Seven Quick Steps For PTSD Suffers To Cope With Stress

stress free.jpg

We are supporting Mental Health Month in conjunction with the WHO (World Health Organisation) bringing awareness to the importance of taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.  

A terrific book crossed my desk last week that resonates with what we are trying to do for our clients here at Cox West Lawyers. Whether you suffer from  PTSD, having difficulties coping with the stress of Marriage Breakdown, Divorce, or Parenting issues. The following article might just help. If you know some-one that could use it, please share this article with them.

Stress touches everyone - whether it be in the workplace, in our relationships, at home, our finances. It’s a tangible part of our day. But it doesn’t have to railroad and dismantle our lives. It appears the key is to cope with stress effectively. And, thankfully, this is something each of us can learn. Once you find what works for you, its there for life anytime those stress triggers arise.

Kathryn Tristan, author of the book Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living, and she shares her tips for alleviating stress and enhancing your well-being. Always keep in mind that you should seek medical advice if your symptoms continue.

1. Take three deep breaths.

When we’re stressed out, we tend to take small, shallow breaths. Or we even hold our breath. Of course, this only exacerbates anxiety. We feel faint, lightheaded, tense and tight. Taking slow, deep breaths, however, soothes your sympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation. This can lower blood pressure and heart rate. And it can reduce stress hormones.

2. Stretch your body.

Stress tends to weigh heaviest on our bodies. Stress is a bad headache, a stiff neck, tense shoulders and all-over tightness. Tristan suggested loosening taut muscles by moving and stretching your body several times during a day.

3. Repeat a calming phrase.

Find a phrase that rings true for you, which you can say in stressful moments. Tristan gave these examples: “All is well,” and “This, too, shall pass.”

4. Engage in an enjoyable activity.

Build fun, fulfilling and rejuvenating activities into your daily schedule. Bike, hike, garden, paint, play, read, dance, attend museums, see a movie, get a massage or take a walk around the block.

5. “Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.”

Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows. So if you focus on all the things that are stressing you out, they’ll only get bigger and bigger. Instead, try to focus more on what’s meaningful, positive and supportive. “Visualize things going the way you want and feeling happy about it,” Tristan said.

6. Focus on right now.

Although planning for the future is helpful, when you’re stressed out, it turns into fretting and overwhelm. That’s why Tristan underscored the importance of focusing on the present, moment to moment.

In this piece, clinical psychologist Christina G. Hibbert, PsyD, shared additional valuable tips for focusing on the here and now.

  • “At any given moment in the day, simply stop, take a deep breath, and notice where you are, notice what is happening [and] take it all in.
  • Imagine a big brick wall popping up that blocks you from thinking of anything but what’s right in front of you.
  • Get in tune with your senses: Take a walk, feel the ground beneath your feet, smell the flowers in the air, listen to the birds chirping. You will decrease your anxiety and increase your joy by learning to focus on now.”

7. Cultivate gratitude.

Tristan calls this tip the “five-minute mental marinade.”

  • “Place both hands over your heart and close your eyes.
  • Slowly take five very deep breaths.
  • Think of five things that are right about your life and for which you are grateful.
  • Focus on someone you love or something you love to do and marinate in that feeling a few minutes.
  • Take five more deep breaths, open your eyes and enjoy feeling totally refreshed!”

One of the best things you can do to relieve stress is to identify the root of the problem, brainstorm realistic solutions, and take action. The above techniques help you calm down, clear your head and gain perspective, so you can problem-solve successfully. They’re also a great way to take care of yourself.

Discover more about PTSD, Police Officers PTSD, Getting help for PTSD and Police Officers Workers Compensation.