Coping Strategies after Traumatic Events

Trauma Can Affect Self-Image

traumaCoping Strategies after Traumatic Events” is the 7th in a series of post which elaborate on the post, Self-Esteem: 10 Causes.

From time to time, we all experience unfortunate events, situations, and traumas. Although traumas might involve physical injuries and damage, they can also be emotional. If unaddressed, the results of these emotional experiences can last for years.

Today, we’re focusing on the emotional aspects of trauma and what you can do to speed your recovery. Take a few moments to reflect upon your life and notice old hurts, especially emotional ones, which influence your life.

These could be your parents’ divorce when you were young, being bullied, or other upsets. Depending upon your emotional reaction, you will experience different levels of trauma. Let’s look at some ways you can help yourself cope with emotional trauma.

Trauma coping strategies:

Some of these are simple and you may not think they would be effective. Small strategies can have a tremendous influence simply because you are taking control of the event rather than allowing the event to control you.

  1. Congratulate yourself on surviving. You made it through what happened. It doesn’t matter whether the event was physical, which always involves emotions, or “just emotional. You’re here. You did it. You’ve coped. You may not think that’s a big deal. After all, what else were you to do. You could have crashed and burned but you didn’t. Pat yourself on your back and give yourself a big hug. Really.Reminds me of a song!

    1. Give yourself some time. If the trauma was recent, you need some recuperation time. When the trauma is physical, you can see your wounds. When emotional, the wounds are hidden but they hurt sooooo much. Healing from emotional trauma takes time and rest. In the evenings after work, allow yourself some time to relax.
    1. Time plus be nice to yourself. You have to keep going in your daily life. Give yourself a break if you get distracted and take longer at your tasks. That’s your mind slowing down to process everything. Talk gently to yourself and remind yourself you need to be gentle with yourself.
    1. Keep the positive thoughts going. You can develop your own affirmation such as, “Each day I get better and better.” You can also sing the “I Will Survive” song above. Make it your ring tone.
    1. Do something you enjoy each day. This is a wonderful stress buster and one everyone should incorporate in their lives. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day, sit outdoors and watch the birds, work on a fun project, or talk to a friend. Staying in touch with the things that give you joy will speed your recovery.
    1. Let yourself cry, beat pillows, scream. Sometimes you just need to releae those feelings. After you let them go, take a few minutes and breathe deeply. Imagine you’re breathing in healing love. See, sense, feel that love course through your body. You are an amazing person and stronger than anyone ever knows even when you need to do some emotional release.
    1. Put on some relaxing or joyful music. Research shows that music soothes your spirit. Listen to music which brings you peace each day for at least 15 minutes. You can go to YouTube and search for relaxing music. There is plenty out there. Just to give you a head start, I found the piece below for you. You can use it for background music or listen and watch the beautiful images.
    2. Pamper yourself. If ever there’s a time to indulge indulge yourself, it’s when you’re healing from trauma. Relax on the couch, play with the kids, do that one thing you’ve been wanting to do.
    1. Watch funny movies or television. Laughing is shown to boost the immune system. Find something funny to watch. Everyone’s humor is different so be sure you find something for your sense of humor. Belly laughs are great and they release tension as well as improving your health.
    1. Move your body. Provided the doctor says it’s okay, engage in some physical activity each day. Dance. Walk. Play ball. Do some yoga. Lift weights, or get on the treadmill. Physical exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones.
    1. Be with those you love. Spend time with people who give your life meaning. Laughing, signing and dancing with them combines several wonderful things in your life.
  1. Recognize when you need help. Sometimes you need an expert. That’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength to know when you need help. You deserve the best of life. Spending time with a expert can give you a new perspective.

Healing takes time. You deserve that time. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will be able to help you.

As Above, So Below: The Intricacies of Life

As Above, So Below: The Spiritual World Must Be as Intricate as the Physical World

On my Facebook Page I see photos, read amazing stories, learn of various experience upon this earth that I know we live in a beautiful complex world.

Doesn’t that hint at the spiritual world, that world we don’t see, as being equally complex? It does for me.

Return from Tomorrow

I’ve had a fascination with near death experiences. A few decades ago, when Raymond Moody’s books came out, I slurped them up avidly.

