While managing a very deep purge the past 5 days, I thought it’d be a good time to share the tactics I use to manage the symptoms and bring myself back to the present moment. For many of us when we’re in this particular state within our healing journey, our minds can play tricks on us and tend to move to dark and negative thoughts as our flight or fight response is triggered while witnessing the deep traumas that are coming up to be seen.
Hopefully this can help some others when they find themselves in a similar state.
Crying is such an easy and incredibly healing release. Sometimes during a deep purge (like this week), I’ll cry first before knowing what I’m crying about, and other times I’ll start to cry when a new form of information (book or video) resonates deeply. It’s then I do some of the other tactics listed below to go deeper and get a better understanding of what exactly I need to acknowledge.
Talking It Out
It’s so therapeutic to talk as it’s a form of release for our bodies. If you’re able to, I highly recommend finding a good therapist. Though therapists aren’t always available at exactly the moment we might need them, a good friend is even better if they’re able to hold space for whatever needs to be discussed.
FEEL the Pain
There’s a simple and accurate phrase that I like to reference often – feel it to heal it. If we continue to suppress and mask our feelings with outside items like alcohol for example, our bodies won’t have the opportunity to release and let go of that pain. Instead it will stay in the body, and that’s when disease and other health ailments will manifest therefore it’s so important to FEEL whatever is coming up – even though I know first-hand how deeply painful it can be! The trick I use when in the midst of the pain, is to ensure I’m in a safe environment where I can comfortably be with the pain and remind myself, I AM SAFE.
Journaling is probably one of my favourite tools to use, particularly when I’m in one of the darker phases. It’s helps me to write out and identify what emotions I’m feeling, and then write any questions I need to ask myself. Helps to streamline the thoughts.
Meditation is something I started practicing twice daily as of September 2017, and I can’t recommend it enough. Especially for those of us who experience anxiety. I find during my purges; my anxiety can increase therefore I try to meditate longer than usual during these times. It helps reduce the anxiety, feel grounded and helps to become an observer of the experience rather than be absorbed by it.
This is also something I practice daily. Before I get out of bed in the morning, I tell myself three things I’m grateful for. During the times of a purge even though it can be tough, for mindset I try to find more things to be grateful for throughout the day. Even if it’s not deep gratitude, but just a means to change my mindset.
There are some days I don’t want to get off the couch due to the weight of the deep pain coming up. It’s not easy sometimes, but exercise helps so much. During these times, I tend to have the mentality that something is better than nothing as I’m unable to give 100% during the workout. Our bodies are doing a lot inside, so I find it’s equally important to be gentle and listen to how our body is feeling.
Walk in nature
One of my favourite pastimes, even when I’m not purging is to breath in the fresh air and smell the leaves. Very grounding for our mind, body and soul. Typically, I don’t do both the exercise and walks in nature the same day, though there have been times in the past when it was needed.
Particularly during a purge and dealing with some intense emotions, I have a tendency to emotionally eat since it was my coping mechanism for many years before I became conscious of it. That’s not to say I don’t do it at all anymore, but I’m aware of when I’m falling into that habit and can do my best to choose differently. During these phases, I recommend choosing foods that are alive and high vibration such as vegetables and fruits that have bright vibrant colours. Your body is already feeling dense and heavy, so the lighter foods will help the process.
Lots of Water
Drink plenty of water! This was something I used to struggle with a lot. In fact, for many years, I didn’t drink water at all and had only coffee instead. It’s been a few years now since that’s changed thankfully, as it really does make a difference to how I feel.
Last night, the affirmation I found extremely helpful was “I am safe. I am worthy”. I repeated these words over and over during a meditation before going to sleep. VERY helpful to find the affirmations that feel right for you.
It’s so easy to get pulled into the story where the feelings are coming from during a purge. I find while asking myself the questions as to where the trauma came from or I’m connecting the dots, I can get pulled into it. That’s why the meditation combined with mindfulness is so important to help become the observer, rather than participant. I find mindfulness helps to stay grounded and focus on the present moment and sometimes I’ll express gratitude while doing something mundane, such as the dishes.
Simply setting the intention to be present can be beneficial. After picking up my children from school yesterday, I made a conscious choice to be completely present with them. I can tell you as soon as I did, a weight was lifted from my shoulders.
My mind kept turning to negative thoughts during this purge and it took a lot of effort to reframe and redirect my thoughts. In the past I’ve used journaling to help with this too, but I often find it helpful to look at the negative thought, then think of something opposite that is both true and positive.
For example, instead of saying ‘I can’t seem to find a job’, say ‘my job right now is be the best parent I can be while being completely present with them’.
Personally, I put a lot of pressure on myself so being self-compassionate doesn’t come naturally. Especially during these periods of intensity. Placing sticky notes near the journal or night stand is a great way to remind ourselves of this. This is something I’ve worked and continue to work on integrating into my life – so reminders are always helpful.
This week was incredibly intense and there was obviously a deeper layer of fears that needed to be acknowledged and transcend. Miracles do happen every second though, so even though we can’t see how things are going to change or come together, we simply need to believe they will. Trust me, this is as much a reminder for me as it is for anyone who might read this!
If you have any tips or suggestions not mentioned above, would love to hear from you.