Enjoying Life with PTSD

Many people who suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have experienced a horrifying event that still haunts them. They view life and the world as filled with potential threats, dark shadows and disappointment. Just getting through the day without a panic attack episode is a challenge. But there are ways these individuals can change their pattern of pain.

Always on Guard

People with PTSD are often also stuck in depression and anxiety, and are always on guard, ready to defend themselves against the slightest new threat. In this frame of mind it is easy for them to shy away from seeking new relationships and experiences. In fact, they will more than likely be hiding out in the safety of their home just to avoid any possibility of a panic repeat of their terrible trauma, or taking the chance of relaxing their tight grip and seeing the rest of their life unravel.

Baby Steps

People suffering with PTSD can and do recover, but it’s not a straight up journey. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Like everything in life, there are ups and downs but their recovery destination should always remain in sight. Part of the process is to have the self-confidence to take some safe, baby steps to begin to take control of their life. 

Here are a few relaxing and unhurried activities to get you started:

Take a Walk

If you are fortunate to live in a house with a backyard, take a slow walk around it, if not then take a little walk around the block and pick out five wonderful things, like the bird sitting in the tree that’s chirping at you; the butterfly darting aimlessly; the yellow dandelion growing in the grass; the dog trying to get your attention and the car parked in the driveway. If that short walk was comfortable, make a little time each day to repeat your walk, weather permitting. If there is a backyard, why not find a sunny spot to start a small vegetable or flower garden?

Read Something Funny

Many people with PTSD enjoy reading great novels. Find a good novel that is humorous. Set aside an hour each day when there won’t be any interruptions. Make a relaxing cup of tea. Plop into your favorite chair and start reading. Make this hour your short mini-vacation to tune out the rest of the world. Try to imagine the scene the author paints with his words, or the expression on the faces of his characters. The idea of reading for relaxation is to experience the story. Taking in every written detail. Let the author take you through the pages at his pace. You will discover that you can’t wait to return to your book-marked page tomorrow.

Cook a Nice Treat

If you spend most of your time at home, try cooking something different. What’s your favorite food or dessert? Find a good cookbook or cooking website. Take your time, follow the recipe and make yourself and your family a nice surprise treat.

Paint a Picture

If you are artistically inclined, painting is very rewarding and relaxing. Inexperienced artists can find great reference materials for every type of art at book stores and artist websites. And you are never too old to start painting. Grandma Moses was seventy-five years young when she exhibited at her first art show.

Smiles Are Free

Many people with PTSD also suffer with episodes of paranoia and don’t wish to associate with people, especially strangers. You can help yourself with this also, by telling yourself that you are going to make an effort to smile at three, perfect strangers every day. The clerk at the checkout counter, the bank teller, the waitress – keep a mental count of how many smiles you get in return. Smiles are free and make people feel happy, both in giving and receiving.

These small baby steps are meant to build new, happy experiences. To enjoy the world around you by living mindfully. Start putting the trauma behind you and build a rewarding future.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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