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Processing A Difficult Past

processing the past

Emotions can be uncharted territory, the ups and downs, the agony, and even more so, the confusion. Most often, an emotion stays for a time, but eventually goes away. But what do you do if a challenging past and the thoughts related to it keep coming back to you? What if these past thoughts are still weighing on your shoulders?

Noticing these repetitive emotions is the first hurdle, now what comes next?

  • Identify: Start by identifying the situation(s) that have happened.
  • Recognize: Your situation may have more than one emotion tied to it. That's ok, there are never too many emotions. Identify the emotions you have for your situation.
  • Chart: Keep track of how intensely you are feeling each emotion.
  • Give yourself time to journal and feel: There is not a perfect amount of time to allow yourself to feel. Overall, you should be able to see the intensity of your emotion grow while you are processing the difficult event and then see the emotion lose its power as you process through your past thoughts and events.
  • Allow healing to come into your life: Often this requires a commitment to move past whatever has hurt you.
  • Establish a healthy mindset shift: What you choose to focus on will grow. If you focus on your pain, the pain will grow and try to take over. If you focus on your strength, this too will grow. You will become stronger and stronger.
  • Remind yourself: Life is worth living even if there are painful events in it. You are more than your painful events. Things may look different than before or different than you thought they would but there is more to your story. Write a new chapter, one that shows you overcoming the obstacles of your past. You are resilient!

Healing doesn't mean the pain never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.

-Karen Salmansohn

If you don't see a progression happening in your life and feel that your emotions are overwhelming you, it may be time to reach out for professional support. Work with a therapist or support group to get the clarity you need to move forward from your difficult past.

Remember to give yourself time to think, establish a healthy mindset shift, and try to not be so hard on yourself. Learn from this time and choose to keep on moving forward!

If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

 

You don't have to face your problems alone!

Counselors are standing by.

Ways to Get Help