We go through suffering daily… many times a day or perhaps we feel okay and do not feel like we are suffering but for those of us that are it is truly a deeply emotional time. Often, we may feel like we are losing ourselves, we struggle to see who we are or who we want to become and we struggle even to complete the simplest of tasks… the daily shopping routine becomes one of confusion and complexities that we never knew existed. Thoughts cloud our minds especially irrational ones, we imagine a future that is not in reality and we may feel anxious over this perceived sense of our life unfolding before us.
Have you ever felt like a wave has hit you and you’re struggling to get back up? You feel almost washed out to sea and fear you’ll never be able to return to shore. Thoughts reach your mind but no words to convey them and living day by day is not an option with the suffering you’ve endured. Those that have been through trauma in their lives will understand this unique feeling. The feeling of the trauma being locked heavily into your chest, it almost feels like you need to breathe the trauma out but you can feel it. It is stuck deeply inside your chest and stomach… almost crushing you.
There are unique types of trauma that change us forever… bereavement, relationship breakdowns and the direct fear of losing your life or someone close to you. The person you once was before your parent died, the person you once was before your marriage broke down and the person you once was before you witnessed the most awful scene. You were different before it happened and now you are a totally new person afterwards… you recognise the old you but this new you is wiser and the path is to either learn from the trauma or become trapped in the trauma.
We cannot eat our way out of suffering and trauma, exercise it out, avoid the suffering entirely or delay the trauma. However, we can learn to feel the trauma to fully process our thoughts, feelings and emotions on the experiences we have had. Maybe the trauma brings out a lot of other feelings from previous traumas and we relive all of these experiences over and over again… we remember that childhood friend that we lost years ago and our pet dog. Whilst feeling vulnerable is uncomfortable and we want to shake off the feeling, avoid it and close the chapter of vulnerability…. The only way to heal it is to feel it.
So, you begin to feel the suffering and trauma, you go over the events over and over again until they become less powerful each day and slowly you begin to find you. Life has changed you, you are different but stronger and wiser as each day passes. You’ve felt the trauma, analysed it and began to process it in your own way, in your own time and you find a new beginning… a rainbow at the end of a long journey of patience, kindness and acceptance. Resist the urge to resist these powerful and unsettling feelings because these are making us wiser and creating a beautiful path ahead of us.
I encourage readers to share their stories if they are ready and to get in touch with me if they wish.
Written by: Lisa BSc Psychology (Honours) Cert. Dip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Connect directly to Lisa here: https://www.7cups.com/@OceanCounselling
Beginning therapy can be a big step toward being the healthiest version of yourself and living the best life possible—no matter what challenges you may be facing. Unfortunately today, many people seem to have trouble with the monetary costs of therapy.
It’s no secret that therapy can cost a pretty penny, but due to the world wide web and amazing volunteers, you can seek alternative methods to therapy, and still see improvements in yourself and your loved ones. So what are some of these alternatives I speak of?
7 Cups of Tea (7cups.com): 7 Cups of Tea was founded in July of 2013 by Glen Moriarty, a licensed psychologist. As of 2017, 7 Cups of Tea provides ordinary people from over 150 countries and 130 languages a safe, supportive atmosphere to talk either one on one with a trained listener, or in a group setting with other people with similar stories. All of this for free.
7 Cups also provides you the option to connect with a licensed therapist, for $150 a month, with a 3-day trial.
Listeners are kind Trained Peer Specialists who are anonymous users and have experienced issues of their own. They have been through health improvement programs, and have been through peer support training. They’re here because they want to help us make the world a better place, while gaining real-world skills and rewards for doing so!
I’m Alive (imalive.org): IMAlive is an online crisis center which is part of the Hopeline Network, the first online crisis service with 100% of its volunteers trained in crisis intervention. Their goal is to use the Internet to provide crisis intervention and empower them to take the necessary next steps to address their situation.
Volunteers of the National Hopeline Network have answered over 7 million people with subjects regarding;
----> Mental Health Crisis;
----> Family Difficulties;
----> Physical Health Related;
----> Crime and Violence Trauma;
----> And more.
What is the difference between Peer Support and Therapy?
Peer Support is a structured relationship in which people communicate in order to provide or exchange emotional support with others facing similar challenges. Peer Support alone is sometimes mistaken for therapy but it is not the same thing.
Therapy is conducted by a trained medical professional that employs evidence-based procedures to help a person change their behavior. Both peer support and therapy each play a different, yet important, role in the overall well being of an individual.
