Members of any armed forces branch face myriad stressors during their time in service or on tour. However, even as a veteran, the effects of this stress can persist. It is necessary for veterans to embrace daily practices for coping with stress so they can experience the lasting peace they deserve. Whether veterans are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other distressing mental health battles due to their service, learning to embrace a healthier lifestyle can foster greater health, peace, and overall well-being.
The Need for Daily Peace
Veterans face unique challenges, even long after their time on active duty has concluded. Persistent military culture, the prevalence of trauma and PTSD, and even pervasive feelings of loss or grief are all incredibly common among veterans. Coupled with the common use of addictive substances, the daily lives of veterans can be filled with tumultuous emotions.
No one coping strategy will work for every veteran. However, daily action for one’s mental health is crucial for learning how to manage one’s emotional state appropriately. Engaging with daily practices to add peace and stability to daily life is instrumental in fostering a healthy, fulfilling civilian life.
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Embracing nature has many benefits for those seeking healthy ways to manage their mental health and achieve peace. Staying inside can lead to physical restlessness and feeling emotionally “trapped” by the physical walls. Therefore, getting outside is essential for deconstructing some of these barriers. The fresh air can also provide a degree of emotional respite as it allows individuals to detach from common stresses like workplace responsibilities or negative news outlets. Detaching oneself from potential sources of stress can allow one’s mind to focus solely on strengthening one’s awareness and ability to be fully present in the moment.
However, how one embraces the outdoors can be wholly unique. For some, going on a jog or walking one’s dog can foster feelings of peace and freedom. Others may benefit from finding new hiking spots or taking a stroll along the beach. Even getting outside to tend to a garden or sit in a naturally flourishing space, like a park, can all be ways to reap the benefits that nature can provide. Connecting with the winds, grass, and surrounding nature can do wonders for one’s mental health, especially by providing a sense of peace.
Yoga is an often-touted approach to help many people cope with the anxieties of daily life. However, this is because of its efficacy. Yoga combines physical movement with effective breathing strategies to strengthen one’s overall experience of mindfulness. It is a practice that promotes physical, mental, and spiritual peace by providing one’s whole being an outlet to decompress from stress.
Dedicating a consistent amount of time and having a designated place to engage with these practices daily can be transformational. Veterans can either utilize this daily practice in their own homes or use it as a way to connect with others through yoga or tai chi classes offered by one’s local community.
Practice Positive Thinking
While practicing positive thinking can feel strange at first, it is an important practice for maintaining a peaceful state of mind. The effects of anxiety, stress, depression and trauma can fundamentally alter one’s way of thinking, birthing a more pessimistic and fearful worldview. Practicing positive thinking can deconstruct these notions and create a more manageable emotional state. For some, this can come in the form of journaling. By identifying and recording positive events daily, individuals can feel motivated to seek silver linings or positive elements in their life that would have otherwise gone unacknowledged.
Taking a moment to find positive elements of one’s day can also come in the form of gratitude. Thanking another for something can highlight how connected each one is to others in their lives and can help veterans feel more supported by their families and community.
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Acknowledge What You Can Control
Identifying what each individual can truly control on a daily basis is crucial for attaining a peaceful state of mind. The stresses veterans face can make it difficult to acknowledge when something may be out of one’s direct control. However, making a list of daily goals and allowing oneself to be out of control of some elements can enable veterans to embrace a healthier state of mind. For some, this empowers veterans to refocus their energies on truly attainable goals, learning to structure their daily lives and expectations. Others may be able to relinquish blame or guilt as they are no longer expected to control the impossible. Daily lists are instrumental in managing these expectations with purpose and structure while allowing oneself to embrace necessary daily peace.
For veterans who continue to experience lingering mental health symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional help. There are centers for alcohol and drug treatment, as well as centers for mental health treatment, that are available to help veterans experience long-lasting recovery.
Despite daily stresses and challenges, taking the time to find peace and detach from daily emotional struggles is instrumental for one’s mental health. We at Hawaii Island Recovery are committed to helping you balance your needs and goals in overcoming substance use, trauma, and mental health disorders with supportive and relaxing opportunities. Our dedicated approach to this balance helps you or your loved one navigate stresses while continuing to prioritize your own healthy daily life. From detox and residential care to ongoing outpatient support, our effective Hawaii sober living and recovery center is a proven place to balance your needs with your ongoing sobriety. For effective substance use treatment in Hawaii, call us today at (866) 390-5070.