Tags – How to Live With PTSD
If you suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), you’ll know how difficult it can be in your day-to-day life.
At times you may experience nightmares or flashbacks, and without any warning you feel full of anxiety, anger or guilt.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry – these symptoms are normal but it’s important to understand them so you can work to manage it.
To put it simply, PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that happens in people who have witnessed a traumatic event.
These events can be anything as big as a life-threatening accident to smaller, less obvious events such as bullying at school.
Whatever the cause, living with PTSD can be challenging, but there are a few self-caring ways you can help manage it.
Here are our top 4 tips…
1. Don’t Isolate Yourself
So, it will be beneficial to you to build a support network and surround yourself with friends, family members, co-workers or anyone you feel comfortable talking to.
Always remember – never be afraid to ask for help and most of all, don’t isolate yourself when your symptoms occur.
Unfortunately, not everyone can rely on or trust their inner circle, so if you feel you have no one, your GP will always be happy to listen and they can recommend support groups to join, whether they be online or in person – you’re never alone, so don’t fight emotions alone either.
2. Stay Active
It’s been proven that exercise improves mood and our overall health.
And exercise can be great at helping to manage PTSD symptoms like anxiety, depression or if you feel irritated.
In fact, even after just 20 minutes of exercise, your brain adapts and it becomes easier to manage stress.
If you’re not really that active, you can start light by going for walks or small jogs, and if that’s not your thing, try something fun like swimming or even dancing in your living room.
As long as you get your body moving, it will help to manage symptoms and make PTSD easier to live with.
3. Focus on Your Breathing
As silly as it sounds, many of us do not breathe properly.
Normal breathing involves your diaphragm and a muscle in your abdomen and when you breathe in, your belly should expand – breathe out and your belly should deflate.
As we live our lives, some people start breathing with their chest and shoulders, which is bad because it causes shorter, shallower breaths which can increase when you feel stressed or anxious.
To combat overwhelming feelings, refocus your mind on breathing properly through deep breaths and help protect yourself from fear or panic.
4. Find a Creative Outlet
Art or music therapy for PTSD has been found to have a positive effect on symptoms.
Plus, hobbies such as creative writing or crafting can help relieve feelings of anxiety or irritability.
With that in mind, it could be a good idea to try and find a creative outlet that will help reduce your symptoms.
Other outlets include learning how to play an instrument, painting, cooking or journaling.
Moreover, this can also be seen as a distraction technique, whereby you distract yourself to take the focus of one strong emotion, making it easier to manage when it’s less intense.
The Final Word
Always remember to be kind to yourself.
And when you start to have feelings of guilt, shame or anger – just remember that’s not you, it’s the disorder and it’s not caused by weakness.
Try to recognise your triggers and try these methods above to help manage them – emotions will come and go in waves, but it’ll be better to ride them rather than go against them.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more.
In the meantime, take a look at our Court of Protection Solicitors page.
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