🏵️'Meaning reconstruction' & 'meaning-making' are the central processes in GRIEF
When unanticipated or incongruous events occur, a person needs to redefine the self & relearn ways to engage with the world considering the loss experienced.
Usually, the person does not return to a pre-loss level of functioning but instead learns how to develop a meaningful life through adaptation
The experience of grief is unique for each person. however, research has shown some commonalities in normal grief placed in 4 general categories:
sadness, anger, blame, helplessness, shock, pining, emancipation, relief, numbness.
disbelief, confusion, preoccupation, sense of presence, hallucinations- visual & auditory.
hollowness in the stomach, tightness in the chest & throat, oversensitivity to noise, sense of depersonalization, breathlessness, weakness in muscles, lack of energy, dry mouth.
sleep & eating disturbances, distracted & absentminded behaviour, social withdrawal, dreams of the loss, avoiding reminders of the loss, searching & calling out, sighing, restless hyperactivity, crying, visiting places or carrying objects that remind of the loss, treasuring objects that belonged to the deceased.
⚠️Please note that not everyone will experience all of the symptoms.
Check my post here!
🏵️ La 'Reconstrucción de significado' y la 'creación de significado' son los procesos centrales en el proceso de DUELO.
Cuando ocurren eventos imprevistos o incongruentes, las personas necesitan redefinir su ser y volver a aprender formas de relacionarse con el mundo considerando la pérdida experimentada. Esta pérdida puede ser la perdida de rutinas, planes futuros, viajes, personas que ya no puedo ver, ratos compartidos, cosas que quería comprar, muertes.
Por lo general, la persona no regresa a un nivel de funcionamiento previo a la pérdida, sino que aprende a desarrollar una vida significativa a través de la adaptación.
La experiencia del duelo es única para cada persona. Sin embargo, la investigación cientifica ha mostrado que existen algunos puntos en común en el proceso de 'duelo normal' alrededor de 4 categorías generales:
tristeza, ira, culpa, impotencia, conmoción, aflicción, emancipación, alivio, entumecimiento.
incredulidad, confusión, preocupación, sentido de presencia, alucinaciones visuales y auditivas.
vacío en el estómago, opresión en el pecho y la garganta, hipersensibilidad al ruido, sensación de despersonalización, disnea, debilidad en los músculos, falta de energía, boca seca.
trastornos del sueño y la alimentación, distracción, retraimiento social y aislamiento, sueños acerca de la pérdida, evitar recordatorios de la pérdida, buscar y llamar, suspiros, hiperactividad e inquietud, llorar, visitar lugares o llevar consigo objetos que recuerdan la pérdida, acaparar objetos que pertenecían al difunto.
⚠️Por favor, ten en cuenta que no todo el mundo presentará los mismos síntomas
Think about a self-critical thought that often comes to your mind. Now try to say:
✳️" I am having the thought that ..."
✳️" The story I am telling myself is ..."
✳️" I am having the feeling of ..."
✳️Put a funny melody onto the thought (e.g. happy birthday song)
✳️Put funny cartoon voices onto the thought (e.g think of Shrek saying the thought)
✳️See the thought as a slogan of an advertisement
🔆The goal is to learn how to build a different relationship with our thoughts, giving them space and seeing them for what they are. .
Técnicas de Defusion cognitiva
Piensa en un pensamiento autocritico que te venga a menudo a la mente. .
Ahora prueba a decir:
✳️"Tengo el pensamiento de ..."
✳️Ponle título a las historias "Aquí está la historia de ..."
✳️"Estoy sintiendo ..."
✳️Ponle una melodía divertida al pensamiento (ej. la canción de feliz cumpleaños)
✳️Ponle voces de dibujos animados (ej. escucha a Shrek decir el pensamiento)
✳️Ve el pensamiento como un eslogan de un anuncio.
🔆El objetivo es aprender a construir una relación diferente con nuestros pensamientos, dándoles espacio y viéndolos tal y como son.
Check here for more info about this!
🔎Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. Some of these thoughts are unhelpful & self-critical.
Have you found yourself caught up on those thoughts not being able to stop thinking about them?
🔆This is called FUSION
When we are in a state of fusion with our thoughts, it seems as if:
🔹thoughts are reality & are happening in the present moment
🔹thoughts are the absolute truth
🔹thoughts are important & we have to take them seriously
🔹thoughts are orders & we have to obey them without questioning
🔹thoughts are wise & we have to follow their advice
🔹thoughts are threats & frightening
Defusion involves distancing, stepping back & observing thoughts & feelings for what they are (streams of words, passing sensations), not what they say they are (dangers or facts).