I wanted to know what people saw on “the other side.”

As I was exploring, I found the book Return from Tomorrow. There were several things in this particular book which fascinated me.

You Can Be So Focused on This World You Don’t Go to the Next

When Ritchie was “traveling” after his clinical death, he observed a wealth of life among those who had died. I realize that sounds strange. He saw people acting just like they would if they were on earth. There were multitudes of people completely unaware they were dead.

One guy was talking on an “old timey” phone from the 1920s in the same office his son was speaking on a slick new phone (of the 1940s). The guy was physically dead but he didn’t know it. His life on earth had been centered around work and, when everyone else knew he was dead, he continued working totally unaware of being dead.

That sounds strange, even ridiculous, but I have some fascinating stories I’ll need to share in another post about my experiences in this area.

How He Could Tell Who Was Physically Alive and Who Wasn’t

Ritchie began to notice that certain people had light around them. I thought this meant they were alive. He then said this light was the light of God with them attempting to guide people “home.”

I was touched deeply by Ritchie’s experience that God never gave up on us, not even after death. God was attempting to penetrated the stubbornness of feelings and beliefs of those who were either too terrified to come “home” or who held onto old beliefs so tenaciously they couldn’t see the truth of Love.

There Were People Who Invented

He saw an amazing image of people working on what he recognized was a submarine. It was only some years later when a new advanced submarine was loudly proclaimed in the news that he realized he had seen that submarine being developed “on the other side.”I was delighted by the affirmation there were many different activities we could participate in once we left our physical bodies.

As Above So Below

The saying, “As Above So Below” has been known at least since the 6th Century. Some saw it goes back to ancient Greece.

Isaac Newton’s translation of the relevant passage is:

Tis true without error, certain & most true.

That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.

Having heard “As Above So Below” for decades and coupling it with Ritchie’s experience while he was clinically dead, I considered my experiences in my spiritual life.

Growing Up Catholic

angelsOne advantage of Catholicism is that we believe there are those who assist us spiritually other than Jesus and other “aspects” (in quotes because they don’t use that term) of God. From what I know of Protestantism, their belief is only in God as in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Catholics have a wide range of saints and angels we’ve been taught to ask for assistance. No, not worship. Ask for assistance.

Having scooted over in my desk when I was in First Grade to make room for my Guardian Angel, I was well acquainted with asking for assistance.

The New Age or Metaphysical World

When I delved into the New Age world, I became acquainted with more spiritual beings who assisted me. Yes, there were angels. I also became aware there were more than angels. We didn’t stop being of service to others just because we physically died. We still served. We helped. We gave assistance. Some were inventors like those folks Ritchie saw. Others imparted wisdom.

There are even those who literally intervened when no one was around to miraculously keep me from killing myself due to the way I was driving. Those are fascinating stories.

Your Healing Team and My Healing Guides

As you know, I work with facilitating healing in others. I did so as a therapist. I continue to do so as a Life Coach and energy based healing facilitator. I love what I do. I don’t do this alone.

Yes, of course, the person I’m working with is fully involved.

I also have a spiritual support team who guides and directs me in what I do. I call they my Healing Guides. Each client (including myself) has their own spiritual support team who assists them in healing and balancing. Their Healing Team and my Healing Guides work together intimately.

I receive intuitive messages about where I need to focus and what I need to do to assist the person I’m working with. Sometimes, like yesterday, I discover new and amazing things about the human energy field. In this instance I learn about an energy channel which flows from the pranic tube into the chakra and around each of the layers of the chakra.

Wow! Awesome! How amazing and complex is this spiritual world of ours!

If you haven’t considered the spiritual world populated with people having as diverse “jobs” as you find here on Earth, think about it. At least put it in the realm of possibility.

If you want to read about Ritchie’s experience, click on the image and you’ll be taken to Amazon. It is my affiliate link so I’ll receive a few pennies if you purchase the book and anything else you purchase while there.

If you’d like to make an appointment to explore your spiritual support team, you may make an appointment by going ->>>>  here  <<<<<<-  This will take you to my appointment calendar.

Get in touch with your spiritual support team. They will enrich your life.

How’s Your Body Image

Is Your Body Image Lowering Your Self-Esteem?

