Managing the anxiety PTSD brings

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I inherited an over active nervous system from my mother. Serious childhood abuse finished the job, I would struggle with PTSD triggers.

My initial mistakes were like yours, avoidance, denial, isolation, and way to much thinking.

Thinking about my trauma, my triggers, my judgments and cognitive solutions brought emotional and physical suffering.

Anxiety was a very familiar companion. So familiar, I was not aware of low levels always agitating my body.

My Solution: I targeted lower level anxiety issues at first.

Someone cutting me off in traffic, an aggravating discussion with a workmate, or waking in the morning with unattached anxiety flowing, were prime targets.

Practice was needed before facing my triggers exploding.

Each time I became aware of agitation, anxiety or nervous energy, I would focus, then slow my breath.

Each event, each practice strengthened my ability. I would focus, breathe slowly until calm returned.

I would not give up until my nervous system calmed. My nervous had to know I was dead serious.

In due time, I was ready to dissipate a full blown trigger firing.

Same adrenaline and cortisol, just a bigger volume.

By this time we are familiar with our anxiety and body sensations.

PTSD provides anxiety tests for us each day.

This physical part we can control with practice and application.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Other than focusing on breath, what has helped you take your attention off of anxiety? Are there any intentional distractions that you have found to be useful?

  2. Enter into as many chores or activities as possible.

    Become the knife slicing the vegetables, get rid of time and find a purpose for preparing this meal

    Doing laundry I am trying to make my grandkids look as good as possible

    Each shirt is an event
    Getting done has left paying attention to detail not letting my mind wander because of my focus

    Following the breath is the basic build block

    I use hiking uphill an aerobic exercise

    I can force my body near exhaustion, where thought ceases except for the mindset of putting one foot in front of another

    I am meditating at this moment by reaching this point mechanically

    Thought can cease during rigorous effort

    We can play an musical instrument, garden, write, or get lost in competitive sports.

    I use my fingers as a physical trigger to let go

    I touch each finger to my thumb as I say release release release

    Or hiking each time I take a step I touch finger to thumb as I say release or surrender etc.

    Can you focus on your anxiety

    Your inner world, the body sensations

    Can you tolerate being a witness for your anxiety

    That is observe your anxiety without judgment, with a curious mind

  3. This is wonderful. I create art to process my emotions. It allows me to shut off my noisy mind for a little while.

  4. I responded to your post and it is a great hobby

    A great intentional distraction

    Loose time and let thought pass

    You can bring your breath to this space

    Amplify your feelings doing this hobby

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