Post traumatic stress disorder is something you probably know affects many people in the forces, and in this case was referring to US army veterans who had seen many conflicts.
The study started when the soldiers were back in the hospital in the US. Their disorder was so bad that some had failed to talk-for 5 years! That’s quite a thing on its own, quite how much they had withdrawn into themselves was startling and deeply disturbing after witnessing the ravages of war.
A radical experiment got them to be more active. In this case, they were taken out to sea by a surfing instructor. The men were being taught to surf, they didn’t really want to go but they managed to get them in the water.
Within literally 5 waves crashing over them, some men starting smiling and laughing, which according to the nurses and doctors present was the first time they could remember it happening.
Within 30 minutes, many of the group uttered their first words since they had been in the hospital (5 years ago).
The benefits continued to get better the more sessions they spent being in the water, and being active in general.
Most treatment for anything to do with the mind starts with exactly that-treating the mind and often medication.
A growing movement around the world by doctor’s and think tanks to create real change focuses on the subject getting active and moving more first.
There are numerous studies to show that you think more positively when you are exercising, being more active than when you are staying still and contemplating a solution or lack of it.
As the soldiers showed, whilst not completely solving their many problems, they got them on the road to a better future, getting them back “to live life” and hopefully in a place where they can make better and more empowering decisions about their future.
Get active, celebrate your ability to think more clearly and enjoy the opportunities that brings.