Sometimes, an unfortunate event or attack can leave you with mental health challenges and emotional stress. Depending on the severity of your situation, at the most extreme levels, this condition is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The important thing to understand about PTSD is that it doesn’t always start immediately after a traumatic experience. Sometimes it may take years, and its symptoms may interfere with day-to-day activities.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause you to relive painful moments like nightmares, flashbacks, and physical symptoms like trembling or sweating. If you have been experiencing any symptoms or have been clinically diagnosed, here are four ways to overcome PTSD and feel a little more at peace.
1. Focus On & Practice Deep Breathing
The first thing you will want to do when you start experiencing PTSD symptoms is take a couple of deep breaths. Make sure you are breathing properly (with your diaphragm and not your chest). If you find yourself taking short, shallow breaths that are only causing you more anxiety, it might be a sign that you are not breathing properly.
To breathe properly, find a comfortable position. You can either lie down or stand and allow your shoulders to drop to release tension. You can close your eyes and place a hand on your chest. Put another hand on your belly and feel your belly rise and drop whenever you inhale or exhale. Doing this will show that you are breathing naturally, which is the proper way. Continue your breathing exercises until you feel calm.
2. Seek Social Support From Others
It is good to lean on your friends and family whenever you feel anxious or stressed (mentally or physically). Being around those you love when you’re in distress can have a calming effect. When you need emotional validation, you can talk to a friend who will help you work through your emotions. Also, social groups led by professionals can be helpful if you don’t have a supportive circle. These days, online PTSD groups exist, too, to offer support and provide a safe space for those who need to share their struggles. Consider joining a social group or opening up to someone you trust whenever you feel overwhelmed.
3. Keep A Journal
Writing can be a good way to cope with and overcome PTSD. When you express your thoughts or feelings on paper, you lighten the burden you might be feeling. Writing through your emotions can help you calm down and take your mind off the flashbacks or fear you might be feeling, too.
The best thing is that it doesn’t cost much to express yourself in this way, either! Rather than paying a professional therapist, you only need a pen and paper. And you can do this wherever you are, too. (Here’s a quick tip: it will help if you don’t hold back or become too conscious of grammatical mistakes.)
4. Explore Self-Soothing Activities
When you start feeling anxious or stressed (especially when you’re alone!) it’s ideal to have a few things or activities to help you soothe yourself. You can listen to music, take a bath, go for a walk, call a loved one, start playing a sport, engaging in a simple activity (for example, doodling, drawing/art, taking pictures, coloring, etc.), or even take Delta 9 gummies which are rich in THC and intended to promote relaxation.
PTSD can be difficult to face daily. While you can seek professional help, of course, applying these four strategies can also help you overcome your anxieties and feel confident, safe, and secure on your own.