You’re always stressed.
You’re always on edge.
You can never find a way to calm down.
The truth is relaxation is a vital step on the way to recovery.
It takes you out of that constant cycle of pain and gives you moments of peace.
If you use these tools enough you can actually train your body to start relaxing automatically.
That’s the power and the goal of these tools.
To help you get relief and to help your body start relaxing automatically.
It takes time, dedication, and effort to learn and implement these tools.
This won’t happen overnight, this isn’t a magic pill.
But those who are committed to using these tools over long periods of time will see massive changes in their life and their PTSD.
All the tools you are going to learn in this article are coping skills.
And coping alone will NOT heal your PTSD.
This is a common myth that’s been spread around the internet.
Are these skills important?
But will they get rid of your symptoms for good?
Don’t be fooled by what everyone else is telling you.
These tools are very important, and they play a role in recovery, but they are not the way to recovery.
I’m telling you this so you can avoid the major mistake I made when recovering from PTSD.
I spent literally years thinking that coping and relaxing was THE way to heal.
If you want to learn the full process to healing PTSD for good then click here.
Without further ado… let’s jump on in and get started!
The first way to relax from PTSD is deep breathing.
This might sound too simple to even mention, but it’s very important!
Breathing correctly and deeply is the foundation to many of the relief tools we are going to cover today.
It’s something that you can do at anytime regardless of where you are, and it can be combined with every other relaxation exercise.
When PTSD gets us stressed out we tend to take shorter and shorter breaths.
Which then obviously pumps less oxygen through our body…
Your brain uses about 20% of the total oxygen that you take in, so when you have shallow breathing your brain isn’t running as efficiently.
Deep breathing brings clarity to your thinking when your mind is running wild with thoughts.
It also activates parts of your brain that send out signals and hormones to your body telling them to relax and calm down.
So even though it’s a simple technique, it’s still very important to know how to breathe correctly!
Yep, that’s it, you just want to focus on expanding your stomach, and not your chest.
Try to always breathe this way, it allows you to take in more oxygen.
Now, breathe DEEPLY and notice how your body relaxes.
A good exercise to try is to do a 5 second count in and a 5 second exhalation.
It doesn’t have to be 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out, the important thing is that it’s the same duration.
Dr. Rick Hanson in his book Buddha’s Brain, states that it you balance your heartbeat if you do this 5 count breathing while visualizing yourself breathing in and out through your heart.
If you have that racing heart feeling, this could really help 🙂
So give this a try, and let’s dive into the next one now!
The second way to relax from PTSD is through a technique called “the body scan”.
This is the most effective tool to loosen tension that you’re body’s holding.
It’s also a great way to relax before you start a visualization exercise, or before you sleep!
Throughout this exercise I want you to continuously breath deeply, like I just taught you.
You can spend as much, or as little time as you need to relax each body part.
Here’s a free ‘mediation’ that guides you through this process.
It will guide you step by step through bringing awareness to your muscles and relaxing them.
This mediation really helped me grasp what this exercise should feel like.
It will also guide you through so you know which muscle groups you should be focusing on.
Whether you are at home alone, or at work surrounded by people and you can quickly scan your body, consciously focus on each muscle, and relax it on the spot.
This helps a lot when you are at work and feel a lot of tension.
Whenever I become aware of tension in my body I do a quick scan and consciously relax each part that’s holding tension.
The body scan combined with deep breathing is a great and invisible way to relax in public!
The third way to relax from PTSD is through relaxing visulaizations.
The mind has an amazing power to bring physical changes in your body.
The way you think, and the way you use your brain to visualize things actually changes body chemistry.
Just think about it…
Everything that has to do with PTSD happens in your brain right?
Even though your PTSD is in your brain, you’re still feeling the effects of it all throughout your body.
The brain has the ability to cause our body’s to experience an immense amount of stress.
But it also has the equally strong ability to give you an immense amount of peace and relaxation.
Whatever it believes will affect the way that your body feels.
This is why you can go to the movies, see two people falling in love for the first time, and cry out of happiness for the two of them.
Even though all you’re doing is watching a bunch of light being projected onto the wall, you still feel the emotions.
It’s not real, but your brain believes it is and causes you to have all the same sensations as if it were real.
This is why visualization is a great way to relax your body.
Essentially all we are doing is tricking your brain to believe that you are in a safer, calmer, and more peaceful and tranquil place.
Pretty cool right?!
The best part about this is that you can visualize anything. It can be a real place you’ve been before, or it could be entirely made up.
The point here is to make it as vivid as possible.
The more “real” you can make it, the more you will trick your brain, and the deeper relaxed you will become.
It’s that simple!
Doing a quick body scan before you start is a good way to get your body and mind relaxed.
Being relaxed before you start will help you fall deeper into your visualization!
So test a few out for yourself and see what you like the best!
The fourth (and most commonly hated) way to relax from PTSD is exercise!
There is literally no downside to exercising.
There is only upside.
We all know this, but yet most of us still don’t exercise…
Why is this?
You already know all the benefits, so I’m not going to talk about that.
The problem is that you have a hard time starting and sticking to a workout routine.
I know how hard it is when you have PTSD.
You might feel hopeless, tired, drained, emotionally exhausted, or anything else.
I know, and it sucks.
But, the truth of the matter is that exercise will have an even bigger impact on your life because of your PTSD.
The benefits will be even greater to you… making it even more important to exercise daily.
Exercise every single morning to groove that habit in even further.
Don’t leave it off for the end of the day.
As the day goes on your willpower will drain and you will be less likely to make the right choice.
Build an exercise habit every morning.
Don’t over complicate it, and just start. That’s the best way to do it!
The fifth way to relax from PTSD is through meditation, and it is an amazing one.
It completely changed my life and my PTSD.
It’s been so essential in my recovery that I wrote an entire guide on it.
In the guide I walk you through step by step on how to meditate correctly.
The biggest benefit to meditation is the awareness it builds.
Awareness is the very first step to recovery. Without it you’re not going anywhere.
Don’t wait to implement these tools. Make sure you carve out time do these every single day.
Anything worth doing is worth doing every day.
If you need to write out a daily routine for yourself where you set specific times to use these tools to relax from PTSD.
Get them in your toolbox for when you need them.
Coping is not the solution, and if you believe what most people say it can actually be bad for you.
What?! Coping with PTSD be bad for you?
When you believe that coping is ALL you can do… yes.
It can be very dangerous.
It really comes down to 3 things…
Does this make sense?
It’s not your fault if you were taught to just cope with your PTSD…
And her doctor told her this…
“You will always have this injury. But you can learn ways to cope.”
Yup, you heard that right, a doctor said that…
Someone who is supposed to be a beacon of hope and support…
In our current society we think that doctors and PHD’s have godlike superhuman powers…
We think that they know everything (and a lot of them think they do too), and most of us just take their word at face value.
This. This is why most people can’t and won’t recover from PTSD…
Because they are told the lie that they have to just cope with PTSD for the rest of their lives…
And when someone believes that all they can do is cope…
Guess what they do?
They don’t recover, they don’t heal, and they don’t put in the necessary effort to push through the pain and win.
You need to change. You need a process to heal your symptoms permanently.
Stop coping and start healing.
I coped for 15 years and all it did was make things worse.
My PTSD transformed from a somewhat manageable thing into a monster that took up over 90% of my life.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Want to know how I saved my relationships, my health, and my life?
Learn how you can do the it even faster than I did by applying lessons I learned from my journey.
Stop coping, start healing.
I look forward to seeing you on the other side.