8 Coping Strategies for PTSD and Anxiety + 3 Ways to Break Free and Thrive!

Healing from PTSD and Anxiety

PTSD and anxiety can be extremely difficult to deal with, with mental, emotional and physical symptoms that can be sudden and debilitating. I have suffered from both. My healing journey began by using some coping strategies get relief from my symptoms for short periods of time. These gave me the energy and ability to focus on finding a more permanent solution. After some searching, I discovered an ancient oral tradition of healing and empowerment, which has helped me make significant progress toward eliminating the need to cope. I have effectively gone from a place of being completely unable to take care of myself or function on a day-to-day basis to living the the life I want and having the symptoms gone from my life.

So how did I do this?

First, here are eight coping strategies that I used to get relief from PTSD and Anxiety:

1) Short-term Distractions

Being in a survival state is exhausting. So the first thing I did was to break free from this stress by finding some convenient distractions: binge watching Netflix, playing games on my phone, and watching YouTube videos, etc. In the beginning of dealing with PTSD and anxiety, when the symptoms were the most intense, it was often too hard for me to gain any perspective on my experience. It was easier for me to allow myself some small distractions, which let my mind and body relax enough to continue my healing.

Healing from PTSD and Anxiety - HypnosisMy favorite distraction was a game called Lifetime. Lifetime is an intricate virtual world filled with different beings, societies, religions, magics, etc. It’s amazing because you’re given the opportunity to do and create anything you want, easily and quickly. It let me see how I reacted to things in a safe environment, removed from my stressful reality. I learned from my choices, patterns, and values and this awareness translated into valuable insights about how I live my real life.

I want to be clear that distraction as a coping strategy didn’t solve the causes of my condition, but it did reduce my exhaustion and gave me enough energy to be able to focus on new opportunities to heal. Getting stuck here in distractions and fantasy can become escapism, and can create a perpetual state of running away from suffering while all energy is spent managing symptoms instead of moving back into a centered and effective state of mind. If your symptoms are not so consistently acute, then you can skip this step and continue with step 2, the “five – four – three – two – one” method.

2) Center with the “Five – Four – Three – Two – One” Method

This strategy can turn around a panic attack by engaging the senses on what is happening right here in this moment.

Take five deep breaths, count four things you can see, three things you can touch, two things you can hear and one thing you can smell.

This one is really great for grounding and centering, especially when anxiety is running really high or if you feel a panic attack coming on. This pulls you to the present and helps your body calm down.

3) Engage the Senses with Smelly Soap and Hot Showers

Healing from PTSD and Anxiety - AromatherapyActivating your senses draws you out of your mind and into the now, into this physical body.

Smell is the sense that best recalls memories, so I find that smelling really pleasant things – flowers, comforting smelling soap or lotion, essential oils, etc, all call in memories and feelings that are nice and soothing. This helps bring your mind out of whatever you were thinking about or fixating on and instead fills you with comforting sensations.

Hot showers are really great too and relax your body and muscles. The hot water brings you into the moment and forces you to focus on the physical sensation and the relaxing of muscles helps bring you out of fight or flight and lets you know it’s safe.

4) Express Emotions

I found expressing my emotions – either by journaling, talking to a friend, crying to a loved one, or shouting into the woods – makes me much more able to let go of whatever it was I was experiencing.

This strategy is extremely important because emotions are all about flow. If you are feeling something and don’t express it, you will be carrying it around with you. But by expressing it you let go of it and open yourself up to new emotions and feelings.

5) Find Clarity Through Therapy or Counseling

Therapy was an extremely useful tool. My therapist acted as a sounding-board for insights into issues I needed to deal with. Or in other words, he was able to point out patterns that I couldn’t see on my own, relayed what I was experiencing was common and normal for people in my position, and gave me a place to talk through what I was experiencing so I could get to root issues.

He helped me understand myself. This greater understanding allowed me to see why I was acting the way I was, how I drew harmful people into my life, and how to rewrite those patterns. I learned to draw in loving people into my life, created strong boundaries, and saw myself as worthy. Using therapy in this way, I was able to see my root issues, providing context for my experiences.

