Feelings are signals and strong feelings come when trauma visits. At the time of the trauma the strongest are fear, pain, and helplessness. However, numbness also visits during trauma, and is necessary to endure the fear, pain and helplessness.
Continuing numbness, however, slows recovery. Emotional health involves experiencing a wide range of feelings. The following tips will help you move beyond pain, fear, helplessness, and numbness.
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Tip one: Accept every feeling as natural and necessary.
Tip two: Expect confusion and conflict. Happy to have survived, shamed at being happy; safe and scared; compassionate and angry; forgiving and revengeful, weak and strong.
Tip three: Manage all feelings wisely. Here’s how:
Tip four: Know when more is needed. Here’s a quick look at the major signs that suggest you are suffering from a trauma reaction that needs mental health treatment:
- You have difficulty sleeping or have nightmares.
- You have flashbacks – feeling like you are back at the trauma in full force.
- You are always fearful or feel in danger.
- You cannot trust others.
- You feel numb most of the time.
- Your often sad and sometimes think of ending your life.
- You have angry outbursts, physically hurt or even kill others.
- You experience little contentment or happiness.
- You think you might be going crazy.
- You feel physical ill or weak: have low energy, stomach complaints, or dizzy spells where you feel you might faint.
- You do not expect to have a happy or future or even to live long.
- Sometimes, particularly during flashbacks, you hear or see things that other people do not.
Tip five: Know where to go for help. Start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255) . The operators are trained to help you figure out what you need and can tell you have to go about getting help. You need not be suicidal. If not say, you are struggling and do not want to get to the point of killing yourself.
Tip six: Find the help that is right for you. The quality of help varies, trauma treatment often starts with debriefings, but should eventually move on helping you sort out thoughts, changes in your belief system, and strengthening your coping skills. Just going over and over the trauma and the feelings it created is not useful
First and before you start talking to a therapist use the SMART goal format to set your goal. My book Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals tells you how. A briefer introduction can be found on this blog post.
Then use this form to evaluate each session.
No therapist should object to setting a SMART Goal or evaluating sessions. Some may not be familiar with doing so, but all should be willing to learn.
Decide after six sessions if you are making progress. The higher your score, the more useful the therapy.
Thank You for All You Do
If the therapist does not want you to evaluate your sessions, seek a new one. If that is not possible, keep the form yourself.
Thank me by remembering to share is to care; if you liked this post, share it. Liking, or commenting also keep matter as your caring keeps me going.
This post was inspired by the traumatic shooting in Orlando, but also fits in with Word Press’ Daily Post Prompt “Natural.” I use the Daily Prompts not just to spark my blog ideas, but to improve my critical thinking skills. You can do the same.
Not sure how to use a Daily Post Prompt as a writer? Here are the steps to get started. Then improve your thinking skills by seeing where the prompt has led others and how other thoughts fuel your thoughts. Whether you write or not your thinking skills are improved by reading other people’s thoughts.
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)