Why you should exercise when you have PTSD

Having PTSD requires constant medication.
My medicine is exercise. Constant. Almost every day, every week, every year. The advantage is that I do not need other medications. For several years ago I stopped drinking alcohol. It gave me nothing positive and it did  something to my sleep and with my nightmares. Even though I was not a heavy drinker at all. Just a so-called “social enjoyer”. 

Is training painful?
Yes, exercising can be painful. It’s not always comfortable to run in freezing temperatures, rain, sleet, or 30 degree heat. But it is necessary. I’m not writing this to tell you how clever upstanding person  I am. On the contrary.
Those who suffer from PTSD are notoriously treatment avoidant. Exercise is presented as an effective intervention for PTSD, anxiety, and depression and because it does not produce the level of avoidance that traditional psychotherapies do, it becomes a valuable potential tool for treating PTSD.
We all have our coping strategies. Mine is training. And writing. One of the reasons I started this blog and often write about PTSD, health related issues  like how to eat, exercise, living the so-called “good life” is because of exactly that. Coping. 

 

…exercising can be painful…

Using writing  to cope with and express your thoughts and feelings (also called expressive writing) can be a good way of coping with anxiety. Expressive writing has been found to improve physical and psychological health.

Coping strategies – examples
In PTSD in particular, expressive writing has been found to have a number of benefits, including improved coping, post-traumatic growth (the ability to find meaning in and have positive life changes following a traumatic event), and reduced PTSD symptoms, tension, and anger.

Other people’s mastery can be work, commitment, hobbies. My message to you is to find what works for you. And implement it, day, after day, week after week. Slowly you will find that PTSD takes up less of your life and the good things take up more space. Just try.

As always: Frontiers in Psychiatry. For in depth reading on a similar topic: James Clear and Springer link –Efficacy of Narrative Writing as an Intervention for PTSD: Does the Evidence Support Its Use?

My in depth post on this topic

 

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Knut Braa

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