31 Jul Finding A Cure For PTSD
You deserve a peaceful life.
You must have been motivated by your loved ones with lines like, ‘if you are worried about this pandemic, look for ways to distract yourself,’ and ‘don’t feel bad for yourself, do things that make you happy.’ No matter how cliche they may sound, they really work if you are willing to work for your well-being. Feeling that your life is misery will make it one. We must take breaks to relax our mind during a crisis. You may find it ridiculous, but there have been incidents when playing card games in the ICU after a road accident reduced the development of traumatic memories.
You may think that your life has no meaning, and survival has become an arduous task for you, but you must include healthy activities in your daily schedule to offset the stress and suffering. Think of something that you’d typically do during your happy times (don’t make it suffering too by binge-watching a new TV series and losing sleep). You may think of it as another task, resorting to something you once found exciting and practicing good habits improve well-being and resilience during unfavorable times.
Of course, you would think of this advice useless if you are engrossed in negativity. However, according to the author of ‘Thanks a Thousand,’ A.J. Jacobs, you can get rid of your negativity bias by starting to notice, appreciate, and offer thanks. In simple words, it means taking a moment to think about people who’ve worked for your dinner, from the farmer to your chef. Gratitude not only drives inner peace and help you break free of worries but also earn you respect in other people’s eyes. (As a token of thank, you can donate to people who are struggling)
Social Distancing and Isolation are two different things.
The entire world is practicing social distancing at this moment, and even you are also advised to do so. It’s for the greater good. But, not meeting people and not wanting to speak to anyone are different things. Social support has always been a resource for us. The feeling of togetherness that we will get through a tough situation is an answer to fear.
We are part of a global village experiencing the same thing at the same time, a rare sight in itself. To experience a sense of belonging to the global community, watch videos of people cheering healthcare workers worldwide. Speak about what you are going through to others and listen to their stories in return. Having a sense of belonging helps fight PTSD.
Mental health experts often say that people must reach out to one another, especially when witnessing horrible things.
When you feel lonely, things can get better if you think about your support system that includes your family, friends, and even neighbors. Involvement in a group wellness activity, such as meditating in a park or going to fitness centers, can also enhance your sense of togetherness and mood.
In case you feel that you require professional help, you can consult an expert, particularly when you believe that you are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapy creates a significant difference in the way a person feels before and after the session.
Drive your thoughts instead of getting driven.
Your thoughts impact your life so much so that your beliefs determine your risk of PTSD. Find and get rid of self-blaming thoughts, like criticizing yourself for not being able to save enough to prepare for layoffs, or, not being able to help your family when required. Blaming yourself for everything will only add to your misery. You can also observe decisions that intensify your stress, such as ‘I can’t bear it,’ and develop a more encouraging mind-set.
Question yourself at times when you feel unworthy. It’s a proven way to get rid of negative thoughts. When you are engrossed in negativity, ask yourself, ‘Is it worthy?” Being compassionate about yourself is an excellent way to overcome suffering, and while you’re doing it, forget about judgments. Research suggests that this method can significantly help to reduce loneliness.
Don’t exhaust your mind unnecessarily.
Revisiting the traumatic event and putting yourself into the same shit, again and again, will only make your life difficult. Ruminating is a mental process where you keep thinking about ‘why?’ and ‘what if?’ in a loop that doesn’t help solve the problem as much as it creates more. You must work on the exit plan if you are struggling with these mental loops.
A significant revelation before the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California, proved that ruminating led to depression and anxiety symptoms after the trauma, which caused greater damage than personally witnessing the traumatic event. Overthinking doesn’t only make you more vulnerable to PTSD but also hampers your ability to benefit from treatment.
If you can’t stop thinking, start putting your thoughts on paper. It’s better to pour your heart out on papers than troubling your brain with overthinking. Expressive writing is an excellent way to reflect without ruminating.
Another way to get rid of useless thoughts is to engage yourself in activities that absorb your brain, like listening to a podcast while cooking; solving crossword puzzles; playing your favorite track while doing your work. Ask yourself to stop as soon as you begin ruminating.
It’s a real solution. Think of it; if one of your friends were getting restless thoughts and proceeding in a wrong way, you would try to encourage thoughts in their minds and steer them in another direction, right?
Avoidance is a temporary solution. Facing your fear is the only way through.
Avoiding negative thoughts is an instinctive response to danger, but you may also not want to suppress or drive them away. It would be better to observe your emotions, specify how you feel, and react with humility.
Resorting to mindfulness and holding a perspective while analyzing your experience can help create a positive and progressive relationship with your thoughts. Try to find unfavorable judgments before compassionately shifting to other tasks, as the spam filter takes out junk messages.