1. Focus On Your Natural Resilience.
Resilience, the ability to bounce back, is your birthright. It doesn't matter your history or personality. Everyone has the capacity for greater resilience. In fact, in a recent research study guess what the primary factor was for predicting whether or not someone recuperated from a stressor quickly? Whether or not they thought they were resilient. Whoa! Now, that is powerful.
2. Feel Your Emotions Fully.
This may be the last thing you want to do, but experiencing a wide range of emotions is healthy (not too mention inevitable). With that, it is normal to try to avoid, suppress, or numb those painful, uncomfortable, or scary emotions. However, that often only makes things worse and leads to addictive or destructive behaviors. Remember that feelings are temporary. They may pass like a kidney stone, but they will pass.
Tip: Don't make important decisions while in the throes of powerful or negative emotions. Your future self will thank you.
3. Become More Aware of Your Thoughts.
Start to notice your habitual trains of thinking. Memory is powerful, but also quite fallible. Your memories are not accurate video cameras of events in your past. Just like everyone else, your memories are incredibly biased and even change over time! Gaining awareness of when your thoughts are on auto-pilot allows you to question and interrupt these disempowering thinking patterns in order to feel better quicker.
**Fire Up Your Coping Muscles: Write down what you are grateful for each day, even if the list only contains "small" things such as eating or getting out of bed. This is proven to increase energy, optimism, and overall happiness & well-being.**
4. Distraction Is a Great Medicine.
Stay busy. Get active. Try new activities. Meet new people. Why not take up a new hobby or reignite an old passion like writing, singing, dancing, drawing, or solving puzzles? This will move you forward in the healing process and curb depression via "behavioral activation."
5. Be Kind.
Throughout time, human beings have faced great adversity, but cultivated learning, growth, and wisdom as a result. Be kind with yourself and patient with the process. There will be days you don't even want to get out of bed because it feels like the pain will never subside. But, you are not alone. Enlist the power of social support. Your built-in psychological immune system is starting to heal you from the inside-out (even though it may not go as fast as you want it to). And remember, your past does not dictate your future. As Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert's research shows, humans are notoriously bad at predicting the future and also how they will feel in the future.
You are stronger than you think. You are loved.