See what it is like to really look at how you act. Open yourself up to hearing the patterns that you live by. It is in this way by bringing our patterns into our consciousness that we can actively work on changing them. What we are unaware of bites us in the butt, what we are conscious of, we affect.

Another helpful tip about counseling and therapy is that there are a lot of cost-effective ways to do this. Because of the Affordable Care Act, most health insurances cover mental health services. Also depending on your circumstances, many cities have some sort of counseling center that will provide reduced cost counseling for specific groups of people (for example, persons with low income, sexual assault survivors, members of the LGBTQ community, domestic abuse survivors, etc.). I personally was able to receive free counseling from two different organizations, because I was a sexual assault survivor and had been in an abusive relationship. So if cost is a problem, do some quick Googling and you may find an organization near you where it won’t be.

6) Reprogram Core Beliefs with Hypnosis

I cannot stress enough how powerful hypnosis has been for me. It takes core thoughts and beliefs I’ve had ingrained in my subconscious from the abuse I’ve experienced and replaces those harmful beliefs with productive ideas.

This has taken the form of changing beliefs like “if I mess up, I deserve to die” to “I’m here to learn from my actions, I can always change my actions in the future” and “I don’t trust myself” to “I trust myself to do what’s best for me.” Hypnosis rewires your brain. In a 2-hour session, I can undo a core belief I’ve had for years.

However, hypnosis only works as much as you are willing to let go of patterns and change. This may be hard on a subconscious level because we are attached to our patterns; our patterns have been our way of living, it’s how we’ve been conditioned. I’m not sure what would be the outcome if I hadn’t worked so hard on myself. But as I’ve experienced it, hypnosis has been extremely effective.

7) Fill Your Life with Joy

Healing from PTSD and Anxiety - Have Joy in LifeThis one is fairly self-explanatory – do things that bring you joy. This is extremely powerful and yet so simple. Things like dancing and singing around my room, going outside and laying on the grass on a sunny day, hiking through the forest or drawing an art piece, all these things bring me joy, but doing these things frequently was essential to my healing process.

With PTSD and anxiety, or being in fight-or-flight most of the time, I couldn’t be happy or enjoy most things because that part of my psyche that let me experience happiness was turned off. By mindfully carving out space and time to do things that filled me with joy, I was able to “fill my cup” enough to make it through the hard times when I was afraid, knowing there would be better things to come. Eventually, joy made the PTSD symptoms come in slower and helped keep them at bay. Also, the act of doing something that brings joy tells the subconscious that you are valuing yourself and taking care of yourself.

I understand that this one can be hard to make time for, especially if you are experiencing high anxiety. How can you go outside for a hike when you have a work deadline? Start small, take five minutes to do something joyful. For me dancing in my room worked, but for you, it might be doing a puzzle, playing a game, playing an instrument, or cuddling with an animal. Whatever it is, start small and then work your way up to carving out more space and time for things that bring you joy.


The Game Changer – How I Began to Completely Heal PTSD

When I was living in Boston, I found my way to a chiropractor. He knew so much about the universe and how it worked, he knew how to see energy and work with it, as well as use ancient tools to affect the world around him. He seemed to know and have all the keys I was looking for. Something had been screaming inside of me to find keys to work with my spirit. The human system is made up of mind, body, and spirit but currently our medical system only addresses the first two. It was working with the third that eventually led to the complete resolution of my symptoms.

My chiropractor introduced me to where he learned all his tools, and it was in the Modern Mystery School. I quickly went, got life activated and joined the 3,000-year-old lineage and my life drastically changed. Instead of being in the passenger seat of my life- a victim of abuse, and a victim to symptoms of my mental disability, I became the driver of my life. Every aspect of my life became the result of conscious actions and choices I had made. Nothing was out of my control, I was responsible for all of it – so I had the power to change all of it.

Now I truly live creating the life of my dreams. I couldn’t have done it without the ancient tools found in the Modern Mystery School.

