Healing From Trauma: A Guide for People with PTSD
When bad things happen, it can take some time to get over the pain and feel safe again. However, with support and these self-help strategies, you can speed up your recovery.
Reach out to others for support
PTSD may make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from your loved ones and social activities. However, staying connected to the people who care about you is important. If you don’t want to, you can avoid talking about your trauma, but the companionship and caring support of others are critical to your recovery.
Get in touch with someone who can devote their time, someone who is willing to listen when you want to talk without getting distracted, criticizing, or judging. The person can be your professional PTSD therapist, a friend, a family member, or your significant other.
When you’re suffering from PTSD, exercise can do more than just improve your outlook, enhance your mood, and release endorphins. By really prioritizing your body and how it feels as you move, working out can help your nervous system become unstuck and move out of the immobilization stress response. Here’s what you can do:
Spend time in nature
Pursue outdoor activities such as skiing, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, and hiking – they can help veterans cope with PTSD symptoms, helping them transition back into civilian life. If you have PTSD, you can benefit from the peace, seclusion, and relaxation that come with exploring nature. Perhaps, seek out local organizations that provide team-building or outdoor recreation opportunities.
Martial arts, weight training, boxing, or rock climbing
These activities may help you focus on your body movements.
Rhythmic exercise that engages both your legs and arms
This may include dancing, swimming, running, or walking. Focus on how your body feels instead of focusing on your thoughts. For example, notice the feeling of the wind on your skin, the rhythm of your breathing, or the sensation of your feet hitting the ground.
Challenge your sense of helplessness
Recovery from PTSD is an ongoing, gradual process. The memories of the trauma never disappear completely, and the healing doesn’t happen overnight. At times, this can make life seem difficult. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your fear and anxiety and cope with the residual symptoms.
There’s one key to overcoming PTSD: overcome your sense of helplessness. Trauma leaves you feeling vulnerable and powerless. It’s important to remind yourself that you have coping skills and strengths that can get you through difficult times.
Helping others is one of the best ways to reclaim your sense of power: donate to your favorite charity, reach out to a friend in need, give blood, or volunteer your time. Remember, the sense of helplessness is a common symptom of PTSD, and taking positive action directly challenges it.