Why Imagination—Not Resilience—Might Help You Heal From Heartbreak - Mindful - Deepstash

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Why Imagination—Not Resilience—Might Help You Heal From Heartbreak - Mindful

https://www.mindful.org/why-imagination-not-resilience-might-help-you-heal-from-heartbreak/

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Why Imagination—Not Resilience—Might Help You Heal From Heartbreak - Mindful
There are some kinds of loss we don’t just bounce back from. Meredith Parfet makes the case for healing heartbreak and loss through imagination.

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We Can’t Bounce Back From Everything

We Can’t Bounce Back From Everything

Resilience is becoming a buzzword, a mainstay of many books telling us to recover and grow from difficulties. This substitute word for mental toughness may not be enough to adjust or recoup from misfortune, heartbreak, or a tragedy.

Pure resilience, it seems, is hard to cultivate and may be difficult to maintain even for people who use mindfulness to become mentally tough and strong. It is an ineffective coping device for people who believe they are weak.

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Life Cannot Be The Same After A Crisis

Bouncing back from a profound loss or suffering may be impossible for many, as the crisis has created a black hole in their universe, which they have now entered. It is not the time to look back, as the past self is suddenly useless and irrelevant.

Bouncing back does not take into account the dynamic mind shift that has happened to the individual.

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The Alternative To Resilience

An alternative to resilience is a mysterious, unknown potential towards a future that yet unseen, but can be imagined.

Hardships can be dealt with imagination, curiosity, openness and adaptability towards the expansive potential of a new future.

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Imagine Your Future

Imagination reduces the cognitive, neural and physiological conditioned threat response.

An individual can use imagination to plan for the future by thinking from the perspective of the past. It is a creative approach which can be practised while handling life’s challenges.

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What Matters The Most When Facing A Crisis

  • The first question we need to ask during or after a crisis is what is it that matters to us the most? What must we protect and hold on to? We need to look at what is possible in this new reality and what choices we have.
  • One has to pull the pieces together and craft a workable life by imagining and implementing small things that are extremely heavy at that time.
  • Feelings of gratitude, connection, bonding and compassion are crucial in the times of suffering as they give us space and relief.

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Pain Creates A Tunnel Vision

Pain narrows down our choices and creates a tunnel vision that can lead to negative thinking and even self-harm. Positivity by itself feels shallow.

Imagination comes with a choice of action, which offers a possibility to feel something apart from pain.

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Mindfulness Practice For Crisis Situations

  1. Use deep breathing or a mantra to acknowledge the reality of the traumatic event.
  2. Choose a positive word or phrase that helps you stay grounded, like love, peace or connection.
  3. Imagine what the future can be using the chosen word.
  4. The simple act of imagining unglues us from the negative and bleak mindset we may be stuck with.

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The journey through suffering

The five stages of grief are described as anger, bargaining, denial, depression, and acceptance. Yet, when a tragedy strike, we already know how bad things are. What is most needed is hope.

Suffering as part of life

We live in an age where many feel that they are entitled to a perfect life. But at some stage, everyone will face a tragedy.

When tough times do come, resilient people seem to recognize that suffering is part of every human life. Understanding this stops you from feeling discriminated against when trouble comes.

Directing your attention

Resilient people typically manage to focus on the things they can change and accept the things they can't.

Don't get swallowed up by your troubles. Don't lose what you still have to what you have lost.

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Build a circle of trust

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Close friends, family and loved ones represent our social support; they encourage and motivate us, and let us know that we aren’t alone.

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Reframing things in a more positive way can alter our perceptions and relieve our stressful feelings.

Silent Reading Vs Reading It Aloud

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The Many Effects Of Reading Out Aloud

  • The Production Effect: Researchers have found that people remember words and texts better if those are read out aloud, as compared to silent reading.
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  • The Enactment Effect: Spoken words also let us visualize, imagine and even enact certain words, strongly associating them with our memory.

Pausing Memory Decline By Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is great for elderly people and can delay the onset of dementia and also make certain memory problems detectable at an early stage.