Exploring the Idea of Certain Thoughts, Images and Beliefs Which May Have the Power to Keep Those Grieving Stuck in the Trauma.
Are there thoughts, images and/or beliefs that we hold, which may have the potential to keep us stuck in the trauma of losing our loved one ?
Some examples of thoughts:
“I should have been there”
“It was my responsibility to protect them”
“I should have been the one that died”
“I will never heal”
“I will always suffer”
Examples of images:
The image of our last argument
The image of them dying
The image of them after their death
The image of them in their coffin
The image of them when I was asked to identify the body.
The image of them angry at me.
Possible examples of beliefs:
“I will never get through this”
“I will never heal”
“I cannot live without them”
“I don’t have the right to heal”
We all need strategies to help to create movement in these areas which can keep us stuck.
Acknowledgement: Monitoring our minds’ activity, strengthening awareness and acceptance.
Validation: Validating the importance and the meaning in what is thought, visualized and believed.
Normalization: Normalize our reactions to an abnormal and traumatic experience.
Thought Stopping: A gentle, yet assertive STOP statement to self.
Challenging Questions: “How is this thought serving me”? “Is this keeping me stuck”? “Is this belief supporting my healing”?
Compassion Statement: “ I am doing my best”. “One moment at a time”. “I am grateful for……..”
Self-Care and Support.
REPEAT THIS LIST OF STRATEGIES
The art of an instant distraction. Don’t underestimate the value of a change of scene ( as simple as putting on your outdoor clothing and getting some fresh air for 5 minutes ) to help you break a damaging cycle of thought. Be creative in your distractions; the possibilities are limitless. If you like to bake, then look up a new recipe, gather the ingredients, and spend some time creating something new. Maybe you like to watch films, or read books for pleasure. It is okay to give yourself permission to take small breaks from your grief, in order to create space for healing to begin.