/ Mind/ How To Manage Gender Dysphoria Outside of Therapy
Learn what gender dysphoria is and how to manage it outside of traditional therapy tactics.
Exploring gender identity can be a beautiful experience, but it can also come with varying levels of complexity and challenges depending on each individual's journey. The amount of dysphoria felt can range from mild to incapacitating. Some transgender and non-binary individuals could experience gender dysphoria, which may increase symptoms for those who experience depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns.
Gender dysphoria is the state of incongruency between a person's biological sex and gender identity. It can manifest in many different ways, including:
Physical dysphoria - feeling like the body of your biological sex doesn't match the way you view your gender.
Social dysphoria - feeling unease or discomfort with your name, pronouns, and expected gender roles associated with your biological sex.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage gender dysphoria and its feelings. The key is to find methods that work for you. Here are just some of the many ways you can manage your gender dysphoria when it arises.
Meditation can help clear your mind and give you a different focus. You can practice it indoors or outdoors, alone or with a group, and tailor your meditation habits to suit your goals. There is no "wrong" way to meditate. As long as you can clear your thoughts and figure out how you're feeling and what you want the most, meditation could effectively help combat dysphoria.
Having a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings about having dysphoria can work wonders in helping to manage it. Journaling your dysphoria can also provide insight into how you feel about your gender, tracking the amount of dysphoria and feelings about gender over time. Use your journal any way you see fit! You can share this journal with someone you trust, such as a therapist, or keep it private and read over it when dysphoria intensifies again.
Talking about your dysphoria with supportive friends or family members is very helpful in managing it. Even better, finding a therapist to analyze your feelings can give you a better insight into your gender and how you relate to it. Find support groups in your area or online circles, and don't be afraid to join one. Surrounding yourself with those going through the same problems as you can help you realize that you are not alone in your struggles.
Engaging in arts and crafts is a great way to relax and ease anxiety and depression. You can express your feelings through various creative projects, whether it's acrylic paint on a canvas or drawings on a piece of paper. You can even use clay or other craft materials! With art, the possibilities are infinite, and it can also help with dysphoria by giving you an outlet for your emotions.
Providing yourself with an activity that keeps you active mentally or physically can reduce the anxiety and depression associated with gender dysphoria. Exercise and yoga can help you achieve a weight goal and keep you fit and healthy, which will give you an advantage if you start hormone replacement therapy in the future. Playing mentally challenging games such as sudoku and trivia games can help sharpen your mind and give you clearer thoughts while playing relaxing games can help soothe you and ease your dysphoric feelings.
For transgender and non-binary people, gender dysphoria can range from uncomfortable and a minor annoyance to devastating and anxiety-inducing. Luckily, there are many ways to relieve dysphoria and become more comfortable in your identity. Finding a therapist specializing in gender dysphoria and its associated symptoms can help. Inkblot Therapy makes connecting with a practitioner simple using our unique matching system. We'll direct you to a provider selection page where matches will be ranked based on effectiveness and your individual needs by answering a series of questions.
Remember that you are not alone. While becoming who you've always been can take a long time, you will get there. Stay strong.
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