In my previous post on self-esteem, Body Image was listed as a major cause of low self-esteem. When you compare yourself to others, how they look, and how the media and others think you should look, rarely do you measure up. You look at someone with a body you think you’d enjoy having, and then hear the negative way that person views their body.

You’re self-esteem will rise as you come to appreciate, respect, and learn to love your body. You can love and respect your body as you are working on becoming healthier, stronger and healthier.

Let’s Look at What You can Do to Appreciate Your Body

    1. Appreciate what your body can do for you. You may be focusing on what you’d like to change about your body. Instead, focus on what your body does wonderfully even when you may not give it the nutrition and exercise it needs.Consider that your body can climb, run, walk, dance, sleep, laugh, and  dream. Take a deep breath and feel the air coming into your lungs and brings oxygen to your blood. Listen to or feel your heart beat. It does all this without you giving it instructions.

 

    1. Take a good look at your body. What do you like about it? It could be your hair, your eyes, perhaps your skin. What do people compliment you on about your body? Be thankful for these things.

 

    1. Change the clothes you wear. What do you wear that has you feeling great? We all have our favorite things. When you wear what has you feeling grand,  you’ll feel better about yourself.

 

  1. What you see in magazines isn’t what the person looks like. Below is a short video about four “ordinary” women who were given a photo shoot and then the photos were manipulated.

  2. Ask yourself what you gain by being unhappy with your body. Perhaps your poor body image keeps you from interacting with others. You may not dislike your body as much as you like that your body image keeps you from addressing how you feel with people.Your body image may have you feeling shy, miserable, or less effective. It may be keeping you from focusing on creating the fulfilling life you desire.

When you find yourself focusing on what you don’t like about your body, change your focus to what you do like. Give appreciation to your body for all the wonderful things it does.

There’s no reason to focus on what you can’t change about your body. Spend time focusing on how to attain the desires you want the most.

 

The Danger of Basing Expectations on Comparisons

Expectations, Comparisons and Self-Image

 

Comparisons

 

You have expectations of yourself and of others. It’s natural. The question is, “How do you develop those expectations?” Are they realistic, setting you up for disappointment and, possibly, a self-esteem hit? Hopefully, you developed your expectations with thoughtful consideration.

The Danger in Comparing Your Insides to Someone’s Outsides

If you’re feeling insecure and fearful, you might compare how you feel to someone who is successful in the area you wish to succeed. You may think that person feels confident and self-assured. They may even act that way. You don’t know how they are feeling. You may actually feel more self-confident than they feel.

Develop your own sense of who you are and your confidence. How other people appear may have nothing to do with how they feel.

The Danger in Comparing Your Progress to Another’s Progress

You don’t know what skills another person began with. They may  have had knowledge you don’t have. They may have support you don’t have.

Do use their success as encouragement, a sign that if they accomplished this, you an accomplish something similar.

Compare Your Knowledge and Skills to an Expert’s

knowledgeWhen you have a desire to reach a particular goal, compare your skills and knowledge with someone who has accomplished the same or similar goal.

Where are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? Fill in the gaps of your knowledge base and skill level. Don’t be discouraged by your comparison. Use it as motivation to discover what you need.

And… if you need a skill you don’t have, find someone who has that skill to fill the gap.

Model Your Values after Someone You Admire

Comparing yourself to someone you admire can give you encouragement to be the best you can be. It can also reveal areas you excel and areas you need to work on.

Use this type of comparison as an incentive to strive to be more, not as chastisement for what you are not.

Setting Reasonable Expectations


expectationsWhen setting expectations take into account your past performance, your skill level, amount of confidence and your support.

Your Past Performance

Your past performance is not determinative but it is indicative. If you honestly evaluate what were your strengths and weaknesses in the past, you will have a good indication of how quickly you can progress in the future. By shoring up your weaknesses, you can raise your expectations.

If you neglect to strengthen your weaknesses and keep your expectations high, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and a self-confidence hit.

Your Skill Level

If you need to gain new skills before accomplishing a goal, keep your expectation of success, and adjust your time expectations.

Be aware of setting expectations of accomplishment when you don’t have the necessary skills or equipment to accomplish a task.

