Healthy Coping Skills for PTSD

It is common to experience intense responses, including stress, anxiety, flashbacks, or insomnia after experiencing traumatic events. There are many types of incidents that could cause PTSD, including car accidents with injuries, physical and emotional abuse, or observing a violent situation. These symptoms can be overwhelming, and finding tools to help in the healing process is crucial.

How a person uses PTSD coping skills can determine if they have long-term symptoms or a short period of recovery. There are numerous healthy ways of handling stressful events which can lessen frequency and intensity and make the approach tolerable. Using self-help strategies can improve your mood, provide self-soothing, and reduce feelings of anxiety.

5 PTSD Coping Skills

1. Practice Meditation 

Find a quiet, peaceful spot to sit and start simple deep breathing techniques to ease your tension and anxiety. Focus on your five senses and concentrate on the present moment. Listen for nearby sounds, take in the smells that are in the room, and look at items in the space to notice colors and textures. 

These thoughts keep your attention focused on your surroundings and the present moment as you slow your breathing, providing a calm, relaxed feeling. We often find ourselves feeling anxious because we are caught up with the worries of daily life or past traumas. Meditation brings us back to the here and now, where we can feel safe and secure.

2. Social Support

When we are alone, we tend to live in our thoughts of the past or worries about the future. Having someone we can talk to can help overcome the negative effects of a traumatic event and become a healthy coping skill for PTSD. Do your best to reach out to others around you for added emotional and compassionate support.

Find someone you can trust that will listen and validate your feelings during stressful events or emotionally challenging times. If talking to a friend or family member is not enough, then find a support group led by a professional who is trained in treating PTSD. The key is to locate the best supportive relationship that will provide the greatest benefits to manage your anxiety. 

3. Journaling

Writing down your experiences and the emotions related to those situations has been shown to improve both physical and emotional health. As you put these thoughts on paper, it can help you find meaning, provide growth, and establish a positive life change. Taking a proactive approach like expressive writing can place you in a position of power as you seek to overcome the overwhelming feelings of anxiety associated with PTSD.

4. Distraction

Finding activities in your life that bring you joy and keep you purposefully busy can divert your attention away from your traumatic memories. Discover ways to engage in rewarding and positive events that will keep your mind occupied with good things. These types of adventures can increase both your mental and physical well-being by releasing endorphins, which improve your mood.

This is not to be confused with avoidance or evading the work that must be done to overcome the effects of a traumatic moment. Take the time to seek help or support from others as you talk about what has happened to you and find the best coping mechanisms for PTSD. The rest of the time, find activities that are meaningful and bring you contentment and happiness.

Using the Best Coping Skills for PTSD

There are many self-help strategies available as you maneuver through the healing process of PTSD. If these tactics donโ€™t work and you find the process too overwhelming, you can call the professionals at Orange County Behavioral Health at 949-900-8426 or 877-467-2223 for help and learn more about their PTSD treatment options.

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