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How to deal with times of inner crisis

Most of us at some point will deal with some sort of inner crisis. It could be an identity crisis, existential crisis, developmental crisis, you name it. The point is- it's an inner crisis.

As someone who has been in very low points, and dark spaces from which I thought I wouldn't recover from, I am not here to trick you into self-betterment. I am here to share my honest thoughts and advice.

This is not a magic pill, but some food for thought from where you can start getting better.

Experiencing an inner crisis can be a tangible or intangible experience. To some, it appears clear what it is that they are confronting and creating inner conflict, to others, it might be a period where they can't put their finger on what is bothering them. It could be a reaction caused by a situation (situational crisis), such as natural disasters or car crashes, or developmental: the ending of a life period and cycle as part of our evolution.

It generally shows up as an overall dissatisfaction towards life, with a mixed sense of frustration, confusion and uncertainty.

Usually, different meanings around which one's life is unfolding are being questioned. It can involve questioning their career, relationships, priorities, achievements, purpose, their place in the cycle of life etc.

In times of crisis, we often have the tendency to isolate ourselves. Also, our sense of belonging becomes blurred, accompanied by a lack of motivation, a loss of appetite for achievements, low self-esteem, impatience, sadness and decreased performance.

In most types of inner crises, people start being exposed to levels of a new reality that they previously haven't been aware of. This usually creates a sense of unease, emptiness, anxiety and possible experience of depression.


WHY DO WE EXPERIENCE INNER CRISIS?


Put simply, an inner crisis is often caused when the inner experience no longer matches the outer experience which causes different emotional and psychological parts of ourselves to be in conflict with each other, thus, contradicting different meanings.


Sometimes in life, we start becoming aware of parts within ourselves that we no longer can identify with, questioning everything we thought we knew about ourselves or the world around us.


More so nowadays, because we are exposed to so much novelty and information, we have access to a volume of information previously impossible for people to access in a lifetime, hence why many of us will go through a few of these cycles in life. We are exposed to new concepts, philosophies, religions, trends, standards every single day. So in many aspects, this inner crisis is being caused on a mental level, with a loss of the connection of the authentic self.


HOW TO APPROACH IT?


First, a celebration! I am most certainly not mocking you. You have reached a level of human experience where you're mind is being tested. This is a celebration of your human nature and the broad spectrum of what being human means.


An inner crisis is also a sign that change is in motion. You are peeling off certain layers which no longer serve you and picking new ones. It means that you are stripping yourself naked of things you have carried but are not your own and that you are questioning the world you're surrounded by. And that is fantastic!


Whether you are experiencing a deep sense of sadness, grief, frustration or feeling defeated, these all are signs of you experiencing life.


Important things to acknowledge:


Throughout life, you will hold funerals for parts of yourself, and these parts will mean the end of something old and a quest for something new. It's death and rebirth at the same time. So it's sadness, grief, and hope at the same time. This means psychologically, emotionally and spiritually there will be parts of you that will die and parts that will bloom.

Some things are for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Honour them for what they are, and realize they make your life journey unique.


KEY STEPS IN MOVING FORWARD:

  1. Become a good listener to yourself: Hear your thoughts out. Lean into the emotions you feel around different people. How do you feel? What do you think of? Observe yourself as you interact with the world around you. What is more inclined to catch your attention? What are you more prone to lean towards to enjoy? In listening to your thoughts and emotions I truly advise a healthy portion of honesty. We're taught to be a certain way from a very young age. Adulting ourselves means separating that which others wanted us to be and do from what we want to do. You will notice that there are values, habits and activities that no longer reflect your view of yourself or the world around you. And in realizing this, you'll have to let go of those. Also, detach yourself from self-blame. In these periods of crisis, because we have a numbed sense of appreciation we might even take it further to self-blame.

  2. The opposite of depression is "expression": WRITING: Start writing your thoughts. Start putting your pain into words. Take out a new journal and write it pen on paper. Writing your true frustrations down, your pains, your worries, your questions down is of true help because it lets the chaos take shape and be sifted through. Soon enough, you will not be boiling all your thoughts in your head. Writing will help you detach yourself from them and have an external "listen" to them. LETTING YOUR BODY EXPRESS IT: One thing I can tell you hypnotherapy has taught me (which is also the reason I trained to become a hypnotherapist after) is that trauma and pain can not be talked through. It is stored in the body and most often is a feeling. Get yourself out for a theatrical mime lesson, a dance lesson, an art project... anything that doesn't involve speaking per say. Personally, my emotions flow easier when I sing (and so do my tears). Letting this accumulated energy out will be like opening the gates to your suffering: a liberating experience. SPEAK UP: In this period, you will find you will have new truths to share and new opinions you adhere to. Speak them up as a way of honouring your new path. Voicing your thoughts and the turns of your new journey is crucial in acknowledging this new path.

  3. Soothe your nervous system (even further): This includes spending time in nature and engaging in physical activities that stimulate the release of feel-good hormones. When your mind is off, compensate by moving your body. Your body and mind are there to help each other out. Take cold showers or cold water dips. Sit in the sun for a while not doing anything.

  4. Find help and support: Look for groups with things that you might want to learn, or with topics you might want to discuss. Having other people to connect with will both nurture your social nature with some interaction, but also to be exposed to a flow of new ideas that will help you identify those you don't resonate with and those with whichyou will. If you can afford it, look out for a coach, hypnocoach, hypnotherapist or therapist: with a professional eye, you will most likely have a clearer sense of the things troubling you and the areas you need to have a look on.

Remember: every decision you make is a vote to how you want your tomorrow to be like. It is not an easy journey, so buckle up, and let yourself moved through the journey.

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