Grief, Self-Esteem and The Use of Hypnosis to Manage Grief and Boost Self-Esteem
Posted on 7th March 2023 at 15:28
Read below my new article published in Brainz Magazine.
Let’s talk about grief, how it can affect our self-esteem and how the use of hypnosis can help with grief management and restored self-esteem.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
When a loved one dies, we want to keep them forever, we do not want to let them go, we do not want to forget them, and we do often bury them in our heart. We call this the grieving process.
So, what is grief exactly?
In simplest terms, it is a reaction to loss. The loss of a loved one through death, but also the end of a marriage or relationship, the end of a career that meant the world to you…
The American Psychological Association defines grief as the anguish experienced after significant loss, usually the death of a beloved person. Grief often includes physiological distress, separation anxiety, confusion, yearning, obsessive dwelling on the past, and apprehension about the future.
Grief is a natural human response to the loss of a loved one. It can show itself in many ways. Grief moves in and out of different stages from disbelief and denial to anger and guilt, to finding a source of comfort, to eventually adjusting to the loss as well as possible.
For survivors, the grieving process can take a long time, often many years. The challenge of accepting death and dying as the end stage of life is what the grieving process is all about.
If you love, you will grieve, and nothing is more mysteriously central to becoming fully human.
We do not talk enough about the effect that grief will have on us. Our culture often makes the bereaved feel alone, isolated, broken, and like they should just ‘get over it’. In my own personal and professional lives, I have heard these words far too often. “Life goes on and you will just have to get over it”. If only it was that easy…
Grief can manifest itself in many different ways.
It can be so powerful that all your usual coping mechanisms are useless.
You find yourself physically and emotionally unable to function with any semblance of normality.
Let’s talk about the link between grief and self-esteem
Grief can be a very powerful emotion, and it can have a devastating effect on our self-esteem. When we lose a loved one, this brings on intense emotions and it feels like the world has come to an end.
We may feel like we cannot go on without them and that we will never be able to have a ‘normal life’ again or be happy again. And as we cope with grief, it is easy to lose our sense of self. This can severely impact our self-esteem, which can affect all areas of our life and make it even more difficult to cope with our loss. This loss of faith in yourself can damage our self-esteem as well as impact our mental health.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is how we perceive ourselves; what we think about ourselves and how much we value ourselves. Our self-esteem is made up of thoughts and opinions, often formed in our early years, about who we are and what we are capable of. Self-esteem also impacts how we interact with the world around us. When we are grieving, our self-esteem often takes a hit because we are struggling to cope with our loss.
The effect of grief on self-esteem is not something much spoken about in grief. And yet significant loss can completely drain and deplete any self-esteem we may have, making it feel impossible to move forward in a healthy or purposeful way. Grief can damage our self-esteem in a number of ways. First, we may compare our own grief to others and feel like we are grieving in the wrong way. We might feel we are not sad enough or that we are too sad.
It can also impact how we interact with those around us. It can make us feel like we are annoying people around us with our grief or that they might be fed up with us and how we feel and not enjoy our company anymore. All these thoughts and feelings can have a profound impact on our self-esteem.
How can grief impact our self-esteem?
When we lose someone close to our heart, it can feel like our whole world has fallen apart. The intense pain and sense of loss can leave us feeling empty, alone, and hopeless. These feelings can be so overwhelming that they lead to a loss of faith in ourselves. This can be particularly damaging to our self-esteem, as it can make us feel like we do not deserve to be happy without the person we lost.
If we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to see ourselves in a more positive light and believe we are worthy of a happy life. If we have low self-esteem, we might not believe ourselves to be worthy of love and positive experiences.
When we lose someone close to our heart, we also cease to play a role in that person’s life and that can also affect our daily life. We may have feelings of being insignificant when we feel no longer needed.
As previously mentioned, we may also set unrealistic goals for ourselves and others when it comes to grief.
Our self-esteem might be affected because we feel we are not ‘getting over it’ in a reasonable amount of time or that we are not moving on quickly enough. It is important to understand that there is no ‘correct’ one way to grieve. Everyone experiences grief differently, and there is no timeline for healing. In fact, it is normal to feel like we will never recover from our loss. We just have to remember that with time, patience, and self-compassion, we will eventually start to feel better.
When someone close to us has died it can generate a sense of fear – for the future, of disease, or even death.
There may be a feeling of insecurity because of life changing so drastically after a loss. Uncertainty for the future may cause us to feel more vulnerable.
Impact of lower self-esteem on our physical health
Grief can also affect our physical health, which can further damage our self-esteem. When we are grieving, it is common to lose interest in taking care of ourselves. Our eating and sleeping patterns can be very much affected.
This can make us feel even worse about ourselves. It is crucial to take care of ourselves during this difficult time and develop healthy habits. The small daily steps that add up to a more positive outlook are the ones that can help us in our grieving process.
How to keep a healthy self-esteem while grieving?
We have to be patient and gentle with ourselves. It is important to understand that there is no ‘one’ or ‘correct’ way to grieve. Grief is very personal. Everyone experiences grief differently, and there is no timeline for healing. In fact, it is absolutely normal to feel like we will never recover from our loss. We just have to remember that with time, patience, and self-compassion, we will eventually start to feel better. As each day passes, we will feel a little bit stronger. Every little step is a victory towards feeling better.
