How to manage PTSD in a healthy and constructive way can feel impossible. There are so many unknown things happening inside our brains that it seems daunting to try and DO anything about it. I hear you. I understand.
However, I’m not a fan of the alternative. For me it was being a victim of my circumstances. This mindset and attitude led to a very grumpy and unpleasant attitude about everything. I do mean everything. I would find an issue with date night, a new outfit, a conversation, the weather, etc. My brain was hard wired for protection, which means I saw everything outside of myself as the enemy.
Living this way was exhausting and I wanted a change. But I was also scared. What if I failed, again, what if the people around me saw how awkward I was, what if it didn’t help. These doubts and worries are normal. Even small changes and habits take great courage.
5 Natural Ways to Manage PTSD
- Move your body. I’m not talking about a marathon, what I am saying is my attitude is measurably improved when I take walks, go to the gym, anything. You may be wondering how I measure the improvement. My negative thoughts are less because I’m moving my body and focusing on something else.
- Check what you are eating and change it up. I am not saying cut out things you love and enjoy. What I am encouraging you to do is add variety. Try a new recipe or menu item at a favorite restaurant. For years I ate the same 10 things and never tried anything because my brain couldn’t process the decision. While I have only branched out to 25 or so options on our menu at home, it has allowed me to fuel my body and brain in varying ways.
- Write (or type) your thoughts. Negative. Explosive. Happy. Mundane. Spend 10 minutes a day getting the voices out of your head. It will make space for new ones and shed some mental weight.
- Unplug from the internet and television in order to replug into the world around you. Even if life is in a really crappy spot right now, take 30 of the minutes you would spend on the internet or TV and just don’t. See what happens. You might be bored, which would be a beautiful place to begin a journey to reconnecting.
- Hug someone you trust. I know, this one is weird but stay with me. There is science out here but it’s above my head. I just know when I pause and hug my kids, husband, or dog my mood shifts a little. If hugging feels like too much, try a smile. It has a similar effect.
Pick one and let us know your thoughts on natural ways to manage PTSD!