As we learn more about stress and PTSD we realize that there are many thoughts associated with building stress and approaching a PTSD episode. We can make life corrections and course corrections along the way if we are aware of what is going on in our minds. In Stress Series #2: Recognizing the Feelings of Stress and PTSD we talked about how recognizing our feelings can help us change our patterns to avoid stress burnout or a full blown PTSD episode.
Today we are talking about thoughts – the things we think about all day long. It’s a good idea to stop and actually think about what you are thinking about. I know that sounds strange, but you can actually monitor and think about your own thinking! A good way to figure this out is just to write down some of the things you are thinking about. Are these good things and do they help me? “I can do this or this will work.” Or are they not great things that hurt me. “This is not helping me and is not workable.”
Some other things that happen to us when we are approaching a blowout are we start forgetting things and making mistakes. We might find it hard to concentrate – even watching TV and not retaining anything is a sign. We might find it hard to make even a simple decision. We can feel confused or that it’s hard to think and we might start putting off things because it’s too much. We might not be able to think about the future or what is going to happen next week. One of the signs that trouble is brewing is when we worry or ruminate which means to run over the same thing over and over and over. We might notice that most things we say are gloom, doom and predicting the worst. Finally we might find ourselves becoming really rigid and inflexible to try to keep everything under control- especially ourselves!
Managing our thoughts is an integral key in keeping our stress in check and avoiding PTSD blowouts. At the end of this series we will talk more about solutions but for now we are concentrating on how to recognize our own signs.
HH4Heroes Stress-Buster Tip #3
Consider keeping a mood journal that lists the date, time and conditions of the mood shift. At the onset of the episode did you become you tired, hungry, bored, frustrated or angry? It is helpful to notice what shifted and why. This will begin to make you aware of your cycles and how to either prevent them with good self care or manage them when they pay an unwelcomed visit.
Look for my next blog in the series Recognizing the Behaviors of Stress.
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio with Lisa Cypers Kamen brings a fresh approach to the airwaves promoting happiness, well-being and global human flourishing by presenting a diverse and proactive collection of the greatest thinkers and doers who have devoted their lives to creating a better world in which to live.
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Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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