Develop healthy habits. When we are grieving, it is common to lose interest in taking care of ourselves. We may stop eating well, exercising, or getting enough sleep. This can lead to physical health problems, which have a negative impact on our self-esteem. We have to try making small changes to our daily habits to help support our health. This could mean preparing a healthy meal or simply going for a walk.
Spend time with loved ones. When grieving, it is important to talk to loved ones who will make us feel good about ourselves.
Seek out activities that make us happy. When we are grieving, it is important to find activities that make us happy and help us feel good about ourselves. This could be anything from reading, meditating, going outdoors. Whatever makes us happy, we have to make sure to do it. Let’s do more of anything that makes us feel good about ourselves.
And last but not least, seek professional help. Losing someone close to us brings on intense emotions. A therapist can provide us with the support and guidance we need to heal our wounds and rebuild our self-esteem. They will help us to identify how grief has damaged our self-esteem so that we can take steps to correct it, move on from our loss and live a fulfilling life.
Grief, self-esteem, and hypnosis
Hypnosis is a very powerful modality which helps us manage our grief and restore our self-esteem in the process.
One of the best ways to deal with the emotional aspect is by using hypnosis for grief. That is because grief is a form of trauma, an event that overwhelms our ability to cope.
And because grief can be such a traumatic experience, it makes sense that hypnosis can be an ideal modality to help manage it.
In fact, hypnosis is extremely powerful in helping clients with trauma.
Hypnosis for grief offers so many options.
What is hypnosis?
As an award-winning, fully qualified, and accredited hypnotherapist, I can say that hypnosis is a very powerful modality to manage grief and boost self-esteem.
Hypnosis is a safe and natural state of relaxation with an increased level of awareness during which you are not asleep and are fully in control. You will experience a pleasant state of mind with increased attention and focus. The hypnotic state is similar to some moments in your life when you are daydreaming or fully absorbed in a specific activity like reading for example.
There is absolutely nothing to fear as therapeutic and clinical hypnosis is totally different from stage and entertainment hypnosis and as you remain in control, you will never be asked to do anything foolish or against your will. For the hypnotherapy session to be successful, the hypnotherapist must have your consent, collaboration and full commitment as the purpose is to help you reach a feeling of being more in charge and in control of your life.
While in a relaxed state of mind, new information can make its way into the subconscious which transforms old beliefs and thought patterns. Hypnosis delves into your subconscious mind to plant positive thoughts and suggestions, which can create meaningful and lasting changes in your thought process. Hypnosis replaces the old with the new. Changing your thinking will change your beliefs, fears, desires, habits, and anything that creates resistance when achieving new things.
When working with a qualified hypnotherapist, you will learn to reframe your thoughts and feelings around any trying or traumatic experiences you went through.
Hypnotherapy is a useful and effective intervention for prolonged grief. Its effectiveness lies in the fact that it is so good at helping people deal with underlying conflicts or issues.
As a hypnotherapist I believe I work in a profession which is fantastically placed to help people manage grief and boost their self-esteem.
The memories of the trying or traumatic events and experiences we went through can be extremely painful to deal with and can be really debilitating. Our brain tends to work as a coping mechanism and store these difficult or traumatic moments deep within our subconscious.
Hypnosis cannot help you completely delete these bad memories or take the loss away. When you face a trigger that brings you back to a difficult or traumatic experience or event, you become faced with the hugest urge to get it out of your head. However, the harder you try, the more the memories end up coming back into your conscious mind.
It is during these tough moments that we would like to just delete these memories. As previously mentioned, hypnosis cannot free you of these difficult or traumatic memories, but it is a very powerful tool and modality to help you heal from these trying memories and move forward in your grieving process while keeping your self-esteem at a healthy level.
What your mind does as its own form of coping mechanism is it takes your negative, emotionally charged memories, and pushes them into your subconscious as a means of protecting you from re-experiencing the pain and trauma. This is what is commonly known as repression. As we may know from experience, the emotions from these memories can be resurfaced from a trigger, which often causes a rollercoaster of emotions and can also create complete paralysis in our minds.
When you force yourself to suppress a recent painful memory like the loss of a loved ones, the memory is recalled. You then add more importance to the memory as the emotions are being re-triggered.
Hypnosis will help manage those memories in a more productive and healthier way.
Memories, with their associated thoughts and emotions, are adaptable and flexible, making us open to suggestion and more able to accept small changes to some of their original meaning.
You can change what a particular memory means to you, how you feel about it, and how you respond to it when you create and attach new pairs and associations and narratives to that memory.
Hypnosis is your reframing tool to change and “re-edit” the memories in your mind and your negative pairs and associations with a memory.
Hypnosis will help you change how you remember rather than the “raw” memory itself, by releasing the emotional response to the memory you release the symptom.
This is when you become the driver of your life, move towards our goals with confidence and optimism and take care of the vehicle that is your mind.
Not everyone is aware of the link, but grief can have a profound and negative effect on self-esteem. If you are grieving, it is important to seek professional help, be patient with yourself and do not allow your poor self-esteem to get out of hand.
As you pass through the grieving process, you will begin to feel more capable of handling your grief. And as you are able to handle your grief in a more positive way, your self-esteem will slowly begin to improve.
Hope this gives you a better understanding of the link between grief and self-esteem and about the use of hypnosis to manage your grief and restore your self-esteem to help you move forward in life with peace of mind and confidence.
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