Many people who have faced traumatic events at some point in the life struggle with PTSD. It is a condition that affects your productivity and daily life. Patients have difficulty coping with triggers on every side but the good news is there are some proven non-pharmaceutical strategies to aid you on your recovery journey.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually happens with soldiers who have witnessed disturbing event, women who were raped, people who witnesses a shooting, accident and any type of violence. Symptoms include heightened anxiety accompanied by flashbacks of the event, moodiness, avoidance of social gatherings, bad dreams, frightening thoughts, angry outbursts, distorted feelings of blame or guilt, being easily startled, among others.
In addition to treatment recommended by your doctor, here are some techniques to help you cope with PTSD triggers and anxiety.
- Mindful meditation
A few therapies under mindfulness meditation have been successful for reducing self-blame in PTSD patients. They include:
- Eight weeks mindfulness-based stressed reduction (MBSR)
This intense program trains patients to center their attention on breathing and learn to avoid intrusive thoughts that might trigger negative emotions.
- Cognitive therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an adaptation of MBSR designed to target negative thoughts that cause depressive mood.
- Manta repetition
A practice where you silently recite a sacred phrase or word. It effectively targets hyperarousal, anger, anxiety, guarded state and depression.
- Outdoor exercises helps to regain focus
A patient with PTSD affirms that hiking and backpacking solo trips in the mountains helps to reduce episodes of flashbacks and rage. Many PTSD patients say that engaging in physical activities reduces stress levels and symptoms. Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK found that surfing is a great coping tool for war veterans diagnosed with PTSD. It helps them focus their mind on the flow of the wind and waters and completely distract them from other emotions and thoughts.
- Grounding technique
During a PTSD anxiety attack, it’s hard to bring yourself back to the present. Grounding techniques works like mindfulness to help you return to the moment. Examples include holding on to a physical object, taking note of surround smells, music or people walking by and tasting something with a strong flavour.
- Progressive muscle relaxation
This exercise reduces anxiety and stress by alternating between relaxing and tensing various muscle groups in the body. Visualize your mind as a pendulum when performing the techniques. For complete muscle relaxation, tense your muscles and immediately relax them. Tense muscles are a sign of anxiety and the symptoms relaxes as you continuously practice the exercise.
- Your go-to person
Every individual diagnosed with PTSD needs someone to call at any time and talk about your feelings. This is someone you trust to listen without judging and help you take your mind off toxic thoughts. It is easy to feel alone when dealing with PTSD and having physical connection to another human helps you feel less isolated while allowing you open yourself to treatment ideas and information.
PTSD triggers happen anywhere and no one want to be hit with a trigger in a social gathering or public place. Following these strategies, you can center yourself and focus on the moment while learning exercises to remove negative thoughts that leads to anxiety or depressive symptoms.