Your Support and Self-Confidence

I’ve put these two together. Having self-confidence is huge in regards to achieving your goals. If, however, you have a strong support team and follow their suggestions, you can accomplish your goal without having a great deal of self-confidence. Having confidence in your team can make up for your lack of self-confidence.

Readjust Expectations as Needed

When you become aware you’ve set your expectations too high, adjust them. Needing to readjust is not a failure; it’s being realistic. 

Keep your eye on your goal, make adjustments as necessary and continue your progress.

success

Self-Esteem and Creativity

Must You Have Self-Esteem to be Creative?

 

artist

 

The last week I’ve focused on causes of low self-esteem and how to over come them. I’m going to take a little break today and reflect upon whether you need to have self-esteem to be creative.

A Day at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

I was thinking about creativity and self-esteem as I was enjoying several hours with a friend viewing amazing art, some from the first century. We saw sculptures of religious figures from Korea, India and China. We also enjoyed the artistry of Muslim artists in the architecture and illuminations of their holy scriptures.

When we decided to go to paintings, we examined work focused on Christianity, Greek and Roman myths, still life, portraits and landscapes. We did see one Rembrandt, not one of his most memorable.

Did the people who created this art have good self-esteem? Vincent van Gogh (not in this exhibit) was known to have low self-esteem since childhood yet he painted amazing art. One of my awesome experiences at the Musee d’Orsey in Paris was to stand in front of van Gogh’s Starry Night transfixed by the colors and brushwork.  Believe me when I say that photographs in the best of art books do not capture the exquisite beauty of that painting.

What Is Creativity?

Most people think of creativity associated with art, as in the photo above. This elicits the comments, “Oh, I’m not creative. I can’t draw.”

Creativity is much more than drawing, painting, pottery or similar artistic pursuits.  Creativity is, what people call, thinking outside the box. You’re creative when you develop original ways to solve a problem, make new connections between concepts which seem unrelated, or discover patterns hidden in a wealth of information or stimuli.

Creativity is about seeing life in new and different ways. You don’t need self-esteem to do that. You simply allow your natural abilities to look at life differently come forth.

What Is Self-Esteem?

I believe in Me

Self-esteem is about how you view yourself and your own personal worth. You have good self-esteem when you like yourself and have confidence in yourself. You can have great self-esteem in general, but not feel self-confident in particular areas of life. The opposite is also true. You can have self-confidence in particular areas of life but not have self-esteem in general.

You may have confidence in your ability to produce a painting due to years of success as an artist but feel insecure in the area of relationships.

Self-esteem isn’t an “all or nothing” state of being.

If you have confidence in yourself to be able to address any project and get help when needed, that will take you far. You may not feel confident in your ability at your new endeavor, but you can be confident in your ability to become confident. 

You don’t need confidence to complete the project. You simply need the confidence and determination to take one step at a time. If it’s to learn to draw, you buy the book, register for the on-line course or the studio class. Then you take the class and have fun.

Play at Being Creative and Allow It to Unfold

unfold

You’re never going to discover your creativity unless you venture forth to try something new. Pick up the pencil and draw a circle or a line. Make connections and see what happens. 

Make a list of 5 different ways you can solve a particular problem facing you. Let your mind flow and eliminate no idea for the time being.

Stretch your mind by doing things differently than you usually do.

As you do, you will gain confidence.

As you do, your mind unbends and makes new connections in your brain allowing new ideas to spring forth.

Your self-confidence will grow in this area. Allow it to spill over into liking yourself and your adventurous nature.

 

 

 

 

 

Failure Can be Powerfully Positive

The Power of Failure

 

I’ve been doing a series of posts expanding on the previous post on 10 Causes of Low Self-Esteem. Earlier I talked about the difference between mistakes and failures. Today, I want to focus upon the word failure and what it means to people.

What do you think when you hear the word failure? Do you recall a particular incident in which you believe you failed completely? One or more incidents of failure can have people believing they’re not good enough… or they can never accomplish anything. Sometimes people just give up.

Let’s look at failure in a different way. Failure can also make us stronger or wiser.

The Edison Approach

If you look at the definition of failure you get An act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success. (Personally, I think a definition fails when it uses a root of the word to define a word. As “they” say, just saying.)

