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Anxiety and PTSD: How to Set Goals, Heal Trauma and Find Anxiety Relief

  • Do you sometimes (often?) feel directionless?

I do, and it’s hard; I reckon it’s a tricky one for folks with anxiety issues in general, particularly survivors of trauma.
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I haven’t talked a lot about PTSD but it’s on the to-do list. Suffice to say to treat anxiety and PTSD, you need a strong, relatively coherent sense of your past:-

You want to tell a story (not just paint a pretty picture) and see a future, set a few goals. That’s vital. Definitely one for the to-do list.

There’s the path you take, right: The choices you make. Anxiety interferes with every one of those, maybe even whether you feel you have choices at all.

But when you know where anxiety shows up, if that’s signposted and you can look back and see where it’s leading you, then that’s step one in the process of living with anxiety. Versus just getting by.

Anxiety, PTSD and trauma recovery

You may be a survivor but you don’t just have to survive.

Ideally, we all want to live without the hassles and inherent trauma of dealing with anxiety in and of itself, let alone the hard work of dredging up painful pasts with so little practice at that;

Most traumatized people spend a whole lot of time avoiding and numbing out that stuff. For good reason, but it still won’t make you better. No matter how long you put it off, it’s always there, in the background, affecting your actions, and your being. Even if it’s “only” at a subconscious level.

Panic isn’t a great companion but it can become incredibly familiar, and seem a little safer for that fact –doesn’t mean you have to stick with it, though.

Dump Panic: pick-up anxiety relief

(No, you can’t do this at the local bar.)

Learning to set realistic goals, that you desire to achieve on an emotional level, will help to combat anxiety.

It isn’t just about setting the goals, though. That’s way too big, to have all these really big ideas, off in the distance. Nebulous as spacedust and about as practically helpful in terms of  questions like, ‘how do I stop anxiety?!’

Manage anxiety, and treat the symptoms of PTSD

If coping with anxiety is a road-trip, then the goals are not only where you eventually intend to be but wherever you feel like getting to each day.

How much gas is in your tank? Do you have enough for now, or should you stop and fill-up, maybe have a snack?

Anxiety relief

Each step matters.  Not “just a choice” but treating anxiety is definitely about choices we make. That isn’t about being hard on you. Maybe it sounds like it is?

I mean that here and now, you do have the freedom, the space, the chance to be more than just fear, stress and anxiety; Let yourself be more.

Let go.

It isn’t easy but sometimes it’s exactly what I need.

2 thoughts on “Anxiety and PTSD: How to Set Goals, Heal Trauma and Find Anxiety Relief”

  1. Thank you for this very clear and important post! Being able to tell your story can be a critical factor in recovery — it definitely was for me. I set out to write the story… and it became a memoir! Along the way I learned to allow the details and emotions to come up from the deep dark where I’d suppressed them. Also, I learned that while at first it was difficult, I would manage the feelings that came up, too.

    I like you’re proactive take on all of this. PTSD recovery (I’m now 100% PTSD-free) does so much depend on the actions we take and the choices we make. That’s not being hard on us — that’s being realistic. We heal when we make the effort to take back control.

    I’d love to reprint this post on my blog. Would that be all right with you??

    1. Hey Michele,

      Sorry I haven’t replied sooner. The site was down for maintenance but I very much appreciate your comment and general encouragement and, of course, wisdom! Those who have not seen Michele’s site, I highly recommend a wander over. It’s a brilliant PTSD resource, and a story well worth taking the time to really hear.

      Anyway, as for your actual question, I’m not sure. You’d probably want to contact my editors – it’s not my copyright, is the thing but if you drop me an email I can put you in touch with them. That’s absolutely cool and either way, I’m really glad you dropped by.

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