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5 Healthy Ways of Coping with PTSD-Related Anxiety

Originally published on life-healthy.net

For those that who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it isn’t unusual to also struggle with some of the more intensive symptoms that are associated with anxiety. These symptoms often lead to sufferers finding unhealthy ways to cope, for instance, with drug and alcohol abuse that may provide short-term relief but frequently leads to abuse and dependence. However, there are many alternatives. Dr. Alexander Neumeister, accomplished psychiatric researcher lists 5 of the best and healthy ways to help cope with PTSD-related anxiety.

 

Breathing

 

Taking a moment to breathe enhances the amount of oxygen in your body, which helps in calming down and centering yourself. Rather than breathing normally from the diaphragm, breathe in such a way that your belly not only expands, but that your chest and shoulders rise. After a few minutes of repeated breathing, you should start to feel far more relaxed.

 

Social Support

 

“Having a support system is one of the single best coping methods available,” suggested Dr. Alexander Neumeister. Not only is it a wonderful way to integrate within a community and find someone to talk to, but it’s a terrific way of raising your mood. Remember, support doesn’t have to just come in the form of physical groups. Online groups can be just as good and so can confiding in family and friends.  Whomever or whatever you find support in, opening yourself up and making yourself vulnerable will be highly beneficial, especially when it comes to tackling your problems.

 

Distraction

 

Finding techniques to distract yourself when you feel anxiety coming on can be very beneficial when it comes to having to deal with difficult or uncomfortable situations. Distractions are personal, so whatever you can do to settle yourself constitutes a reasonable distraction.  When you distract yourself, you’re not trying to avoid the problem altogether. You are simply waiting until the intensity of your anxiety simmers down so that you can better deal with the situation, or thing, that is making you anxious.

 

Self-Monitoring

 

Self-monitoring is when you try to be aware of everything around you as you go through the day. Many people are not fully aware of the things or circumstances that lead to their anxiety. Subsequently, self-monitoring forces you to actively think about everything you do as a means of isolating what triggers your anxiety. In the long-term, this helps you to pro-actively address an anxiety-provoking situation and ensures you being in control of the situation rather than such situations control you. better deal with your feelings and helps you in avoiding situations that might become stressful.

 

Using Expressive Writing

 

Being able to articulate how you feel when trying to cope with PTSD-related anxiety can be a real struggle. Therefore, using a journal and writing down how you feel can be highly beneficial. Research has proven that sufferers who use expressive writing are typically in better physical and mental health. Most importantly for PTSD, sufferers have been found to have a more generally positive outlook on life as well as a reduced frequency of symptoms and tension when they use expressive writing.

 

PTSD-related anxiety can make just getting through the day a nightmare. PTSD isn’t just something that can be cured; it requires time and strategy to live with. Hopefully, with the help of this article, the various approaches and coping mechanisms can have a positive impact on your life.

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