Maintaining Mental Health With PTSD
By Brandi Goodman
Not only is June PTSD Awareness Month, but June 27 is dedicated as PTSD Awareness Day. This important cause helps to raise awareness about the disorder and allows people to show their support for those who struggle. Anyone suffering from PTSD needs to find ways to maintain their mental health, which often falls to the wayside when this disorder takes hold of the mind.
Join a Support Group
A support group allows anyone with PTSD to get together and share their stories. It often helps to hear others talk about their symptoms and responses to triggers so you feel normal in what you're experiencing. Hearing that others think and feel the same or similar to you can be a huge relief that you're not alone.
Keep a Journal
A daily journal that you use to write down your thoughts and feelings, particularly after a triggering episode, can help. You can look back at what things triggered you so you know what to avoid in the future. It is also wise to focus on more of the positive. Write down something good that happens to you each day or a task you managed to accomplish so you can look back at the week and see that you made some accomplishments and had some good times. It helps to see things aren't all bad all the time.
Find Ways to Relax
Stress can be felt throughout the body as tension. This pain can be difficult to get rid of, but it's not impossible. Find ways to relax the mind and body so the pain can be reduced. You should find things that make you laugh, since laughter is a major stress reducer. Watching a comedy or spending time laughing with friends are great options. Even without laughter, you can still relax to feel better. Read a book. Watch a show. Play a game. Anything that helps you to feel relaxed and free from stress is something you should be enjoying, as long as it doesn't involve substances, which can cause more harm than good.
Set a Sleep Routine
Getting enough sleep each night can greatly increase your chances of preventing stress. Poor sleep breeds stress because your mind is not fully functioning and able to handle certain stressors well. Setting a sleep routine that you follow every night will help ensure you're falling asleep easier than before and actually getting plenty of rest once you do. Turn off all lights and noise prior to bedtime and make sure you're in a calming environment.
Post-traumatic stress disorder affects more than 24 million people at any given time, and that's just in America. With so many people impacted negatively by traumatizing events in their lives, it's important to find better ways to cope and manage so daily life is not affected as greatly. Anyone struggling should seek help from a professional.
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