7 Skills for Coping with Loss — Don’t Lose Hope

“There are losses that rearrange the world. Deaths that change the way you see everything. Grief that tears everything down. Pain that transports you to an entirely different universe, even while everyone else thinks nothing has changed.” – Megan Devine Steven Hayes, the founder of ACT (Action and Commitment Therapy) has outlined 7 skills for […]

7 Skills for Coping with Loss — Don’t Lose Hope

How to be There for a Traumatized Friend — Don’t Lose Hope

In a previous post we talked about some of the statements and comments that can be destructive to the healing process. Below, we talk about some things that can help when you want to support a traumatized friend. 1. When the person starts to talk about the traumatic experience, be aware of the fact that […]

How to be There for a Traumatized Friend — Don’t Lose Hope

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.

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

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

How to Deal with hurt and Pain

1. Try to put into words exactly how you’re feeling. Is it the pain of rejection? Is it an overwhelming feeling of shame and self-loathing? Is it a sense of disbelief that you’ve been treated so cruelly by others? Is it a sense of utter desperation?

2. Try to find a way of expressing the pain. Sometimes we can tell the person who has hurt us– but often we feel that they won’t be responsive. If that is the case, find someone you can open up to. It’s really important that you have the chance to honestly express what you’re going through. If you feel there’s no-one you can talk to right now, then perhaps try journaling, or using some kind of art, like music or painting.

3. If the pain’s related to something that happened, admit that you can’t go back and change the past. You need to let it go and keep your eyes ahead. You are not defined by what happened to you, and you have what it takes to live a rich, rewarding life.

4. Related to this, forgive yourself and don’t hold on to regrets. Learn what you can – and then choose to move ahead. Don’t be a victim of your past, or other people.

5. Reconnect with who you were previously. Think of who you might have been if this had never happened. You can still be that person: they are still a part of you.

6. Focus on the things that bring you joy and happiness, and focus on those people who love care for you.