by Jan McDaniel
I love words. They can touch the human heart directly. And they're powerful. They can lift us up, sustain us during our darkest days, be faithful companions when things are going right.
But they can also smash us to the ground, haunt us the way nothing else can, and turn us toward chronic defeat. As human beings, we have automatic thoughts that can be filled with words that wield great power outside our conscious control.
They run in the background, often unnoticed and often negative. And they are a definite deterrent to healing after loss. Catch those negative thoughts that loop through your mind, things like “It’s all my fault,” “I caused this to happen,” or “My life will never get any better.” Write them down. Then ask yourself if they are really one hundred percent true.
Write your answers, and decide if you want to keep those negative influences or fight against them. One way to do this is to replace them with positive truths each time they start their haunting singsong. You might say instead, "I did the best I could with the information I had at the time." I think this is true for all of us. Or give yourself a chance to get stronger by saying, "The future is unwritten, and I can do things to help myself heal." Then list those things (support, counseling, hobbies, exercise and more).
Or, just hold up your hand and say, “STOP!” Then move onto something else. It may take time, but they will obey.
Journal Prompt for today:
What negative thoughts have your caught yourself thinking today? Are they true?
How can you change them into thoughts that are positive and more realistic?
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
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Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: