Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very prevalent mental health condition. People frequently link PTSD with military duty, although anyone who survives a terrible event can acquire PTSD.
According to studies, more than 80% of people in the United States will encounter a traumatic event during their lifetimes. Over 8% of those who survive a traumatic event will get PTSD.
PTSD Symptoms Are Divided Into Four Categories:
- Reliving the experience again: You may experience nightmares or flashbacks that cause you to physically relive your trauma.
- Avoiding recollections of the incident: You may avoid crowds and refuse to watch films depicting comparable traumatic scenarios.
- Negative emotions and thoughts: You may suffer from survivor guilt or have difficulty trusting others.
- Enhanced arousal: You may be startled by loud noises, have difficulty sleeping, or feel enraged continually.
Know that you have numerous treatment choices for PTSD, including psychotherapy, medication, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques like meditation.
Many individuals with PTSD found CAM beneficial. In a study, 39 percent of 599 individuals with PTSD reported adopting complementary and alternative medicine, such as meditation and relaxation techniques, to alleviate symptoms.
Learn how meditation can help alleviate PTSD symptoms, as well as how to get started, by reading on. You will also find further information about alternative CAM therapies that may be beneficial for PTSD.
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Therapies for PTSD
Although mediation may be beneficial as part of a comprehensive therapeutic approach, it is not regarded as first-line therapy for PTSD.
These consist of:
According to research that examined the advantages of yoga and meditation for PTSD, psychotherapy continues to be the most effective treatment. According to experts, the following strategies are very effective:
- Cognitive processing rehabilitation (CPT): CPT focuses on how trauma may have caused cognitive distortions, such as "It's all my fault" and "No one can be trusted." This strategy can assist you in striking a balance between respecting your feelings and confronting excessive views.
- Protracted exposition (PE): Guided confrontations can help lessen your emotional reactivity to triggers in physical education. In treatment following a car accident, a therapist may have you watch movies of cars and perform soothing techniques throughout.
- Desensitization and reprocessing of eye movements (EMDR): EMDR tries to alter the way your brain stores painful memories so that they no longer resurface. For instance, an EMDR therapist may have you perform precise eye movements while focusing on a specific memory.
CPT and PE are specific versions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a treatment that addresses unhelpful ideas and behaviors. Despite the fact that CBT can still help persons with PTSD, a review indicated that it is less effective than trauma-focused adaptations.
In addition to treatment, your care team may also offer medication to help you manage the stress associated with PTSD. For instance, they might prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This antidepressant improves the transport of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin throughout the brain.
Medication can help reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms, but it does not treat the underlying reason; counseling is required for that.
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The Role of Meditation
Meditation is a practice that can assist you in focusing your thoughts and increasing your awareness of:
- self reflection and inner experience of the environment
- moment-to-moment necessities
What you choose to concentrate on may vary depending on the sort of meditation you practice, and different types of meditation may bring slightly different advantages.
The following types of meditation may help alleviate PTSD symptoms:
Mindfulness is a mental state in which you are able to acknowledge your ideas, emotions, and bodily sensations without judging them. Some refer to this as being an observer within one's own head. Mindfulness meditation utilizes this condition to help you concentrate on the present moment. By enhancing your awareness of the present, you may find it easier to remain grounded in the present when disturbing memories resurface. In conclusion, removing your mental "eye" from the future may assist alleviate your anxiousness.
Mantra meditation involves repeating a sound or word aloud in order to concentrate. You may select any affirming word or sound that has significance for you. Mantra meditation does not require you to follow any religion or spiritual practice, but you will undoubtedly encounter spiritual language as you master the basics. Mantra meditation helps diminish hyperarousal symptoms such as muscle tightness and anxiety. As your body relaxes, your mind may find it easier to relax as well, and vice versa.
Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, can increase sentiments of self- and other-directed love and compassion. During this meditation, you may imagine receiving well-wishes from your loved ones and wishing them happiness in your mind. It may not come as much of a surprise to you that regularly surrounding yourself with positive energy can improve your mood and make you feel better overall.
A pilot study of 42 veterans with PTSD indicates that loving-kindness meditation may increase pleasant feelings, alleviate symptoms of despair, and foster self-compassion. These outcomes may help mitigate the feelings of anger, depression, and self-criticism that may accompany PTSD.
How Successful Is Meditation?
According to the review stated previously, meditation has a moderate impact on PTSD symptoms by:
- Reducing stress
- Boosting mood
- Eliminating intrusive thoughts
The writers found little distinction between the various styles of meditation. They also noted that meditation does not appear to have the same effect as the above-mentioned first-line therapies. Nonetheless, it appears to have effects comparable to medication management, the second-line treatment for PTSD. In other words, meditation likely cannot treat PTSD symptoms on its own, but it may be effective when combined with conventional therapy.
How to Try Meditation for PTSD
Want to give meditation a try, but unsure where to start?
Try beginning with the following simple breathing meditation:
- Go to a safe location and assume a comfortable position. You may choose to sit or lie down, whichever is most comfortable.
- Set a timer for the duration of your meditation. If you have never meditated before, five minutes may be an appropriate beginning point.
- Concentrate on your breath. Consider the sounds of air entering and exiting your mouth. Sense your lungs expanding and contracting.
- You do not need to regulate your breathing rate. You only need to monitor your breathing as it occurs.
- If other thoughts attempt to enter, there is no need to worry about them. Observe them, then let them pass while focusing on your breathing.
- When the timer goes off, conduct a self-check. Does your thoughts feel clearer and more tranquil than before?
- Before attempting it again, you may wish to consult a therapist if your condition worsens. Meditation is not for everyone because it might occasionally induce unpleasant thoughts and sensations.
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Using Meditation For PTSD
Meditation may be an effective tool for managing PTSD and its symptoms, but it is important to also explore other methods of self-care. From exercise to journaling, there are many solutions out there to help tackle the challenges of dealing with trauma.
Additionally, talking to friends and family can provide comfort in difficult moments. Most importantly, everyone should prioritize their mental health and take actions that speak specifically to their needs and values. To support your own holistic wellbeing journey, you could try Shot of Joy's Kratom & Kava Shot as one possible way to boost energy levels naturally and without sacrificing nutrition or overall wellness. Kratom and Kava are natural energy sources that can assist those with PTSD in managing their symptoms.
Kratom and Kava have been used to treat anxiety, tension, and depression for ages. These medications can assist individuals with PTSD relax, focus, and find calm when used in moderation. They give a natural and non-invasive technique to increase energy and quiet the mind, making meditation simpler and reducing PTSD symptoms.
By combining Kratom and Kava with frequent meditation, persons with PTSD can feel greater energy, improved mood, and decreased anxiety and sadness symptoms. In this way, these natural chemicals can assist those with PTSD in living a more balanced and satisfying life.
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