You know the story of Thomas Edison, don’t you? He’s the inventor of the light bulb and holds 2332 patents all over the world. When he was working on developing the filament to make that light bulb shine, some people said he tried thousands, maybe even 10,000 different types of filaments.

One of Edison’s most famous quotes is, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

 People view failure as a step backwards. Not Edison. Not succeeding has nothing to do with failure. It’s a step forward.

Successful People Don’t Succeed without Experiencing Lack of Success.

Consider the wonderful things you’ve learned. What’s something you’re proud of? It could be anything from achieving the highest level in a video game to learning a skill to having a wonderful relationship. On your road to success, didn’t you sometimes wonder if you’d succeed? Each time you learned something to not do. As long as you don’t make the same mistakes, you’re on the road to fulfilling your dreams.

If you adopt this attitude, you’ll overcome your feelings of failure and be able to see unsuccessful attempts as learning what not to do before you find what to do.

 Robert Schuller, a famous tele-evangelist for 50 years said, “Failure doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.”

Then their is Henry Ford who once told people they could have a car of any color as long as it was black said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

You will not find a successful person who has not failed more than once. Read their autobiographies and discover how they turn missteps to success.

The truth is, you only fail when you give up! Keep trying until you’ve found the answer or the solution. Then celebrate your success.

The power of failure is in what you learn. Keep learning and you’ll find success.

 

 

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: What You Think

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Your Thoughts Are Indicators of Where You’re Going

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

positive thinking

Back when I was a kid, I heard Mom and Ma (my maternal grandmother) talk about saying good things about myself. Norman Vincent Peale’s book had been popular for about a decade and people were talking about the importance of positive thinking.

Just a few years before Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, was published in 1952, sociologist Robert Merton wrote an article (1948) coining the term “Self-fulfilling Prophecy.”  If you tell yourself you’re going to fail, then fail you will because that is what you said you were going to do.

I rarely hear the words “self-fulfilling prophecy,” but the concept is everywhere. Your thoughts program your mind. This concept has been around for thousands of years, back to the ancient Greeks. Now, with modern technology, we can measure the chemical and physiological changes in the body directly caused by thoughts and feelings.

In the article Low Self-Esteem: 10 Causeswhat you think about yourself is one of the causes of low self-esteem. When you reinforce the negative things people may have said about you, or what you think about yourself, you’re setting yourself up for the unintended consequence (another or Merton’s concepts) of feeling miserable about yourself and sabotaging yourself.

It’s time to change thoughts and behaviors

changeIt’s time to take control of your life and bring more joy into your every day existence. You have more power than you think! Your can make major changes in your life by taking action to change what is happening in your mind.

Get into the habit of practicing these behaviors to gain control over your thoughts – and your life:

      • Acknowledge your feelings. Be honest with yourself about what you feel. None of us like to feel miserable. We dislike it so much we do everything we can to avoid facing those feelings. Face your feelings. Admit what they are and where they come from. Only by being honest with yourself can you change what is causing them.

     

    • Be realistic about what you can and can’t do, and the time frame needed.

      I certainly have the ability to drop the extra weight I’m carrying. There is no way I’m going to change the thick bone structure and short stature I was born with. Know what you can change and what you can’t. Accept, make a plan, and then move on.

 

    • Get support. Discuss your feelings with close friends or family. Sometimes an objective third party is needed.There are times we need the voice of someone not emotionally involved in our lives to give us a different perspective. If your family and friends are supportive, you might not believe what they say about how wonderful you are because, “they’re supposed to love you.”

 

    • Just stop it. When you catch yourself engaging in the negative thinking, tell yourself, “Self,  just stop positive growthit. This hasn’t gotten you anywhere, let’s try something new.”  Have what I call a file cabinet in your mind. Form a visual image of a file cabinet. Think of something wonderful, a happy memory, and see yourself put it in the file cabinet. When you catch yourself in negative thinking, stop, go to the file cabinet and pull out the memory.
  • Take one action each day which moves you closer to what you want in life. Make that one phone call. Go on that one walk. Make a list and then check something off each day. Just get the momentum going.

It’s time to develop a new self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself. Keep that in your mind.

If you need help to get rid of those negative thoughts, let’s work together and get you going on a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.


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