Improving Your Emotional Health
We all know about the circle of life. After life comes death. I think sometimes we forget that death is part of the privilege of living. While alive, we get to experience love, laughter, joy, sorrow, sadness, and heartache.
The source of heartache is frequently caused by the parting of someone you loved preciously and unconditionally. Too many times it is not on your timeline. To be honest, the death of a loved one is never on your timeline whether to cancer, illness, old age, or suicide. You might even want to have the superpower to resurrect your loved one. I only know of one person that has been able to do that. And that story is yet to be complete.
While I make light of this, learning to handle and walk-through grief is not easy. Loss of a child, no matter the age, to suicide is difficult to bear. It creates a wide range of emotions including guilt, anger, and shame. I sought help immediately after my son took his life and highly recommend that if this is your journey, you do the same. Suicide is messy, complex, and difficult.
Do you tell yourself you do not know how to overcome your loss? You could be telling yourself that you do not deserve happiness, you are responsible for your child’s passing or even that you cannot live without them, now or ever. You may think you will never be the same.
Your emotions will be all over the place. I can guarantee it. You cannot control these emotions however you can teach yourself how to rethink about your responses. Changing your mindset is one of the most beneficial things you can do to help deal with your emotions. It is also one of the hardest.
Allow me to share with you why it is difficult and how to make the changes so your guilt, anger and shame no longer control you.
There are neuropathways that develop in your brain that allow thoughts to repeat and play over and over in your head. Think of those pathways much like a worn path through the field. My best friend when I was growing up lived on the next block and the easiest way to get there was to walk through the field. It did not take long for the path to become well-worn and easily identified. I could walk it in the dark with my eyes closed because it was so well worn. The same happens in your brain. Rather than creating a new path, all your thoughts follow the same pattern as your previous thoughts and wind up with the same negative thinking.
This makes it difficult to make changes. The good news though is that you can rewire and reroute your thoughts. It takes effort and you must be intentional.
Your brain is extremely good at protecting you from pain. It is necessary to walk through the pain to heal. You must believe the pain will not last forever. Your brain, aka subconscious thoughts, control the responses to life experiences, grief, anger, guilt to name a few. So how you do change those thoughts?
Affirmations are a good way to reroute and rewire your brain. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you overcome negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, you will start to believe them and see positive changes.
It is best to have them handwritten on an index card. When you complete your affirmations, say them to yourself silently for approximately 30 seconds for each statement. Say it with emotion. Connect to the outcome you want. When I think of my favorite affirmation, “I am a great mother”, I become joyful and my heart fills with gratitude. Even if I am having a tough moment being the mother I want to be, this encourages me to work at who I really desire to be. I have 8-10 affirmations that I do every single day. I do them in the morning and before I go to sleep at night.
If you are experiencing guilt, anger or shame, you can add these affirmations to your deck.
I am free of anxiety and live a calm life.
I did not cause their death.
They were in pain and I could not control them.
I am in control of myself.
I could not cure their illness.
It was their choice, not mine. I am not responsible for what happened.
I have survived difficulty before and will do it again.
I am enough.
I am stronger than I think.
It will take time to shift your mindset. However, doing affirmations will help tremendously with your emotional health. It will give you the power to bounce back, be joyful and move through your grief.
Affirmations need to be written very specifically because if written incorrectly, they will do more harm than good. It is a good idea to work with a grief coach experienced in writing effective affirmations. They will help you to look towards the future. With their support, patience, and your effort, you will survive your grief.
Want to know more about grief coaching? Learn how it can help you, how to become an active participant in your grief and your healing. Schedule your complimentary GRIEF BREAKTHROUGH SESSION TODAY. Click on this link and find a time that works for you.
Peggy Green is a has experienced the grief of losing many loved ones including two of her children. Walking through grief caused her to seek out ways to heal her own grief and then share those steps with others. Her mission is to bring hope to mothers who are grieving the loss of a child and support to those who feel they can't find hope for the future.
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