Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Seven Tips That Are Perfect for Veterans Who Want a Healthier Mind and Body.

April 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Serving your country can be complicated. It can fill you with a sense of purpose and pride, but it can also cause some problems for you and your family. When you return home, your physical and mental health can make it difficult to be fully present for your loved ones.

Whether you were on the ground or in the air, whether you served for a few years or a few decades, veterans face many challenges when returning home. If you’re struggling with your mind and body, or if you want to prevent potential mental and physical problems from arising in the future, take these tips to heart.

Know Where to Get Free Healthcare Services

One of the benefits of serving your country is the fact that your country is there to take care of you when you return home. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly what that means isn’t easy. Health resources are available to you, as long as you can find them!

Take the time to research and locate services that are available near you. That might mean contacting The Wounded Warrior Project or reaching out to Military One Source. You can find clinics and hospitals that serve veterans, as well as services, like vaccine distribution, that are available to spouses and caregivers as well.

Try Hypnosis

Even if you aren’t struggling with your physical health, it’s normal for veterans to struggle with their mental health. There are many different ways to tackle this problem, so don’t automatically assume that you have to sit on a couch in front of a therapist and talk about all of your problems.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, clinical hypnosis is the process of triggering a trance state that is then used to encourage the healing process. It can be especially helpful for those suffering from anxiety related disorders, whether that anxiety stems from combat experience, insomnia, or a challenging medical diagnosis.

Studies have also shown that it can be an effective tool to manage headaches, depression, and pain. It is an especially good option for those who are uncomfortable talking about their troubles and experiences. Under hypnosis, you relinquish some control, enabling you to heal without many of the barriers that are present during other forms of therapy. Not to mention, it’s a recommended and approved therapy for veterans!

Use Progressive Relaxation

It’s normal to feel anxious if you have served in the military. Unfortunately, that anxiety can make it difficult to relax, which can make day-to-day life difficult. It can impact your sleep, cause high blood pressure, and make interpersonal relationships a challenge.

If you find it hard to truly relax because you’re always on edge, you may want to try progressive relaxation.

This relatively simple therapy involves tensing muscles, then relaxing them progressively. You might focus on one area of your body or tense and relax your muscles from head to toe.

When done properly, it has the potential to improve your sleep, as well as reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms. It can even ease neck and lower back pain, as well as headaches, while improving systolic blood pressure.

Try Yoga

Exercise is an important aspect of everyone’s health, regardless of whether you served in the military or not. However, current and previous military members may find it especially difficult to balance the needs of the body with the needs of the mind. That’s where yoga comes in.

Because yoga involves slow, deliberate movements, it can provide the perfect way for you to search deep within, relax your mind, and get a workout at the same time. With roots in ancient Indian philosophy, many people find that practicing yoga can also elicit a spiritual experience.

Not sure if yoga is right for you? It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different kinds! A few to consider include:

  • Asthtanga and power yoga provide you with a great workout
  • Jivamukti incorporates chanting and meditation
  • Iyengar focuses on stillness and posture
  • Kundalini uses breathing techniques to move energy through the body

Prioritize Sleep

Sleep can be hard to come by if you’re anxious or memories and feelings are troubling you. However, it’s extremely important to your mental and physical well-being.

You have to find what works for you when getting a good night of sleep. You can HEAL poor sleep by:

  • Caring for your physical health
  • Creating a comfortable sleep environment
  • Cultivating the right attitude for sleep
  • Avoiding lifestyle choices that can impact sleep

Connect With Others

Coming home after serving in the military can make you feel different than the people around you. Even if you’re surrounded by people you love and who love you in return, it’s easy to feel alone.

You should still try to talk to your friends and family members about how you’re feeling, but it can also be helpful to reach out to others who know what you have been through. Join a veterans network online or attend meetings and events with other veterans in your area. It gives you a chance to talk about your experiences with others who truly understand.

Don’t Put Off Getting Help

Whether you’re experiencing physical symptoms or you don’t feel like yourself, you should never put off getting help. Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal or you have the overwhelming feeling that you should be able to fix the problem yourself, it’s always better to get help sooner rather than later.

A medical diagnosis could be made worse if you put off going to the doctor after experiencing painful or troubling symptoms, while mental health challenges can damage or ruin important relationships if they aren’t addressed quickly.

Experiencing a healthy mind and body can seem out of your reach if you are a veteran. Although it does take some work, you can feel like the best version of yourself again. Follow these tips and you can care of your mental and physical health after you return to civilian life.

Staff Writer; Brad James

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