Get enough rest, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and take time to relax. Try to reduce or avoid caffeine and nicotine, which can worsen anxiety. Using alcohol or drugs to numb your feelings isn't healthy, although it can be a tempting way to cope. Fortunately, it is possible to re-learn to breathe deeply from the diaphragm and to protect yourself from stress.
Practice simple deep breathing exercises to improve your breathing and combat anxiety. Using relaxation exercises can also be an effective way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, as they provide a way to reduce stress and anxiety. Progressive muscle relaxation focuses on alternating between tensing and relaxing different muscle groups throughout the body. This relaxation method is similar to a pendulum.
Complete relaxation of the muscles can be achieved by first going to the other extreme (i.e., tightening the muscles). Mindfulness techniques are useful skills for coping with PTSD. Mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, and mental health professionals are starting to recognize that mindfulness can benefit people who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. It's important to note that this type of self-reflection can sometimes bring difficult emotions or thoughts to light, especially if you have a history of trauma.
Some research has also reported that some people may experience significant distress when practicing mindfulness, including increased symptoms of anxiety, dissociation, and emotional numbness. You may find it helpful to practice mindfulness under the guidance of a trauma-informed therapist. Self-management can be a useful way to manage anxiety symptoms. Self-control is a technique that involves carefully observing and recording specific thoughts, behaviors, sensations, or emotions.
The goal of self-management is to help people better understand their symptoms and coping skills. It can be a useful skill for coping with PTSD and an easy way to increase awareness. When you experience anxiety, it's important to have ways to cope with those feelings. For example, seeking social support can be a great way to improve your mood.
However, the anxiety associated with PTSD symptoms can sometimes occur unexpectedly and social support may not be readily available. Therefore, it's important to learn coping strategies that you can apply on your own. These coping strategies focus on improving mood and reducing anxiety and are sometimes described as self-management or self-care strategies. Trauma can contribute to anxiety and other symptoms, but there are a number of coping skills that can help alleviate the disorder.
Strategies such as distraction, deep breathing, mindfulness, and behavioral activation are just a few of the techniques you can try. If you find that these methods aren't doing enough to ease your symptoms, talk to a doctor or mental health professional. Treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder can help you process your experiences and develop new coping skills. The author and former Thames Valley police officer, David Kinchin, who was diagnosed with PTSD in the 1990s, also advocates the calming effect of aromatherapy in one of his books.
Research published last year indicated that spending just one week with a specially trained dog improved symptoms of PTSD by 82 percent. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals use several effective (research-proven) methods to help people recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. Both psychotherapy (psychotherapy) and medications provide effective evidence-based treatments for PTSD. .