06 May How to cope with PTSD anxiety in healthy ways?
People with PTSD often struggle with frequent and intense symptoms of anxiety. These strong symptoms of anxiety often lead patients to opt for toxic and unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drug or alcohol use. This, of course, leads to more complex mental health issues. Fortunately, there are several healthy ways of coping with anxiety that may help your anxiety go down in intensity. The small habits can make regular anxiety attacks less frequent and become more tolerable.
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Deep breathing can be a vital skill to learn. It often works as an anchor to your mind when you get anxious and lose control. Many people do not breathe properly. The right breathing pattern involves activity in your diaphragm. When you breathe in, your stomach should expand. When you breathe out, your stomach should fall. Instead, people reflect this act through their chest and shoulder.
This creates short and shallow breaths, which can increase stress and anxiety. Fortunately, it is not too late to re-learn how to breathe deeply with your diaphragm and help protect yourself from stress. Try to make breathing an anchor- something you can go back to when you get anxious. Practice this simple exercise to improve your breathing and combat anxiety.
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
Using relaxation exercises can be an effective way to reduce your anxiety.
Progressive muscle relaxation focuses on a person shifting between tensing and easing different muscle groups everywhere in the body. This relaxation method is considered alike to a pendulum. Complete relaxation of your muscles can be accomplished by first going to the other extreme (that is, by tensing your muscles). Also, by tensing your muscles (a common symptom of anxiety) and quickly relaxing them. Make this your habit, and after some time, muscle tension will become a signal of relaxation over time.
Using mindfulness to curb anxiety can be very helpful. Mindfulness is an ancient healing process followed by many people. Moreover, mental health experts are starting to recognize that mindfulness can have many advantages for people suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and so on. Besides, mindfulness is about being in touch with and aware of the present moment. So often in our lives, we are stuck in our heads, caught up in the anxiety and worries of daily life. This exercise will introduce you to mindfulness and maybe helpful, getting you “out of your head” and in touch with the present moment.
Self-monitoring can be a helpful way of getting a handle on your anxiety symptoms. We are all creatures of habit. We often perform our daily tasks without being properly conscious. This may be helpful in some situations, but in most cases, this lack of awareness may make us feel as though our thoughts and emotions are entirely unpredictable and unmanageable. We cannot address uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety without first being aware of what situations bring up these feelings. Self-monitoring is the only way of increasing this awareness.
After examining many cases of mental health issues, it has been found that finding support from others can be a significant factor in helping people overcome the adverse effects of PTSD. Having someone, you can talk to can be very useful for working through stressful situations or for emotional validation. However, merely having someone available to talk to may not be enough. There are many vital pieces to a supportive relationship that may be particularly beneficial in helping someone manage their anxiety.
When you are experiencing anxiety, it is essential to have ways of coping with those feelings. For instance, seeking out social support can be a right way of improving your mood. However, the anxiety associated with symptoms of PTSD can sometimes happen unexpectedly; also, social support may not be readily available. Therefore, it is necessary to learn coping strategies that you can do on your own. The coping strategy focused on improving your mood and reducing the anxiety that you can do on your own are sometimes described as self-soothing or self-care coping strategies.
Using journaling to cope with and express your thoughts and feelings (also called expressive writing) can be the right way of dealing with anxiety. Expressive writing has been found to improve physical and psychological health. Regarding PTSD in particular, expressive writing has been found to have several benefits, including improved coping and post-traumatic growth (or the ability to find meaning in and have positive life changes following a traumatic event), as well as reduced PTSD symptoms, tension, and anger.
Purposeful use of distraction techniques can be of benefit in coping with emotions that are strong and feel uncomfortable, such as anxiety and fear. Distraction is anything you do to take your attention off of strong feelings temporarily. Sometimes, focusing on a strong emotion can make it feel even stronger and more out of control. Therefore, by momentarily distracting yourself, you may give the emotion some time to decrease in intensity, making it easier to manage.
Anxiety and ignorance go hand-in-hand. Ignorance of anxiety-provoking situations helps to reduce our anxiety at the moment; however, in the long-term, it may limit us from living a meaningful and rewarding life. Behavioral activation is an excellent way of increasing your activity level, as well as how much you engage in positive and fulfilling activities. Through behavioral activation, you can reduce your stress and anxiety.
If you could follow more than three activities from the above list- you will be one-stop nearer to healing and leading a healthy mental life.