief. Well, that’s partially true.
See, whenever you start feeling anxious or depressed, it is obviously not possible for you to enjoy potentially pleasurable activities. As a result, you might start overthinking and reliving the traumatic experience again and again.
Behavioral activation is all about increasing your activity level by engaging in different positive and rewarding activities. For instance, you can pursue your long-lost passions for music, art, and dance. Or you can blow off some steam by playing sports or following intense workout sessions.
The whole idea is to keep your body and mind busy to not trigger your PTSD symptoms.
To sum up,
It’s tough to handle things when you are feeling anxious and are on edge. But triggering your PTSD symptoms can be a lot worse than you might think. So, use the tips mentioned above and try to cope with PTSD and emotional pain to live a happy and fulfilled life.