If you're grieving, any kind of grief, I can almost guarantee that you've suffered from shoulda-coulda-woulda at some point along your journey.
I'll let you fill in the blanks:
The problem with this, is that it brings you out of the present moment. It brings you into the past and into the future where you are trying to re-write what actually happened. And, while doing that, it often puts your nervous system into a state of fight, flight or freeze - increasing your stress levels and decreasing your body's natural ability to heal.
Disclaimer: If you find yourself in shoulda-coulda-woulda, please know there is nothing wrong with you. This is a perfectly natural part of grieving. I've been there myself many, many times. So please be kind to yourself. Tell yourself that it's okay that you're feeling this way before moving on to the next step. When we allow whatever is happening to be okay, we relax a little and that alone can be deeply healing.
Now, here's what you can do about it.
Bring yourself back into the present moment - where you are safe. There are many simple ways to do this. Try taking a deep breath, looking around the room, and noticing 3 things that you can see in this present moment. The chair you're sitting in. The flowers on the mantle. The tea you're drinking. This simple practice is enough - as is.
If you'd like to take it a step further:
Here is a free audio meditation that focuses on the 5 senses. It's a very simple practice that will bring your awareness into the present where you are safe. Where you can relax and allow your healing mechanisms to kick in with much more ease.
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind. Healing is a process. You are doing a beautiful job.
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