Processing Through Suffering

Natalie Dodd, LCSW

One thing I can say with absolute certainty, is that in life, every single person will experience suffering in one way or another. Even so, each person’s experience in suffering is unique. Overwhelming experiences can alter the relationship you have with the world, changing your fundamental definition of safety.

Such experiences imprint themselves within the mind, body and brain creating patterns of fear and worry. It is important to recognize when the threat becomes perceived and is separate from actual danger. If this distinction is not recognized, it can change how we think, what we think about, and our very capacity to think.

For concrete change to happen, the mind, body, and brain must learn that the danger has passed and to ground in the reality of the present moment. Sounds simple, right? Probably not. One of the best things you can do for your nervous system if you have experienced persistent suffering is to find a space you find safe and comforting and maybe repeat the phrase, “I am uncomfortable, but I am not unsafe”. But, the most important step is to reach out for support!

If you would like additional tools or to talk to one of our team members, call the EAP office at 615-936-1327 to schedule your free and confidential appointment today.