Reducing Stress Through Problem Solving

Solving your problems is a skill you can learn, and there is little that will reduce your stress levels as effectively. According to the PTSD Coach Online, there is a process you can follow to improve your problem-solving skills.

  1. First, define the problem. Put it into your own words and be clear about what is really bothering you and what needs to change to make the situation better.
  2. Next, identify the barriers. What is keeping you from resolving the problem? Make a list of those barriers, and then brainstorm possible solutions. Try to come up with as many different solutions as you can.
  3. Next, evaluate your solutions and select the most promising idea you have. Examine the pros and cons of your top solutions, then choose the one you think has the best chance of working out.
  4. Finally, list the action steps you will be taking to resolve the problem. Keep the steps small enough that you know you can actually follow through on them.

Practice makes perfect, as they say. The more you work with the above plan, the better you will become at it and the more likely it will work when you are really stressed over an issue.

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Moving From Status Quo

It can be difficult to challenge ourselves into making changes in our lives, especially in those areas that are most uncomfortable to change. It is more comfortable to just let things ride and not make an effort to expand our comfort level, but trying new things allows us to continue growing, and that is a good thing.

Sometimes it is fear that holds us back from making progress in our healing. We don’t like facing those fears or challenging the reality that we’ve associated with them for so long, but things change and those things we were once afraid of may not be a true danger today. It is good then to push back and ask if it is realistic to continue being afraid. If it is not, then it is a good time to begin to challenge those fears and try to overcome them.

Status quo is certainly more comfortable. It is what we know. It is something we are familiar with responding to on a regular basis. Change requires allowing new experiences and that can be frightening on its own, but status quo does not allow for growth. That takes change. Embrace the changes that allow you to grow and heal. While it may be difficult to do, it is the best way to move from wounded to healing, and that’s what it is all about.

Never, Never, Never Give Up!

There are times when the fight to overcome PTSD may feel overwhelming and you may think you’ll never win, but that’s not true. Progress is often won an inch at a time, not by the mile, but it’s still progress. Over time, you’ll find you’ve become more comfortable with who you are, and that it’s a bit easier coping than it was in the past. Sometimes we just have to look at those small victories instead of how far we feel we still have to go.

In the fight to overcome PTSD and find the joy in life again, you must never give up! There is so much to fight for: all of your relationships, your laughter, your happiness, the joy in every day. And, best of all, it can be done! PTSD does not have to own you entirely. It is but one piece of who you are, and it’s a piece that makes you stronger even if you’d rather not have it.

Each day, you are healing, bit by bit, and one day, you’ll be comfortable in your own skin again. PTSD is a condition, it is not who you are.

Finding the Sun Again

When you have PTSD, it can be difficult believing that life will be good and that you’ll find peace again. PTSD changes us, that’s true, but that doesn’t have to mean that you’ll never feel the pleasure of the sun shining on you again. Learning to cope with PTSD can take a great deal of effort, and it may take years before you feel you are totally relaxed and comfortable in your own skin again, but it can and does happen.

As we learn to cope, it becomes easier and easier to enjoy life. It doesn’t mean we don’ t have problems, we do, but there are good days to off-set the bad and good times that help us find the joy in life again.

Don’t let go of the belief that you can life with PTSD and live well. Don’t lose faith. Things will get better. You will learn to cope better. And life will become sweeter for the effort.

Written Goals

In dealing with PTSD as with other areas of our lives, setting goals seems to be a part of successful coping. If I set a goal of taking a step outside my comfort zone and attending a family gathering, or plan an outing with a friend, it helps me get through the event. For example, if I decide to go out to a movie with a friend, this one time I can manage it.   It doesn’t mean I have to make it a weekly event, or even that I have to go to the theater. I can choose to go to the drive-in movies if I want. It’s still an outing and by planning on it, I can manipulate the circumstances so it becomes something I can handle and even enjoy.

Writing goals down has been shown to influence their success. I wonder if it’s not because when it’s written down in black and white, I think more about it and can visualize what is going to happen. By mentally rehearsing the situation, I’m more prepared to handle it with finesse. While I may not like pushing my boundaries, it’s a healthy thing to do. It strengthens my relationships and it helps me feel better about myself too. My main goal is to not let PTSD rule my life, and that’s a pretty good goal to work toward!

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time for remembering…but some of us don’t want to remember. Some of us pray daily that we’ll forget, and there is no need to feel guilty about that. There are things that you shouldn’t be forced to remember. That doesn’t mean you aren’t patriotic or that you don’t care. It just means you are protecting yourself from the past and the trauma it has caused.

I, for one, do not believe that those who died in the name of freedom would want anyone to spend the day reliving their trauma, that’s not what Memorial Day is all about. It’s about recognizing that our freedom comes at a price, and some of you pay that price daily on the installment plan.

This Memorial Day it is okay to do other things and find ways to make it a good day, or at least another day. It’s okay to look forward instead of looking back. We can honor the lost that way too.

Not Feeding the Beast

One thing I have discovered as I’ve gotten older is that if I’m angry and I let myself focus on that anger, it intensifies. Focusing on that anger, or feeding it, allows it to take off and very shortly, I find I am out of control. Once I realized what was happening, I knew I had to stop feeding the anger beast in order to keep it from growing.

Out-of-control anger is not something I want people to associate with me! It seems that I become angry more easily these days, perhaps because as I age, problems are getting more difficult for me to deal with. I do not have the energy I used to have, or the strength. When problems develop, I still have to resolve them. I just need to keep my anger in check as I do.

Not feeding the beast can be harder than it sounds. It requires considerable effort to consciously focus on tamping the rage down in order to stop it. Yes, I can be mad. Yes, I can express that anger, but I do not need to express my anger at my loved ones or at everyone. I just need to acknowledge that the situation is frustrating and handle it.

Everyone gets angry at times. Sometimes it is even necessary, but never do I want it to lash out and strike the people around me. I do not want to be known as the person who is out of control when something goes wrong. I would rather be the person who maybe had reason to be angry, but kept cool instead.