Processing through the emotions after any traumatic experience can be difficult. The process of letting things go takes time more often than just a simple flip of a switch. Even a simple switch goes through a process of an electrical circuit in order to turn everything off. The process of a porch light coming on is faster than the process of a ceiling fan making it to full speed. Events that hurl emotions like a speeding freight train are no different than these two switches. Each person will take time to go through a cycle of what works for them.
When emotions are involved it can be a nightmare. Anger, guilt, embarrassment, and even logic are all being tossed into a mixing bowl and what comes out the other end, is any one’s guess. There are some things you can do about it and some things that really aren’t such a great solution.
So what can you do?
Talk about it. Maybe you can’t talk about what actually happened, but you can talk about feelings and emotions. “I’m upset, I’m scared, I’m hurt, I’m angry. I feel like I could have done something different.” These are just a few of the phrases you CAN voice to someone you hold close.
Spend time with friends. Go do something fun. I’m not saying you have to put things behind you right away but go out and do something you enjoy. Bowling, hiking, biking, horseback riding, reading, going to the beach, going to the park, and writing; just to name a few. It doesn’t have to be outdoors, but get yourself out of the house.tl
Through the Arts. Sometimes people will read, write, or get lost in the arts. Painting, drawing, and sculpting are all great ways to express yourself in a time like this.
What not to do?
What If? One of the fastest ways to spiral down into a boiling pit of internalization hell. Things didn’t turn out a certain way but questioning the what if’s will not change the outcome or change the past. Though it may twist the actual event in your head.
Self-Blame. Sometimes when we are not at fault in a particular event, we will still blame ourselves. Rationalizing this self-blame will only hurt you in the long run. This isn’t to be confused with accepting responsibility for actions.
These are only a few points there are different things that may work for different people. We are all different and we may handle things differently.