After an emotional loss, a person goes through various stages of grief including denial, anger and a feeling of worthlessness.
Read on for our Xpert tips on speeding up the process of emotional recovery.
Change your Self-Image
A traumatic experience often results in a low self esteem. This could manifest itself in guilt, anger and bitterness. Often, in trying to come up with an answer to ‘Why me?’ sufferers believe that they somehow deserve what they
got—that they suffered because they were less worthy than the rest of mankind.
Replace the negative assertions with positive ones. Stop blaming yourself and
give yourself the time and space to heal. Assure yourself over and over again
until you believe it—that just because you have been through some rough times,
you are not going to go down under.
Surround Yourself with Friends and Family
At the time of a traumatic experience, don’t shut other people out. Share your experience and your feelings with the people who are closest to you. Not only will talking about it help you recover, but feeling your family’s or your
friends’ concern for you will strengthen your resolve to get on with your life.
Isolating yourself can only have negative effects. Of course, wanting to be by
yourself sometimes is understandable, but at these times, go to a park and watch
people or go for a long, soothing walk.
Don’t Shut Out the Feelings
After a traumatic experience, a person could repress his feelings. Men stand in greater danger of this than women, because men us
ually associate a show of feeling with weakness. In an effort to appear strong,
are you bottling up your feelings and emotions? Because if you are, you are not
allowing yourself to heal. The best way to tackle depression and trauma is to
confront your feelings and express it. Talk about your feelings. If you’ve
always found solace in art, turn the negative energy into painting, poetry or
Involve Yourself with Others
Isolating yourself is the worst thing to do when after a traumatic experience.
Socialize. Network with your old friends and make new ones. Better still, join a volunteer group. As you spend time with people who are less privileged than you, you’ll begin to count your blessings and realize that in spite of all
you’ve been through, it’s not the end of the road.
Join Support Groups
Join support groups held under the guidance of a trained supervisor.
After all, you don’t want the group to degenerate into one long, never-ending pity party. If a counselor is not able to guide you to one, join an online support group. Sharing your experience with those who’ve been through similar
situations will assure you that you are not alone. Just the fact that there are
other people out there, who know, understand and empathize with you, will assure
you that what you are going through is normal.
Travel and See New Places
Let new, alluring experiences replace the old, sad ones. If you can afford it, visit an exotic place you’ve always wanted to. But don’t consciously do it with the intention of repressing the problem or running away from it. Do it
because you see a way towards healing. Do get the problem out of your system.
But, if you still find yourself stuck in a rut, reliving the problem, a change
of scene is likely to do you a world of good. Take some time off to recuperate,
meet new people and enjoy new cultures.
Keep a journal and write about your feelings, the places you’ve been to, the people you’ve met. When you’re back from your hiatus, you’ll realize that the sharp edge of your pain has been dulled.
Exercises and Work-outs
Get into the discipline of exercising your body. Work out briskly. Exercise boosts endorphin levels and makes you feel lighter in your body and mind. The sense of routine associated with the discipline of exercise will help bring back
a semblance of normalcy into your life.
Give yourself a Deadline
Though it’s not very practical to set a fixed date for yourself to shake off grief, it is still advisable to set a fixed period of time over which you think you’ll be able to recover. Give yourself a month or two and after that, promise
yourself that you’re not going to indulge in self-pity. If you let your grief
continue endlessly, it’ll invade your life and could cost you the support of
your loved ones.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Stay off alcohol and drugs when you’re depressed or down. While it may give you a temporary high, chances are that you’ll end up resorting to it oftener and oftener. Research shows that men who have a history of substance abuse generally
start off because of a setback. Over time, any difficult situation is met with
consumption of alcohol and drugs. As their bodies get more used to it, they have
to take in larger quantities to sustain the high. Be a man! Stand up and
confront the problem instead of escaping.
Often, sufferers come out with the feeling that they have learned a lesson.
Sometimes, the ‘lesson’ could be healthy. But more often than not, the lesson is usually a warped judgment. “Never trust anybody”, “Women are always money-minded,” “ Avoid making friends with people from such and such a
religion,” etc. Healing from a traumatic experience is totally in your hands. If
you set out on the road to recovery with determination, then nothing, but
nothing can stop you from becoming a person who’s not only more mature and wise,
but one who also has the experience of slaying his own dragons.