In our natural environment we faced real dangers, such as lions. The instinct to harm here is obvious — part of the “fight or flight” response. You either fight the danger or run away.
In our modern environment, we can still very easily feel stressed and “under attack,” even if it’s not in the literal sense of the word. And so, when this primitive mechanism is triggered, suddenly you have these thoughts, or instincts, to harm someone — even someone you love. Continue reading →
“What are your thoughts on trauma release exercises (TRE)? Have you done them? Apparently our bodies hold trauma even from years ago, which puts a person in a constant flight/fight/freeze state, always very alert and sensing ‘danger.’ With TRE the body releases the energy held up in it from trauma. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.”
I haven’t done any of those exercises myself, but I’ve heard a few health teachers talk highly of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), tapping certain points on the body to release old emotional stuff.
Traumatic events can certainly have powerful spin offs and we hold the sense of danger to prevent repeats, quite naturally. I do think there is great value in thinking about what you fear in a way that allows you to really let it go, to see it has no value to keep looking for it.
In other words, use intelligence to trump the lizard brain. These mechanisms are good for preventing say repeat lion attacks, back when our ancestors evolved in nature, but the same mechanisms can be dysfunctional in modern life. Continue reading →
Be present. “Witness” your thoughts and emotions. Grief, anger, fear… whatever it is, just watch. This brings light (awareness) to everything and stops you becoming it.
Remove attention to get relief from the feeling of loss. Focus completely on whatever you’re currently doing. Lose yourself in a movie or book.
Be ok with feeling ok. Don’t feel guilty about feeling better or having periods of “normality” while grieving. It doesn’t mean you didn’t love the person. It just means you’re choosing the focus of your attention.
Minimize thinking. Now is not a good time for active thinking. Give yourself the time and space to let everything settle down. Delay important decisions until you’re feeling better.
Help others with their grief. Being a rock for them means staying alert and present. In that state, you are much less likely to get lost in emotion yourself. Be spacious and loving and you will find your own grief easier to bear.
Appreciate your time together. If you’d like to think about the person, focus on their life and the relationship you enjoyed with them. They wouldn’t want you to be sad.
Take care of yourself. It’s easy to get into unhealthy habits during a period of mourning. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle as much as you can.