A Comforting Word

I was talking with my mom the other day letting her know that I had some concerns about the future. Normal worries like where we would all end up living, worries about family, just the uncertainty of the future in general.

That’s just it, the future is uncertain for everyone, nonetheless, my mother was a listening ear for me as I vented my worries. She listened carefully to what I had to say and then her response left me instantly feeling better.

My mom told me two things. One, “try not to worry about the future, we need to focus on the here and now.” Two, “everything is going to work out and it will be okay.” The first reply is something that we all know to be true, yet sometimes we need a reminder. The second reply is something that we don’t know for sure to be true, so why was it comforting?

Words have so much power over us, they can make or break us. When we are spiraling down and overcome with emotions, we look to what others have to say to calm our deepest fears. Those little words, “it will be okay,” meant everything to me at this moment.

Our brains work in mysterious ways, if we think logically, we know that it is not certain that everything will be okay. We can be positive, and we can look back on past experiences and realize that most of the time everything did end up being okay, but we know logically that this may not be true.

The words were comforting regardless. Why? Well, because someone told us so and we are more inclined to listen to others than we are to ourselves. Hearing it from someone else makes it a reality and brings back that hope that all is not lost.

For those of you struggling to make ends meet, struggling with mental or physical health, finances, feeling burned out, relationship issues, or issues related to work and unemployment, I want to be that person that tells you that it will all be okay, keep shining and going strong, it will all work out in the end. This is just a little roadblock and what is beyond this bump in the road is more beautiful than we could ever imagine!

Clamming Up

When we are dealing with a major life event, or with very heavy emotions, we typically respond in one of two ways. We either clam up and withdraw, or we seek comfort and support from our loved ones.


There are benefits to both, but typically letting your feelings out in some way is beneficial and can help you understand what you are going through. After processing the event and emotions, then you can try to cope and learn from it. Some of our natural response comes from past experiences and some from our personalities. There are also reasons why we respond one way or another.


For those of us that withdraw, we may be the more introverted type, we might have had experiences in the past where we didn’t feel listened to, or we were judged or bullied. Learning to withdraw and not share comes naturally to us because it’s what we have done in the past and what we find comfort in.


I tend to withdraw from others when stressed and overwhelmed. I am trying my very best to break this cycle because there are so many benefits to being able to openly share what you are going through. It’s very unnatural, but part of growing is facing your fears and trying to rid of past behaviors that no longer serve us.


One thing for sure is that everyone will respond differently. Whatever works best for you strive for that, whether it means withdrawing and preserving your resources, or leaning on others during difficult times.


I think it’s wonderful and I am truly inspired by those who speak their minds and their feelings. I think there is a lot to benefit and learn from it. When we share what is going on with us in our lives, we can release that stress and tension that we hold bottled up, which in turn greatly helps our health both mentally and physically.


While talking with other people about life, we can see that everyone has hopes and struggles, everyone is dealing with something in life, and we are all human. It helps you feel not so alone when you can open up to other individuals. You may even hear the comforting “I thought I was the only one,” “I feel the same way,” or “that has happened to me before.”


I am sure that most of you feel the positive effects of being there for someone that you care about. You are more than happy to lend a hand and ready with a listening ear. As much as you love to help and be there for your loved ones, imagine how they will feel reciprocating the help! Other people want the chance to be there for us as we are for them. Relationships are something that we should strive to balance, they are a mix of giving and taking.


In the end, whatever comforts you the most during difficult times is what you can count on. For those of you like me who wish to change how you respond to stressful life events, I encourage you to express how you are feeling to a trustworthy someone and see how much better it makes you feel! Slowly, but surely, we can release what no longer serves us and adapt to new ways of living as unnatural as they may feel. There is no greater reward than fixing what no longer serves us in life!

Dissociation

Have you ever felt like you were going through life with your head in the clouds? Maybe you were going about the daily motions of life, but you had trouble remembering what you did from one moment to the next, maybe you couldn’t recall certain details or conversations because they felt like a distant memory even though they just happened. You might have found yourself on autopilot.

