When we talk about reengaging as a method of counteracting the effects of PTSD, what does that look like? How do you find your way back to doing those things that made you happy in the past? It is one thing to understand that reengaging in life is going to help, but another to find ways to reinvest ourselves. Perhaps the most effective way to help yourself relax is to immerse yourself in something you’re passionate about.
If you are a hunter, then find a few friends and go hunting a few times during the year. If you’re into music, then join a small band, or collect a small group of friends that like the same style of music and get together with them to listen to special concerts. If you are a woodworker, then work in wood, but find a way to connect it to doing things with other people. Maybe that means selling something at local art shows or flea markets, or teaching small groups the finer points of your craft. Whatever it is that really interests you, use it as a way to heal by connecting with other people.
The point is, you will be more comfortable participating in activities you already enjoy and that will capture your attention than in forcing yourself to get involved in things you don’t really like or that are only marginally interesting to you. If you’ve ever read a really good book that you just couldn’t put down, then you understand how you can lose yourself in something that really interests you. It helps you focus on something besides how uncomfortable you are when other people are around. It’s a form of distracting yourself from what you find uncomfortable: interacting with other people.
Change can be uncomfortable; that’s why we so often fight it. But change is necessary to counteract the effects of your PTSD. Remember, you’re fighting to get your life back, and finding your passion, doing the things that bring you joy, and letting others back into your life, is a big part of doing that.