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Dealing with Family Traumas
Tragedies are a part of our lives and occur every moment, either in our country or overseas, in our neighborhood, or in our family. The most traumatic times in a family are on losing a member, or when a family member unexpectedly suffers a great loss.
When we hear about tragedies where people have been hurt or killed, we experience many strong emotions that seem overwhelming; as such incidents refresh our own similar personal experiences. That is the reason why the recent Tsunami in Japan touched our hearts, bringing out our sympathies for the affected families.
Some of the feelings we may experience after undergoing a tragedy or hearing about them are as under-
·Shock and Disbelief – The immediate feeling that “This can’t be real- it cannot be happening to me”. Denial and disbelief are the immediate ways to cope with the tragedy, once you hear about it.
·Scared – Feeling scared or afraid for your safety is a normal reaction to the news of a tragedy.
·Numbness and Confusion – You may feel a ‘nothing’ or numb feeling, as the tragedy was so shocking that you feel none of your emotions are working at all.
·Anger – The feeling of anger is a natural emotion at the time of a traumatic experience.
·Sadness – The pain and destruction caused due to tragedies can leave us feeling upset for those who are suffering.
It is normal to undergo a range of emotions after a tragedy, but learning to deal with family traumas and accept the emotions is the key factor. Listen to your feelings and intuitions about what you need.
Mentioned below are ways you can cope with your feelings and deal with the family traumas.
1.Talk and Express Yourself
Nothing can help you better than talking to your family and friends. Encourage family members to describe what they saw, heard, thought, and felt. Besides talking, try diverting your mind and expressing yourself by playing some music, walking, going for a run, meditating, writing a dairy, painting, or doing things that calm and soothe you out.
Remain positive and remind yourself of all the good things that are happening in the world, and all the people who are working for a good cause. Thank the Almighty that you and your family are safe.
Take things slowly. If you find you are worried about the future, try and take each day as it comes. Plan for each day and try not to look too far ahead. Be flexible with chores and roles within your family. Allow time to be a healer for you, as well as your family. Think of healing as a family issue, not an individual one.
Dealing with family traumas is not easy, and these are the times when you should get together with your friends and family. You could try giving a hug to a friend or family member when you are feeling distressed, which will make a big difference. Take out time to do fun things, and after a while concentrate on how each person has changed or grown.
5.Be Sensitive and Tolerant
Remember, if you are feeling strong emotions, it is likely others in your family are also feeling the same way. Remain sensitive and tolerant when you are talking to your family, as they may be dealing with the trauma themselves. Thus, try to set a good example and remain positive, as you cannot control how others react, but you can control how you act.
6.Look After Yourself
When you are undergoing stress and trauma, it is easy to let things slip, thus take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, and keep your everyday normal routines.
Sometimes it helps to talk to others who have been through similar painful experiences and somehow managed. Ask them how they rebuilt their hopes, what thoughts and strategies helped them get through while dealing with family traumas.
Traumatic events extend beyond the everyday stress people experience; therefore it is important to understand the various circumstances different people find themselves in. By helping and supporting people, as they go through the stress and trauma will positively influence their healing and recovery process.
While dealing with family traumas, if you have experienced a painful time, you will suffer for a while, but it is possible to recover, build coping skill, and bring happiness back to your life.
Please do share your views and experiences if and how you have dealt with family traumas in your life.
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