Mental health has long been a growing problem in the US and with veterans bearing the brunt of much of it. There has been a distinct lack of care when it comes to mental health overall, but particularly when it comes to the needs of the veterans who have put their lives on the line.
Though there are some programs out there that veterans can access to help improve their mental health, it is a good idea to try to take matters into their own hands. In addition to PTSD treatment from a healthcare professional, there are things that veterans can do on their own to form a sort of multi prong attack that helps them cope with some of their mental health challenges.
In this article, we will go over several of the things they can do in conjunction with receiving therapy from a professional.
Know your triggers
PTSD is often caused by a certain traumatic incident. It can be relived simply by finding yourself triggered by a certain sound, image or emotion. Identifying these triggers can help you avoid them and in some cases even face them down.
Try to make a list of the things that you’ve noticed have made you relapse into a bad mental state. Even making this list can be a trigger itself, but it does help to understand how certain events make you feel so you don’t have to relive these things every time.
Practice self care
Setting time aside to take care of your needs is essential when it comes to keeping your mental health positive. Schedule time for a hobby that helps keep you focused and happy to sort of reset your brain. Even playing video games is good for your mental health some studies have shown. If this is how you like to spend your free time, then make sure you do it when you feel your mental state is slipping.
Practicing meditation is also a great way to help you focus on the moment and avoid having mental breakdowns. It is sort of a way to train your brain to process things in a way that helps you move on before it causes a breakdown.
Even taking a hot bath can be meditative when you start feeling stressed out and it helps you relax the tension in your muscles that have accumulated from your anxiety.
There have been recent studies that suggest that working out and playing sports can treat depression. Veterans that are battling PTSD will also benefit from physical activity as a means to beat back the mental health problems they are facing.
It can take any form from long walks to playing a pick up basketball game with friends. The important thing is finding a physical activity that you enjoy and can lead to some positivity that continues even after you’ve finished.
The endorphins that are created are a powerful antidepressant that can last throughout the day.