In a state of defusion with our thoughts, it seems as if:
🔹thoughts are merely sounds, words, stories, bits of language
🔹thoughts may or may not be the truth
🔹thoughts may or may not be important
🔹thoughts are not orders, we don't have to obey them
🔹thoughts may or may not be wise
🔹thoughts are never threats, even the most painful ones does not represent a threat to us
🔎Los expertos estiman que la mente piensa entre 60,000 y 80,000 pensamientos por día. Algunos de estos pensamientos son inútiles y autocríticos.
¿Te has encontrado atrapado en esos pensamientos sin poder dejar de pensar en ellos?
🔆Esto se llama FUSIÓN
Cuando estamos en un estado de fusión con nuestros pensamientos, parece que:
🔹los pensamientos son realidad y están sucediendo en el momento presente
🔹los pensamientos son la verdad absoluta
🔹los pensamientos son importantes y tenemos que tomarlos en serio
🔹los pensamientos son órdenes y tenemos que obedecerlos sin cuestionar
🔹los pensamientos son sabios y tenemos que seguir sus consejos
🔹los pensamientos son amenazas y nos aterran
La defusión implica distanciarse, retroceder y observar los pensamientos y sentimientos por lo que son (palabras y sensaciones pasajeras), no por lo que dicen que son (peligros o hechos).
En un estado de defusión con nuestros pensamientos, parece que:
🔹los pensamientos son simplemente sonidos, palabras, historias, pedazos de lenguaje
🔹los pensamientos pueden o no ser la verdad
🔹los pensamientos pueden o no ser importantes
🔹los pensamientos no son órdenes, no tenemos que obedecerlos
🔹los pensamientos pueden o no ser sabios
🔹los pensamientos nunca son amenazas, incluso los más dolorosos no representan una amenaza real para nosotros
Check my Instagram post for more.
🧠Did you know that there are different evolutionary layers on the human brain?
⬆️The brain is built from the bottom up. It develops level by level within every child on the mother's womb.
👨🔬Neuroscientist Paul MacLean formulated the 'Triune Brain' model, which is based on the division of the human brain into 3 distinct regions:
🦎Reptilian brain/ brain-stem
basic life-sustaining systems: arousal, breathing, satiation, wake, hunger, sleep, chemical balance, heart rate, temperature, pain, balance
"emotional / mammalian brain", responsible for emotions, perception, categorization, monitor & interpretation of danger, pleasure, visceral sensations, record memories of behaviors.
🤔Rational brain- Neocortex
planning & anticipation, emphatic understanding, sense of time & context, imagination, reflection, use of language, understanding abstract & symbolic ideas, inhibitions of inappropriate actions
🧠¿Sabías que hay diferentes capas evolutivas en el cerebro humano.
⬆️El cerebro se construye de abajo hacia arriba. Se desarrolla nivel por nivel dentro de cada bebé en el útero de la madre.
👨🔬El neurocientífico Paul MacLean formuló el modelo 'Cerebro Triuno', que se basa en la división del cerebro humano en 3 regiones distintas.
situado en el tronco encefálico. Sistemas básicos de soporte vital: excitación, respiración, saciedad, vigilia, hambre, sueño, equilibrio químico, frecuencia cardíaca, temperatura, dolor, equilibrio.
"cerebro emocional / mamífero", responsable de las emociones, la percepción, la categorización, la percepción e interpretación del peligro, el placer, las sensaciones viscerales, el registro de recuerdos de comportamientos
🤔Cerebro Racional- Neocórtex
planificación y anticipación, comprensión empática, sentido del tiempo y contexto, imaginación, reflexión, uso del lenguaje, comprensión de ideas abstractas y simbólicas, inhibiciones de acciones inapropiadas.
We create and believe different stories about emotions, it depends on our upbringing.
✳️Some examples could be:
A family that suppresses "bad" emotions & just allows to express "good" emotions.
A family that believes guilt means "weak", may consider guilt as "bad".
A family who believes "getting anger out of your chest" is "good", may see expressing anger as "positive".
If a child is frightened by their parent's anger, may think of anger as "bad" & something that must be avoided.
A family that did not openly express love & affection, may consider love as a "bad" & unpleasant feeling.
It is useful to spend some time thinking about our childhood experiences. This can give us insight into how and why we struggle with certain feelings.
