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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: How to cope with it

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a severe mental health disorder that can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event in their lives. This includes both children and adults.

However, not everyone who may have been traumatized earlier will develop PTSD. The PTSD causes symptoms that affect day-to-day activities and pose challenges in adjusting or coping with life. It is commonly seen in military veterans and victims of sexual assault.

Its common symptoms are frightening nightmares, sudden flashbacks, severe anxiety, negative thinking, changes in physical reactions, and inability to control thoughts about the event.

Similar to a few other mental ailments, there is no cure for this disorder. However, you can alleviate its symptoms by working on yourself and putting some conscious effort. In this article let us look at some effective ways to cope with Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

Be patient and challenge yourself:

Healing from PTSD is a time taking process and you need to be patient with the process. So, do not expect to recover overnight. At times you might feel hopeless with the progress you made and might want to give up. That is when you need to step up, take it as a challenge, and keep going.

Feeling helpless is another common symptom you may face in your road to recovery. In times like those, do things that will instill a positive image in your mind, like helping someone or volunteering for a good cause.

Know your triggers and avoid them:

There will be instances or everyday aspects that will trigger the sudden reactions in you and remind you of the traumatic event. Any negative emotion or averse reaction to something can be a trigger. It can be a place, a person, or a thing.

Track and make a note of those triggers and try avoiding to the best of your ability.

Mobilize your body and calm your mind:

Exercising is one of the most effective ways to cope with PTSD. It helps you distract from your thoughts and focus on your body. Studies have also shown that working out releases endorphins, which in turn reduces the stress and calms the mind.

Indulge in exercises that make you focus on the movement of your arms and legs, like running, swimming, or even dancing. You may also involve in physical activities that keep you close to nature, like hiking or rafting. Being close to nature will always have a positive effect on our mind.

If you find yourself reacting aggressively to your thoughts, try calming your mind through breathing techniques, or meditation. Consistently practicing it will train your mind to bring your panic attacks under control and handle stress effectively.

Observe your present:

Instead of getting lost in your past thoughts, try to engage with the present moment. Observe the things around you with an open eye and mind. Take conscious note of the things that are happening in your surrounding. You may maintain a journal and jot down your thoughts in it. However, remember to be consistent as it is the key to progress.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle:

One of the common side effects of trauma is to indulge in dangerously unhealthy habits like binge eating junk, drinking, or even doing drugs. Doing such things may initially provide you with a sense of comfort, however, in reality, it is only pulling you away from recovery.

Instead, put an effort to eat healthily. Research has shown that certain foods have a positive impact on your mind. Include foods that are rich in Omega-3, like fish, walnuts, and flax seeds into your diet. Combine good eating habits with a sound sleep every night.

Attend group therapy:

Knowing that there are other people who are also going through a similar phase may perhaps be one of the most assuring things. It provides a sense of courage to you. So, attend group therapy sessions or join a support group. Share your thoughts without having the fear of being judged. If you are uncomfortable to attend a session in person, you may try attending one through an online session.

Decompress at the end of your day:

A simple but effective way to decompress your thoughts and stress at the end of your day is to express them in the form of writing. Maintain a bedtime journal and write down your thoughts every night before going to sleep.

Spend time around people:

At times you may want to isolate yourself from society. However, that will only do more damage than help. Instead, push yourself to be with people. Remember, there is nothing wrong with asking for their help and support. If you feel surrounding yourself with people is not helping, then be with a pet. This surely will calm you down. Pets are known to understand the chemical and mental changes in you and react accordingly to distract you.

Get help:

Following the above points is easier said than done. However, If you put conscious effort, it is not impossible. However, if you feel overwhelmed by the whole process, it is time to get help.

As mentioned above, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It might be from a person you know or from a completely unknown professional. Asking for help is the first sign of recovery.

In the event, you feel that you need to speak with a professional, pick up your phone, and dial 88-00-644-744. We will take over from there.

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