Yesterday, we discussed a few ways to help others maximize their personal potential. As we continue to dig in and troubleshoot PTSD. I would like us to take a closer look at one of the most common re-experiencing symptoms according to the National Center for PTSD “having distressing thoughts.”
Since we began our journey with PTSD, mental health has become a prominent topic in the news, in workplaces, and in our own network. The more we learn about and share the more frequently people share with us about how they have or have had unwanted, instructive, or destructive thoughts.
Having these thoughts does not mean that you have PTSD; rather, it may mean that you have experienced some type of trauma, or hurt. It might also mean that the images and ideas coming in are coming from things that you are seeing or hearing on television or social media.
It doesn’t really matter where the thoughts come from – they are unwanted. Paul reminded us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we should take every thought captive and lift it up to God. And, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America it is important to “learn a new relationship [with your] thoughts.”
Unlike a machine we cannot just buy a new hard drive to replace our current one in order to get everything working again. There is no reset button. We can; however, train our brain to reroute and redirect those intrusive thoughts. While we cannot offer a foolproof trouble shooting guide we can provide some suggestions:
Notice and accept the thought. It is not a thought that I want to have, but it is a thought that has appeared. It may leave just as soon as it comes, but it might also stick around.
If it sticks around:
Pause. Check in with yourself. Notice where you are - in a group, at the grocery store, in the car heading down the highway, in your own home, on the ballfield, etc.
Sometimes it is as simple as saying “God cover me.” Sometimes it requires a bit more.
Take an inventory. Do you have pain in your body? Are you angry? Happy? Sad? Feeling depressed? Are there any outside stressors? If so, what are they? Determine how to address them.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder that when we take our thoughts captive and lift them up to you You are able to do exceedingly more than we could ever ask. Thank you for bringing clarity into our lives by helping us to notice when an intrusive or destructive thought is settling in and helping us to clear it. Thank you for working with us in the pause to develop a plan to help us move from post-traumatic stress to a life filled with more peace, trust, strength, and discipline. Amen.
If the distressing thought/s persists seek help with a trained professional. Veterans or their families can call the VA Crisis line.
Thank you all so much for praying! Ya’ll have a beautiful day!
All My Love,
Sources for this article:
Seif, Martin, and Sally Winston. “Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, 26 Apr. 2018, adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/unwanted-intrusive-thoughts.
For more information about Get Strong with Jen! click here.
To view 30 Days of Prayer for PTSD - Day 3 click here.