🧐Try to think about:
▪️What were you told about the best way to handle your emotions?
▪️What emotions did you family express freely?
▪️What emotions did your family suppress?
▪️How did the adults in your family manage their own "negative" emotions?
▪️How did the adults in your family react to your "negative" emotions
As a result, what ideas are you still carrying around today about your emotions and how to handle them?
❓Do you think emotions are either Positive/ Negative
Read this list:
I am sure most of the people reading this will consider the 4 last as positive & the rest negative.
We tend to judge an emotion as "negative" or "bad" because it feels unpleasant, uncomfortable in our body.
However, just because some sensations and urges are uncomfortable does not mean they are "bad" for us.
"bad" is just a thought, a judgment made by our "thinking self"
Check more in this post.
It is important to be curious about our feelings, allowing ourselves to feel them at the same time that we feel safe and in control. Therefore, practicing noticing how we feel in our body, naming the emotions, writing down the thoughts, etc. , can really make a difference. Once we have done this, it is important to identify which strategies are helpful to bring us back to the Optimal Level of Arousal, and slowly build up a tolerance to feel distressing feelings with a better sense of control and agency.
Some of the examples of coping/ self-soothing strategies I propose for each state are:
😠When finding yourself in hyper-arousal try:
✳️deep breathing with long exhales ✳️shaking
✳️weighted blanket- accupressure mat
✳️smelling scents (essential oils/ candles)
✳️listening to music
✳️use a squeeze ball
✳️safe place imagery
😦When finding yourself in hypo-arousal try:
✳️short, shallow breathing
✳️movement- exercise- dancing- yoga
✳️mindfulness of the 5 senses
✳️rubbing ice cube on your body
✳️listening to music
✳️read something engaging
✳️be social .
⚠️Note: maybe some of them will not work for you. Please listen to your body when trying these and adjust / change / stop when necessary.
Check a visual image in my post.
Dr. Dan Siegel coined the term Window of Tolerance, this is the optimal zone of arousal where we are able to manage and thrive in every day life. .
Our window of tolerance can be narrow or wide and is different for all people and at different times in our lives.
When we are outside of our window of tolerance because we perceive a threat / don't feel safe, our nervous system responds by going into Survival Mode. .
Sometimes the nervous system activation and its consequent arousal can feel "too much" taking us up into Hyper-arousal or down into Hypo-arousal. .
😠HYPER-AROUSAL- Activates the Fight/ Flight response- Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)
anxious panicky, angry, emotionally overwhelmed, unsafe, tense, stuck in worry thoughts, hypervigilant, impulsive. .
😦HYPO-AROUSAL- Activates Immobility response- Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)- Ventral Vagal
numb, shut down, disconnected, low in energy, heavy, zoned-out, dizzied, depressed.
✔️OPTIMAL LEVEL OF AROUSAL- Activates Social Engagement response- Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)- Dorsal Vagal .
✳️What can we do? .
✔️Name the emotions, sensations, thoughts: this allows for a sense of understanding. .
✔️Focus mindfully on noticing how our body feels physically, allowing space to be and feel: this allows for a sense of validation and is a powerful grounding tool. .
✔️Try to identify what we need to do to move back to optimal arousal: Identify coping strategies that work for us. .
🎯The goal is to essentially broaden this window of tolerance, increasing capacity for people to hold emotional experiences (even intense ones) without become dysregulated or going into a state of hyper or hypo arousal by using the appropriate coping strategies needed at each given time.
Check more about this topic here.
Attachment is a regulator of emotional experience.
The type of attachments we form with our primary caregivers will be a predictor of the types of attachment we expect to form in adulthood. It will create a blueprint and it will be reenacted in every relationship we have.
We, as humans are wired to connect to our earliest caregivers.
These patterns of connection affect: .
✳️How we cope with different environments
✳️How we interact with others – communication and emotional patterns
✳️How we recover from stress – emotional resilience
🧐Attachment Types- explained
Able to tolerate stress, interpret & respond appropriately, remain calm.
Able to communicate emotions & needs, self-sufficient, emotionally available, able to set healthy boundaries.
Misattuned to child's needs responding to own needs first. Unpredictability & inconsistency.
Adult is: "People pleaser", need constant reassurance, very sensitive to threat & rejection, struggles to communicate own needs, "helper", values closeness / intimacy. .
Disconnected from physical & emotional connections. Rejects the child & is left to navigate emotions alone.
