How can I stop thinking about a traumatic event?
Last Updated: 12/15/2020 at 2:54pm
Tracy-Kate Teleke, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I assist adults and couples in CA experiencing relationship challenges and interpersonal struggles including anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other life challenges.
Top Rated Answers
By accepting what happened and starting the healing process. Thinking about it is a way your brain is telling you that it's unhealed.
Short term: Distraction; Long term: Therapy Trying to make yourself stop thinking about an event only makes it more likely to happen because you constantly need to reference it to tell yourself what not to think about. For instance, telling yourself not to think about a yellow jeep will make you think about yellow jeeps even if you haven't thought about one all day. But you can learn to process how you feel about an event so that thinking about it no longer causes you distress. Empirically based treatments like Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure are meant to do this - be able to be in touch with a memory without being upset by it. Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of memories.
Don't stop thinking about it. Talk through it with someone. Express all your emotions and let it all out. Only when you've confronted the experience can you start to get over it.
Get support. Counselling really helps. Also talk to a friend or family member or anyone else that you trust and are close to. It's hard. Prayers. Hugs xxx
This might sound dumb but I saw a study that talked about how tetris (yeah the game... I know) claimed so much of your attention that helped you forget for a while; If you do try it please tell me how it works, it helped me a bit when I was down but I'm not sure of how effective it can truly be; Besides that I do know for a fact that practicing meditation can help in a lot of aspects of your emotional side, I for one used to get sad or angry out of the blue way too often and then I started practicing breathing exercises (not even the full on HMMMM with candles, just controlled breathing) can truly get you in a better head space, that's all I'm adding to this thread today, cheers and good wishes :)
Focus on the positive things in your life, those around you who care about you, and the fun times that still lie ahead in your life.
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