Whether you participated in combat or are a victim of abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder can develop in individuals who have experienced some form of trauma in the past. Unfortunately, the effects of PTSD can impact each area of your life and make it difficult to remain emotionally and mentally sound. At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery, we help women handle the symptoms of PTSD. If you want to learn more about dealing with PTSD triggers, there are a few important tips to follow.
Identify the Triggers
One way that you can learn how to cope with your PTSD is to begin identifying your triggers. Begin monitoring your feelings and emotions to ensure you can discover when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Ask yourself what types of situations you are in or what is happening around you. Evaluate your thoughts and what your body feels like at the moment. Write down internal and external triggers, as well as the time and date of each incident. Taking notes and having records will allow you to determine how often you experience PTSD. Understanding what situations cause you to feel vulnerable can allow you to learn how to start addressing your PTSD triggers. The notes will also prove to be useful if you are seeking professional help for PTSD treatment in North Carolina.
Dealing with PTSD Triggers
One of the best ways to deal with your PTSD is to avoid the triggers. You may need to avoid visiting certain places or spending time with some individuals.
Although some triggers cannot be avoided, there are other ways to cope when you encounter them. Practicing mindfulness can reshape your thinking and how you perceive the situation. Mindfulness exercises include stroking your hands, yawning and stretching, and controlling your breathing.
Expressive writing can also be useful, such as jotting down your thoughts when you begin to feel overwhelmed. Putting your emotions onto paper can make it easier to separate yourself from what you are feeling.
It is crucial to develop a plan of action to avoid turning to unhealthy methods like drug or alcohol use.
Join Group Therapy
Obtaining social support in a group therapy setting is an additional method that can prove to be useful for handling your PTSD triggers. By discussing your condition with other people with shared experiences, you can learn important tips and receive guidance in a safe setting. You will also get the opportunity to share what you have learned with other people, which will improve your self-esteem and can allow you to feel like you are in more control of the condition.
You can also seek out individual therapy to receive one-on-one attention if your condition is more severe and was recently diagnosed. Individual therapy will provide you with the necessary tools and skills to cope with the condition with the help of a professional.
Practice Physical Activity
Physical activity is proven to reduce stress levels, which makes it a key component when addressing PTSD triggers. Exercising can increase focus and push other thoughts or emotions aside. Consider exercising three to five times each week, and find an activity that is fun and does not feel like a chore. Participate in surfing, playing tennis, or riding your bike to reduce your stress levels and look forward to an activity that improves your mood.
Adopt a Pet
Another approach to coping with symptoms of stress disorder is by adopting a trained pet to interrupt your symptoms. The pet can allow you to feel more at ease and relaxed in public, as well as reduce nightmares that you may experience. Studies show that spending at least one week with a dog can reduce PTSD symptoms by up to 82%.
If you want to learn more information about how you can cope with common PTSD triggers, contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery at 855.773.0614. You can schedule an appointment and learn more about available treatment options.