30 Jun Let Go of Stress…Self-Love by Elana Clark-Faler, LCSW, CGP, CSAT-S, CST
Stressors come in many forms. We get preoccupied with worry thoughts. Events out of our control occur. We are consumed with work obligations. We may be struggling in a relationship or trying to get one started. We want and desire to fill the loneliness. You aren’t so unique. We all experience these stressors in our life no matter what social economic status, gender, orientation or race or culture we are. Even being in a relationship, one can feel lonely and isolated. We all struggle with and experience suffering in our own way. Pain feels real and completely uncomfortable. It’s hard to sit with it.
How can we learn how to understand pain and suffering? I think it’s worth examining what pain and suffering is. Pain is an emotional response to an experience or event that evokes a feeling in our heart. We feel alone and full of sorrow. This is a natural reaction to an experience that causes pain. Suffering is pain that has been suppressed. One continues to experience pain and pushes this feeling down deep numerous times, causing suffering.
It’s through the practice of self-care and self-love to relieve pain and suffering. In loving ourselves we have compassion for our pain, and for others’ pain. Because I have compassion for my pain, I am compassionate to others. This means I must speak to myself in a loving and nurturing voice. Identify the nurturing voice that we always wanted from a caregiver. We have plenty of voices in our mind that tell us to get up and do something. We need to practice hearing the voice that says, “I understand” and “I love you no matter what.” “We’ll get through this and you’re not alone.”
We can practice self-love with the foods we eat. Making sure to eat nutritious foods that are alive and active. Versus foods that wear down our energy. We can practice self-love by communicating loving thoughts in the mind. Even if the mind is cluttered with painful attacking messages. Continue to say one loving thing to yourself each day. Learning that thoughts are just that…thoughts. We have thoughts. They aren’t who we are. And they aren’t the truth.
What thoughts are you feeding? This is a great question to ask yourself. Because this question will assist you in identifying why you might feel the way you do, in general. The answers to this question can also assist you in understanding some of your behaviors. Every time I can examine what types of thoughts I’m having, it can explain why I feel the way I do and why I’m behaving the way I do. This can be a great writing exercise to examine your thoughts, challenge them and ultimately change or distract from them. What are the thoughts you want to feed? You can certainly plant them. You can reinforce loving and encouraging thoughts (even if you don’t quite believe them yet). Let’s together make an agreement to relieve pain and suffering by starting with ourselves.