Steps to Letting Go of Painful Memories

Experiences can leave us with some painful memories. They tie us to the past and prevent us moving on. And the only way to freedom is to work on letting go – so these memories don’t haunt us or keep us trapped in pain. Below are some guidelines to help you work on this.

1. Before you can let go, you must face whatever happened and accept that it is part of your past experiences. Suppression doesn’t work as a long-term solution. It can only be a band aid that brings temporary relief. Talk to someone you trust, or write about it in your journal. You need to share what happened, in order to move on.

2. Identify the lessons you have learned from what has happened. There’s always a lesson – so look for what you’ve learned. It doesn’t make it better – but it does lessen its power.

3. Write the lesson down on a piece of paper and repeat it to yourself when you’re hit by memories. For example, if you’ve been scarred by abuse, then you might write something like: “My experience of abuse does not determine who I am. I’m a stronger person now, and that is not my destiny. I’m choosing my own future, and the person I will be.”

4. Repeat this mantra often so it takes root in your mind. Allow it to be stronger than the bad experience. Say it often, till you mean it, then you’ll start to feel you’re freer. Persevere and keep on fighting when those memories return.

5. Seek to be a person who’s a peace with themselves. When peace is your focus, old thoughts and memories have much less power over how you think and feel. However, seeking after peace must be a conscious, constant choice.

6. When the past tries to intrude, focus firmly on the present. Ground yourself in what’s happening around you in the room, and try to breathe deeply – and deliberately relax. You are here in this moment; the past is over now.

7. Forgive – for your own sake. Try to heal from what happened – then let resentments go. You don’t want them in your life for they’ll just tie you to the past. It’s not an easy process; it takes work and discipline. But it is worth the daily struggle – as one day you will be free.

The Self-Love Tree — Don’t Lose Hope

“It might be hard to love yourself sometimes, but it is harder to not love yourself.” The author Christine Arylo says self-love is a tree. Self-worth is the trunk, and the life-giving branches are associated with the following qualities. – Self-awareness and self-honesty – Self-acceptance – Self-care – Self-compassion and self-forgiveness – Self-trust – Self-esteem […]

The Self-Love Tree — Don’t Lose Hope

How to Break free of Addiction to Approval

1. Recognise that other people do not determine your worth and value. It’s your life not there’s. They are responsible to themselves for their life; and you are responsible to yourself for your life. Don’t give up your “self” to please someone else.

2. Also, people change, have different values and outlooks and want different things for, and from, us. It’s simply impossible to please everyone all of the time, or even most of the time.

3. Recognise that spending our lives trying to make others happiness is a recipe for failure and low self-esteem. It’s a pointless way to spend your life. It will stop you being happy and true to yourself.

4. Be kind to yourself. Understand that we all have weaknesses, and things that we regret saying and doing.

5. Also, we’re all on our journey – and the journey is harder and more challenging for some than others. Perhaps you are dealing with obstacles that other people have not had to face.

6. Develop your self esteem from within. Decide on the type of person YOU want to be, and work on being true to that.

7. Think about what really matters to you, and the different goals you’d like to achieve – then set these as a priority. That is, decide what YOU want to do instead of worrying about what others would like you to do.

8. Develop a plan for the direction of your life. Focus your thinking, energy, choices and decisions around living a life that is meaningful to you. At the end of each day, check to ensure you’ve done something that is taking you in that direction.

9. Work on developing your self-reliance – so that although it is nice to have help and support from others, you’re not dependent upon it (or them). Also, being able to think, act and choose for yourself will greatly increase your self-confidence.

10. Work on accepting, valuing and loving yourself. Appreciate the good things about YOU. Notice your successes, and any moves towards living out your goals, and becoming the real you.

11. Choose to live in the moment. Decide not to keep going over the past, or worrying too much about what lies ahead. Notice and relish what is good about “right now”.

12. Choose joy. Allowing yourself to experience joy is freeing, motivating, energising. It keeps your focus on the positives in life.

How to Tap into Your Inner Strength in the Aftermath of Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

Below are some common definitions of trauma. “Trauma is any experience of threat, disconnection, isolation, or immobilization that results in physical/ emotional injuries that dysregulate the optimal functioning of one’s body, emotions, brain, spirit or health.” – Mastin Kipp “Trauma by definition is unbearable and intolerable. (Traumatized people) become so upset when they think about […]

How to Tap into Your Inner Strength in the Aftermath of Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

How to Build Emotional Resilience

Steps to building emotional resilience include:

1. Talk to someone: Sharing how we feel helps to reduce the inner tension (but make sure it is someone who cares about your feelings).

2. Work on improving your self-esteem: Self-esteem is the way you see and feel about yourself … and there are lots of lots of things that undermine our self esteem. For example, experiencing a break up, putting on unwanted weight, doing badly on a test or being excluded by our friends. It’s important that we keep on working on our self-esteem by treating ourselves well and noticing when we succeed (instead of noticing the negatives).

3. Manage your stress levels: If we’re always feelings stressed then it’s hard to cope with life. We tend to over react and have a negative mind set … which drains us of our energy and saps our will to fight. So take a look at your lifestyle and see what you can drop. You may be doing too much, and don’t have time to relax.

4. Make the time and effort to enjoy yourself: Doing things that we enjoy helps to improve the way we feel. So build in little things like having coffee with a friend, or going to a game, or taking time to watch some sports.

5. Choose a healthy life style: Pay attention to your diet and how much you exercise; try to limit alcohol, and don’t deprive yourself of sleep.

6. Develop good relationships: Do your friends make you happy? Do you enjoy their company? Are they kind of people with your best interests at heart? Do they treat you with respect and help to boost your self-esteem? If not, then work on finding new relationships!

Some Curses of Being Highly Sensitive

People who are highly sensitive, often struggle with the following:

1. They are easily overwhelmed, and often feel stressed through being overstimulated: That is, they often feel exhausted, stressed, worn out and worn down by processing so much detail – or through vicariously experiencing too much pain.

2. They are more personally affected by others’ emotions: Thus, they find it hard to detach themselves, or throw off the feelings and sufferings of others. That is, they tend to absorb anger, pain and distress when they are around others them are experiencing these.

3. They need more time and space for themselves: In order to restore their boundaries, to refresh their minds and renew their energy, they need to retreat, and to spend more time alone. Unfortunately, others may think they are unsociable as they don’t understand their need to withdraw.

4. They may feel driven by unhealthy perfectionism: They often have unrealistic expectations, and are harsh, unforgiving and demanding of themselves. This is because they overanalyse, and worry about what other people think, want and feel. (Related to this, many also suffer from low self-esteem.)

5. They may feel out of sync with the people around them: The western world values extroverted people who are confident, lively and highly sociable. This can add extra pressure to more sensitive people who are cautious, and careful of the judgments of others. They can also feel they’re viewed as being too sensitive, or as too emotional, or not tough enough.

For more information see: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/03/28/5-gifts-of-being-highly-sensitive/

3 Lies that Keep us Stuck in our Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

“Trauma is the unthinkable. The unbelievable. The unbearable. The unspeakable.” Trauma is extremely hard to talk about. And this burden is intensified by lies that we believe. These include the lies of shame, of fear, and isolation. 1. The lie of SHAME – This is tied to the belief that there’s something wrong with us. […]

3 Lies that Keep us Stuck in our Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope