Updated: Jul 15, 2022
While on your healing journey, the walk or crawl can be a tough one to get through. Especially with
friends or family chiming in with advice like “Think positively”, “Focus only on the good”, “Can’t you
see all the love and light around you?”, “Change your behaviour; make the decision to act differently tomorrow”, “Why are you feeling this way? You shouldn’t.” or my personal favourite, “You have mental problems, you should see a doctor. You need therapy.”
Although some of these phrases may be well-intentioned, they are not helpful to the healing process.
About 15 years ago I read a quote from a Hungarian psychologist that stated, “They are sitting in
their lukewarm shit because they are so afraid to change. It stinks but the smell is familiar and
warm.” These words are very relevant in understanding people who give this type of advice, claiming to understand mental health and how the healing process works.
I implore you to ignore this type of advice. Not only is it not helpful, but can lead to a longer healing time or a further decline in mental health. No one can truly understand what you’re going through.
Your situation is unique to you, and while it may not seem like a “big deal” to others, it may very well feel like the end of the world to you. Your feelings are valid, period.
You may feel like you want to run away from it all, or burst out in anger, or crawl into a ball and hide
from the world. You may want to cry, or scream, or break something. You may be scared of what
comes next, or may be afraid to be left alone. These feelings cannot be brushed off. They are all
valid and can be dealt with in your own time and on your own terms.
These are all situations that are familiar to me and I can help you with. My approach revolves around simplicity being key. I would like to share a profound exercise that helped both me and my clients tremendously. When a situation happens, perhaps due to a fight, misunderstanding,
This may cause your anger to rise, perhaps even make you want to cry or
makes it hard for you to breathe, trying following these steps:
- Acknowledge your feelings and then find a quiet place to be alone
- Start to describe your feelings out loud to yourself
- Breathe and try to adopt a body posture
- Ask yourself What is triggering these feelings? Is it due to an event or issue from the past?
- Write down your feelings and any memories, if possible, as this will help you analyze your
pain and help with the healing process
Your feelings are valid and unique to you and your situation. Perhaps you were triggered because of an event or trauma from your past? And when you’re triggered, all these chemicals can rush to your brain and take over.
Once you get over the initial shock of the situation, then it’s time to start healing. Visualize someone you look up to, or seek comfort from. Imagine them giving you the care, love, understanding and reassurance you need to feel safe, heard and seen again. Try to feel them wrapping their loving arms around you or comforting you with a warm blanket. They tell you that you matter and that they’re there for you. You are safe and loved. Stay in this state of mind until you begin to feel better. You should feel a little warmer, your muscles starting to relax, or release of tension in your body, etc.
Take deep breaths as your body starts to calm down. Repeating a mantra may also be helpful; like
saying “I’m safe, I’m okay.” . Stay in this moment for as long as you need.
Later, you may want to write down your experience in a journal or even share your experience in a
safe space with people who support you or maybe even the person(s) who might have triggered
your experience. If another situation occurs, try to take a step back to better understand what’s happening and what’s causing your feelings. Tell your inner child that they’ll be okay. In time, you’ll be able to distinguish what’s healthy for you and what’s not. You may even start distancing yourself from those who are unhelpful to your healing journey. You are entitled to your feelings and should not feel guilty in forging your own path to a healthy wellbeing.
If you have any questions, would like to know more about my approach to mental health, or would
like to book a session, please don’t hesitate to reach out.