Written by 7 Cups LIstener: TheThomas
Dedicated to the extraordinary learners, stay extraordinary…
I didn’t know I couldn’t,
I didn’t know I shouldn’t.
These words often tumble out of my mouth,
Explaining to those who thought I wouldn’t.
Why did you shout when you knew the answer,
Instead of raising your hand?
Why can’t you follow the rules we set?
Why is it so hard for you to understand?
What makes you think you can jump from the tree,
When everyone else knew to take the ladder?
Why are your highs so high,
And your lows so much sadder?
These questions rain condescension.
You aren’t normal translates simply to societies apprehension,
With those that think different
Well they must be wrong,
For if they are right,
Then it means we don’t belong.
And this illogical fear that fuels their thinking,
Drives brilliance away, progressive minds shrinking.
Get in line, take a number,
That’s how the world goes round.
There is only one way to get the answer,
Yet riddles are proclaimed unsolvable, conventional methods leave the answer unfound.
And we standardize learning, making them always believe,
Out of the box thinking is stupid,
So mark A, B, or C and fill in the bubble completely please.
Maybe there is another way to climb up that tree,
To answer the equation that escapes you and me.
To find a world where we can each have a voice,
And understanding that we don’t understand much at all,
We are all different by nature, not by choice.
And within us, a uniqueness, a blessing divine,
That just needs someone to stop telling them, that they are all blind.
What if they were never told “you can’t” and “you won’t”?
What if they set out in the world, nobody to tell them “don’t!”
What if they could find the answers that are out of our reach,
Because we ourselves are the blind ones, thinking there is only one way to teach.
The use of daily affirmations is a super cool way to draw serenity and peace into your life immediately. Affirmations serve to help you instantly shift your focus back to the present moment and release any worries or fears that may be impairing the natural flow of your day.
Choose one or two affirmations and repeat them 10 times each. Breathe in and out and imagine the stress or worry leaving your body with each exhale. Affirmations are best practiced in the morning, evening and before meals when you know you can commit to a scheduled practice. Repeat throughout the day as often as needed for instant calm.
Bonus Tip: Memorize a few affirmations for when you’re on the go so you’re always ready for a little serenity shift.
1. I trust that I’m being guided.
2. I can learn from these worries.
3. I release this anxiety. I release this worry.
4. I am Peaceful, I am calm, I am serene.
5. I turn these worries over to the care of the universe.
6. Each and every day, my circumstances are improving.
7. Peace. Peace. Peace… OR Love. Love. Love.
8. I embrace the divine balance in my life. Everything is as it should be.
9. I am consciously aware of the calm presence of my spirit.
10. My awareness is anchored in tranquility.
11. I am in the divine flow of life.
12. I am stable during life’s ups and downs.
13. I am willing to let my anxious thoughts go.
14. I choose to breathe deeply.
15. From head to toe, I am relaxed.
16. I am centered.
17. I love. I am loved.
18. I can breathe through anything.
19. Let go.
20. I chose love over fear.
The more you can consistently use affirmations throughout the day and incorporate them into your morning and evening routines the more serene you will feel. If you commit to practicing this affirmation exercise for seven days straight, your life will change. Be open, be willing and let the serenity wash over you with each breath.
To start the year of with a bang, here are some tips and guidelines to active listening with our members and guests.
An efficient listener:
1. Talks minimally,
2. Concentrates on what is being said,
3. Does not interrupt,
4. Does not give advice,
5. Gives and does not expect to get,
6. Accurately hears the content of what the member or guest is saying,
7. Accurately hears the feelings of what the member or guest is saying,
8. Is able to communicate to the person being helped that he or she has been heard through reflecting back to the member or guest what the listener heard.
9. Asks clarifying questions when necessary, for instance – “Can you please explain that in another way so I’m sure I understand you?”
Hindrances to listening:
1. Having preconceived notions about the person on the opposite end that interfere with the listener’s ability to hear the member or guest.
2. Anticipating what the member or guest is about to say and not actually hearing them.
3. Thinking about what you are going to say and therefore blocking what the member or guest is saying,
4. Having personal issues that interfere with your ability to listen,
5. Having a strong emotional reaction to your member’s content and therefore not being able to hear them accurately,
6. Being distracted by other things (example: hunger pains)
Source - Neukrug, E. (1999). The world of the counselor: an introduction to the counseling profession. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Written by: tazcares
Finalized and published by: TheThomas