What are these tools that led to me completely healing PTSD and anxiety? Well here are 3 of them:

Here are three activities from the Modern Mystery School that have helped me get over my PTSD and Anxiety.

1) Meditation

Meditation has been a crucial tool for decreasing stress long-term. It centers me and gives me a point of reference to act from. When I meditate, all the chaos around me falls away and I’m left with who I really am. Throughout the rest of the day, I can act from a place of knowing my true self and am much less bothered by any changes that may occur externally. Meditation is not only about having a clear mind; there are many forms of meditation. I found more active meditations (where you think but about specific things) to be much more accessible to me. One specific type I enjoy is the Modern Mystery School meditation technique called the Max Meditation System™.

2) Life Activation

Healing from PTSD and Anxiety - Life ActivationThis is a modality from the Lineage of King Salomon which is a 3,000-year-old tradition. This hour-and-a-half session brings Light into your DNA (physical and spiritual) and activates the codes associated with your individual purpose. It connects you with your higher or true self, strengthens your gifts and brings in more energy to your body. In effect, it makes it much easier to do what ever it is you are here to do, giving you a stronger sense of knowing yourself.

This was incredibly useful for me because things that weren’t real, for example, flashbacks and memories, started to fade and lose their effect on me. I knew who I was. I was able to move through the world much more easily and effortlessly. It also made all of the other tools I was using to heal much more effective.

3) Empower Thyself – Modern Mystery School Initiation

This is a two-day class which is also from the Lineage of King Salomon and is taught through the Modern Mystery School. This class provides invaluable tools for shaping your life for how you want it to be. According to this tradition (and according to my personal experience), we create our own lives. We are the ones who decide what we do and how we live. Two of the most useful tools in this class for specifically dealing with PTSD and anxiety were the Sanctuary Meditation and the Prayer of Protection.

Sanctuary Meditation is a meditation process that uses certain keys so that you can talk directly with your Higher Self. This is the part of you that is infinite spirit and knows your purpose. Your Higher Self can offer messages about your path, what options are best for you, and insight into any issues that you are dealing with. This meditation was paramount in me understanding my traumas and being able to heal them. With your Higher Self in the Sanctuary, you can easily heal inner wounds and shift yourself to a higher state of being.

The Prayer of Protection ritual helps get rid of lower energies. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, afraid, down or stressed, this ritual helps dispell negativity and provides clarity.

This class is all about empowerment and getting us to a place where we can live a life of joy, prosperity, empowerment, and fulfillment. There are many more tools that are passed down along with the authority and energy provided by Initiation. All are extremely useful and I really recommend this class for all who are interested in it.


My Three-Year Healing Journey

Healing from PTSD and Anxiety - SuccessThe first year of having PTSD I was barely functioning, I only had the simplest coping tools from the first list, and I was checking out most of the time. It was extremely hard if not impossible for me to do basic things like household chores, let alone anything more. I drastically cut back my workload and basically just tried to do as much as I could and then would binge-watch TV.

Fast forward a year later when I get life activated and take Empower Thyself. Now I’m beginning to function on my own. I can do fun and joyful things. I am actually feeling safe again. I am so empowered that I can stand up to my abuser, fight for justice and make sure there are protections and supports put in place for other survivors of sexual assault.

Fast forward another year and I don’t have any regular symptoms. On the rare occasion that I do get stressed, I have many tools available to end the cycle before it starts. I have a greater awareness and ability to analyze my actions, discerning my patterns so I can continue to heal. I’ve only had PTSD three years, and now it’s effectively gone. I still have some work to do around doing things that bring me joy. But I have already made so much progress, and I know for certain that I have what I need to let myself experience joy and live a truly happy life.

My Hopes for You, Dear Reader

I hope if you struggle with PTSD or anxiety, that you try one or many of the tools I listed above. If you are interested in learning more about anything on my lists, please feel free to contact me (my contact information is listed below). Beyond that, best of luck with your healing and thank you for reading!

Murielle Tugendhaft
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Murielle Tugendhaft
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