Feels uncomfortable with intimacy, tends to "push people away", hide real feelings, high alert for signs of being controlled, distrusting, independent. .
Caregiver could have experienced trauma, it could be seen as a safe haven & source of fear at the same time. Pervasive pattern of extremely inadequate, insufficient & contradictory responses.
Wants intimacy but fears it, expects to be hurt, disconnected self, unable to regulate emotionally, difficulty distinguishing between safety & danger.
Find more info here.
Because Self-Care can take many forms.
✔️Self-care IS to exercise your rights like saying no, ignoring other people’s advice, prioritize your needs first, take a break if you need it, allowing yourself to make mistakes and be accountable, treating yourself with compassion and taking a non-judgmental approach, voicing your opinion, be in disagreement, set boundaries, deciding freely if you want to help someone or not, not giving justifications, be loved and respected.
❌Self-care is NOT an “I have to” or “I should”, feeling bad or guilty for not “doing”, is not done to impress anybody, does not have to cost money, it is not follow what is trendy if it does not feel okay, forcing you to do or get rid of emotions/ thoughts to just have “happy thoughts”.
Check this visual wheel on Instagram.
Let’s talk about SELF-CARE.
We can describe it as the intention of takin action around our physical, emotional, relational and spiritual well-being. .
To acknowledge our needs, prioritize what is important to us and validate our rights are acts of SELF-CARE.
THIS IS NOT BEING SELFISH. .
Types of Self-Care .
Involves activities that improve & take care of your physical health & facilitates the connection with your own body.
Examples: walking, running, exercising, playing a sport, stretching, yoga, dancing, taking warm baths, eating healthy foods, checking your health regularly, touching yourself with affection, skin-care routines, doing nails, hair, essential oils, listening to your body needs, getting sunlight & fresh air. .
👩👩👧👧RELATlONAL / SOCIAL
Involves activities that nurtures and deepens the relationships with people in your life.
Examples: setting healthy boundaries, engaging in relationships, time with others, creating support systems, positive social media, communicating thoughts/feelings/ideas to others, asking for help.
🧠EMOTIONAL / MENTAL
Involves activities that improve & take care of your mental health. Identifying what you feel and move forward honoring yourself. Declutter your mind and reduce your stress levels.
Examples: being in touch with your emotions, journaling, being compassionate, practicing gratitude, meditation, conscious breathing, doing art, engaging in therapy, reading, taking courses, taking breaks, acknowledging & following your needs. .
Involves activities to deepen your connection with your higher self (essence) & bring meaning to your life.
Examples: meditation, contemplation, journaling, finding purpose, engaging in community, connecting with nature, finding a sacred place, rituals, praying, singing mantras, lighting up candles, incense.
Check out more here!
🤔What do you do when you have a problem?
Usually you try to find a solution ✔️
But what happens when the solution is part of the problem? 😱
This is known as a ⭕VICIOUS CYCLE
In the world of human emotions, vicious cycles are very common.
🔎 One example could be when you are afraid of rejection and so you avoid social situations where possible. this will make you feel even more rejected which is the very thing you fear!
🔎Another example could be when you experience tension at home with your partner and you avoid the conflict by staying longer hours at work, feeling even more dissatisfied with the relationship and increasing the tension.
These attempts to control how we feel are called CONTROL STRATEGIES.
They can be divided in fight / flight strategies, involving fighting and trying to dominate unwanted thoughts/feelings or running away/ hiding from them.
3.Zoning out/ Numbing
✔️It's okay to use them when:
1. It's only in moderation
2. It's only in situations where they can work
3. Using them doesn't stop you from doing the things you value
❌ It can become problematic when
1. You use them excessively
2. You use them in situations where they can’t work
3. Using them stops you from doing the things you truly value
🔎 An example of this could be if you are worried about upcoming exams, you may try to distract yourself from the anxiety by watching some TV. This is fine if you’re only doing it every now and then, but if you do it too much, you will spend all your evenings watching TV and you won’t get any studying done. This, in turn, will create more anxiety as your studies fall further behind. The distraction strategy wont’ work in the long run and will prevent you from achieving something you truly value.
Find more in my Instagram
😁 Myths about happiness 😁
(adapted from the ACT model)
#1 Happiness is the natural state for all human beings
#2 If you are not happy, you are defective
#3 To create a better life, we must get rid of negative feelings
#4 You should be able to control what you think and feel
This myths make up the basic blueprint for the happiness trap
What is happiness?