Dissociation is feeling disconnected from yourself and the world around you. You may have heard this term if you have studied Psychology. Dissociation is a type of coping mechanism that our bodies turn to while trying to prevent the overload of stimulus that is present in our everyday lives.

Life is even more stressful nowadays than it ever has been. We find ourselves trying to juggle and balance all aspects of our lives from family, friends, relationships, careers, and hobbies, to just having some time for self-care and relaxation. If we keep going without recognizing that we are negatively impacting our minds and bodies, then we start to head for a burnout.

Some ways that you might find yourself slipping into dissociation is when you start to have trouble remembering even minor details, your brain feels foggy, you feel like you are living out of your body, and your head is in the clouds. You may start to feel as though you are going through the motions of life, but not able to take in what is around you appropriately. There is a great disproportion between what you are experiencing in life and what you are truly taking in.

When you start to feel this disconnect, it is important to take action right away. Your mind and body are trying to flee trauma and stress and there are ways to help yourself connect again. Mindfulness is extremely important in helping you get out of a state of dissociation. Practice living in the moment and truly focusing on everything in front of you including your thoughts, feelings, and your surroundings.

Other ways to help this feeling include being in nature and noting everything that elicits your senses. Note the smell of the air, the cool breeze that touches your skin, focus on the birds chirping, and the water flowing down the stream.

Being aware of your mind and body is so important. Your mental and physical health is of utmost importance, and we must take every action that we can to preserve them. Listen to what your mind and body are telling you and take the necessary steps to prevent burnout!

The Use of Distraction

We have all been there, we’ve scrolled through social media, browsed through our phones for hours upon end, we’ve lost ourselves in a hobby, or binge watched shows and movies. Truth is, all of these things are fun and can be done for pure joy, but also these are ways of distracting ourselves from reality.

We are all human beings trying to live and navigate our way through life the best that we know how. Our journey isn’t an easy one as we make our way through life’s unexpected paths and roadblocks, trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now more than ever, we are living in very tough times which doesn’t help our already complicated lives.

For anyone who has studied Psychology, you may have learned that there are different coping mechanisms that individuals use for processing a stressful emotion or life event. Distraction is a type of coping mechanism, it allows you to step back from life, to zone out and “forget” reality for a bit. It’s fun to get lost in a show, or book about someone else’s life. Distraction is a great way to minimize anxiety and to take a break from life in order to come back more refreshed. On the flip side, if we spend too much time distracting ourselves from reality, this is a negative thing as we are not facing our issues in order to move forward, so a good balance is key.

The next time that you are feeling a strong emotion, or going through a tough spot in life, try a little distraction to distance yourself from what you are feeling and dealing with and see where that takes you.

Looking for an Escape

Some of you may instantly be able to relate to this and some may not understand this too well, but I felt it was an important topic to cover and one that has touched me personally. I have anxiety and have had it my whole life, it affects me greatly from my job to my relationships and something that I am constantly working on.

When things get overwhelming, it’s like an instant response to want to flee and escape. Yes, it may help us temporarily, but it will only harm us in the long run. We may change jobs, move far away, change our lifestyle, but our inner self remains the same and therefore we can never truly run from what we are trying to escape from.

When caught in something emotionally draining or anxiety-provoking it makes sense to want to remove yourself from that stimulus. The hard part, but the necessary part is to face the issue and try to remedy it and learn from it. Running away will temporarily relieve us, but if we never face it, or not try to resolve it, the issue at hand will follow us. You may have heard the saying that basically states that life is a test and that what we do not “pass” we will be presented with over and over again until we can learn to master it.

As hard as it is, try to sit back and focus on what the issue could be telling you, what message is it sending you, and how you can try to resolve the issue at hand. By no means will this be easy, but in the long run will be very beneficial to you!