Be aware of how you are feeling. Self-awareness is a key component
to healing. Allow time during your day to check in with yourself. Take
this time to access and process your feelings without judging or
discounting them. You can do this by simply noticing how you are feeling
and making a nonjudgmental mental note. This is simply to acknowledge
your emotional state. Other methods for processing are: writing your
feelings down in a journal, talking with someone you trust and feel
with, drawing or painting how you are feeling. The main point is to
aside some time to check in with yourself. Think of the example of a
that has too much air. You want to release the air pressure little by
to create the right balance of air for the tire. The same principle
in times of crisis and in times of heightened anxiety. Letting out pressure
little by little is far better than one big blow out. Even though it
is very important at this time not to suppress feelings, the outlets
need to be appropriate, safe, and healthy.
a wide range of emotional experiences for each individual and these
emotional states are not necessarily consistent. One needs to
figure these emotional states into their life experience without judgement
or trying to "rush through" them. One may feel angry, irritated,
anxious, listless, or even experience the feeling of, "Whats
These feelings will most likely be cyclical. Everyone experiences these
feelings in varying degrees, and there are no wrong or right feelings.
these emotions seem to intensify, and you experience them chronically,
you may want to seek professional assistance, work with a crisis management
group or grief process group.
Some common feelings, emotions, and mental states experienced in this
type of situation are: (There are as many unique combinations of feelings
as there are unique individuals. Again, remember no feelings are wrong
or right. They simply are feelings needing a healthy outlet.)
Sense of loss
Numbness sense of "no feelings"
A feeling of "Whats the use"
Doubting ones purpose
Wanting to be busy all the time
Avoidance of issues
Avoidance of events
Not wanting to talk
Wanting to talk more than one usually does
Not wanting to be alone, or go places alone
Some days you may feel untouched by these events, other days feel greatly
What are you experiencing at this time?
What can you personally do to?
of your emotional/feeling state and feel safer in your environment
calm, peaceful, and relaxed.
a sense of healthy personal control.
your spiritual connection: Connect with God, your personal interpretation/belief
on this, whether through church, spiritual group, new thought organization,
synagogue, mosque, temple, chapel, meditation, visualization, uplifting
book, 12-Step program, uplifting talks, friends, family, nature, or
other healthy life enhancing groups.
Ways to integrate and positively channel your emotions, feelings, and
energy: Create a flexible routine. You are most likely going to have
to make adjustments because of personal feelings, feelings of those
around you, and the changes in the community, business community, as
well as nation. Situations in life may seem up and down and unpredictable.
you gather support during this time?
need a sense of positive, non-ridged control in our environment to feel
your closets. Give to charity what you do not need. Clean out the garage.
Sweep the leaves. Rearrange the household furniture. What other activities
will give you a positive and flexible sense of control.
you always wanted to do? Is there something you have always wanted to
We are in a state of change and transition. Our life has been changed
by recent tragic events, and therefore our personal life has changed.
We are adjusting to that change on all levels: mentally, emotionally,
physically, and materially.
adapt, and acclimate to these changes on a personal level. This is called
restructuring, or reorientation.
It is important
to create as healthy, safe, and stress-free environment while you heal
from this tragedy and all that it means to you in your life at this
gentle with yourself and others at this time.
experience anger or irritability, get to the feelings of vulnerability
and helplessness that are usually underneath. Write about how you are
feeling, or share with someone close. By doing so, you acknowledge what
is going on, so you can then move on.
Monitor how long you dwell on feelings that seem negative or depressing.
This is an individual judgement call. You dont want to dwell,
yet you dont want to avoid or discount.
discount friends at this time; friends can be an excellent source of
informed can give a sense of control. But, preoccupation with events
we cant control is non- productive and destructive.
realistically only control our own thoughts and actions.
List your own positive ways of coping, adjusting, and moving forward.
(This can be a family project. The more each member feels a sense of
positive control and contribution, the easier the healing process.)
of the world has always been uncertain, as well as our own personal
destiny. There is only so much one can know, even with the best psychic!
However, at times like these, the uncertainty and unpredictability is
heightened to an acute level.
have pre-existing conditions it might be a good time to handle them,
seek professional assistance, or just be aware they may be re-stimulated
by the present events.
like the ones we are living through tend to trigger past traumas. This
is natural. You may want to allow healing time for this factor.
resist the tendency to overdo. Even if you are very busy you can fit
in 10 to 15 minutes a day to check in with yourself. Balance is key
It is too
much for a family or couple to handle these circumstances. These events
and the life changes it is creating are stressors and can cause undue
distress if one is dependent on just one person for emotional support
or keeping it bottled up. This is not just a family affair. It is a
community affair. Use your community resources.
with others, even if sporadic Do what you can during these times, and
trust your feelings.
seek professional assistance, especially if you are experiencing erratic
behavior and emotions, or if your routine drastically changes in response
to the tragic events we are living through.
Stress Bad Stress
Positive-Negative Stress Factor By
- Body Connection
By Michele Meiché
Meiché Ct.H.A. Ph.D.
Bereavement Counselor of Board Certified Hypnotherapist ©2001