Common meaning is "feeling good". The other far less common meaning is "living a rich, full, and meaningful life".
This is not some fleeting feeling but a profound sense of a life well lived. .
Life will give us undoubtedly many pleasurable things but it will also give us uncomfortable ones
such as sadness, fear and anger. .
This is only to be expected.
If we live a full life, we will feel the full range of human emotions.
Learning the process of Self-Regulation can help you cope and manage feelings of extreme stress and dysregulation.
Our ability to self-regulate as an adult has roots in our development during childhood. How our caregivers responded when we were stressed marked a learned conditioning that we carry with us to adulthood. Our childhood is where the subconscious mind is formed. It is when we learn how to process emotions and what relationships with others look like.
Self-regulation can be described as the ability to direct our own thoughts, emotions and behaviours towards a goal. Gaining control instead of being reactive.
Self- regulation involved taking a pause between a feeling and an action.
What are some basic exercises that we can start using to learn the process of self-regulation:
Exercises to Self-Regulate
👁️Practice conscious awareness
🌬️Practice deep belly breathing- activates parasympathetic nervous system (calming)
📝Journal the feelings that come up- name them- put them out – do not give them attention, just write them down and leave it there.
🧘♀️Notice your body- what sensations do you feel in your body?
You can find more in my Instagram post.
Are you thinking of doing therapy but you are not sure what value will bring you?
✔️ A better understanding of where you are at and where you want to go.
✔️ An opportunity to learn about and listen to yourself.
✔️ A space to explore your own resources that have already helped you this far.
✔️ A chance to find new strengths in yourself to move forward.
✳️ THERAPY IS NOT ABOUT TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO OR WHAT YOU NEED TO CHANGE
Take a look at this Instagram post to know more.
Estás pensando en hacer terapia pero no estás segur@ de qué te aportaría?
✔️ Una mayor comprensión del momento en el que encuentras y hacia dónde te gustaría llegar.
✔️ Una oportunidad para aprender a escucharte a ti mism@
✔️ Un espacio donde explorsr tus propios recursos personales, que ya te han ayudado hasta el momento.
✔️ Un acompañamiento en la búsqueda de nuevas fortalezas internas para seguir adelante y cumplir objetivos.
✳️ HACER TERAPIA NO ES DECIRTE LO QUE DEBES HACER O CAMBIAR. ES UN PROCESO DE AUTOCONOCIMIENTO Y TOMA DE DECISIONES.
We are living a unique moment
You need to know that you are doing the best you can
There is no better or worse way of processing / managing this situation
Now more than ever
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Forget about the ' I should' ' I have to'
Try not to compare yourself to others
Do whatever you can
Remember: you are doing the best you can with what you know and have today, not yesterday, not tomorrow.
We can find this narrative everywhere on social media: “be productive”, “use your time to pick a new hobby, finish that book you were reading, learn how to cook new recipes, do more exercise, learn how to dance”. I believe this has good intentions and it may be working for some people. .
However, this can also produce more anxiety and make you feel that you are not doing what other are doing, or what you ‘should’ be doing. This trend of ‘doing’ can guide us to keep running down the ‘fast lane’ and could be turning us away from something that we may need more than ever: ‘self-reflection’ (if you can make time for it). .
You can treat this quarantine as a break from ‘doing’ and the ‘fast lane’. Do what you have to do. You don’t need to “make something out of this”. .
🧘♀️ JUST BE & BREATHE
Find more in my Instagram post.
" I feel____ when you ____ because____"
An "I" statement is a style of communication that focuses on the feelings or beliefs of the speaker rather than thoughts or characteristics that the speaker attributes to the listener.
"I" statements can help foster positive communication in relationships and may help them become stronger, as sharing feelings and thoughts in an honest and open manner can help people grow closer on an emotional level.
Check my Instagram post for more.
Feeling anxious around the COVID-19 spread is a normal reaction. Anxiety is rooted in worrying about the unknown and uncertainty.
Anxiety is associated with one of our most primal instincts to avoid threats and protect us from harm. Fear is a basic emotion. Pushing it away or using distraction works some times, and it may be necessary for short-term relief. However, those strategies are not always the best solution to manage fear in the long-term. We all need to set time aside to connect with this emotion and allow ourselves to feel it so it gets processed. Talking about it, writing about it, making art, dancing, expressing it with the body... By accompanying this with self-care, we are giving us the space to make sense of the current situation.
Check here to go my Instagram post about it to check more about this.