Using your own conversation to cope with the death of a loved one
Have you ever said to yourself when you think about the loss of a loved one that you are afraid to face the world without him/her? Or you said, “That’s not fair. I do not deserve this. Why did this happen to me? How am I going to raise the kids and pay the bills?’
Everyone talks silently to each other every day. It is a normal human reaction that has great power in shaping the conditions of life. We often fail to realize how negative our self-talk becomes. Yet, regardless of the nature of the external conditions, what you say to yourself when you are grieving is critical to whatever action is taken or not taken. And the way you talk inside will greatly affect the amount of physical and emotional pain.
Ultimately, how you deal with loss will be influenced by many factors. But none carry more weight than what you tell yourself and the beliefs behind that conversation. Here are some considerations for developing self-talk that can help you cope with your loss.
1. To motivate yourself to deal with loss, never forget that your thoughts and the way you express them are extremely powerful. Every thought has a physical counterpart. Or, when you grieve, every cell in your body grieves. Grief is hard work, requiring a tremendous amount of energy. You can save energy with soothing self-talk at the right time.
2. The single most important part of the self-talk you can create is telling yourself that you will get through this sad time. Use whatever makes the most sense to you: “I’ll handle it.” “I insist.” “I win.” “I do.” Keep repeating and repeating so that it becomes part of your unconscious beliefs.
3. We all have subconscious beliefs that we are not aware of that influence behavior. They are learned early in life and can be reliable or highly questionable. For example, many people hold back tears because of the unconscious (and sometimes conscious) belief that crying is a sign of weakness. You can discover your unconscious beliefs by carefully observing your behavior and asking what belief is behind your actions or lack of action.
4. Use your self-talk when overwhelmed by painful thoughts. No matter where you are, standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for your ride, or sitting at your desk, have an affirmation ready to use when you realize you’re focusing too much on what you’re missing in your loved one . The key is to recognize if your thoughts are dragging you down.
Try, “I change the focus of my thoughts” or “I change myself.” Then substitute a positive memory and add “That’s beautiful.” Keep repeating it and walk, turn left or right, or get up from your desk. Combine self-talk with physical movement when you can.
5. Use your positive self-talk as part of a morning wake-up ritual. What you say to yourself first thing in the morning when you wake up can affect the quality of your day. “I’m facing my pain and dealing with it” or “I’m experiencing my pain” might be options to start with. “I’m getting through this day” is another choice.
Or pray for the wisdom to make the right choices and deal with the new routines you need to establish. Then start your positive self-talk and repeat each sentence at least 15-20 times. Always use “I am” to indicate that you are in the process of an action.
6. Finally, give your physical self a breather by choosing to focus on stress relaxation each day for at least 20-30 minutes. Find a quiet place. Tell yourself to drain tension and anxiety from your body as you lie down. Say, “Let go. Release. Muscles relax.” Keep training to complete.
You have the strength within you to deal with your great loss. You can get up. Yes, let others help. But you should always be the main lifter. Make self-care a priority. You are doing this out of self-love, a truly noble and necessary approach to integrating this loss into your life.
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