If you are caregiving for someone close to you that suffers from dementia and you currently feel sad, alone, despaired, or even angry, guilty, and hopeless… you should know that in the face of this chronic illness and the bludgeoning and nightmarish emotional distress you are going through, it is perfectly understandable and even totally normal to feel this way.
Yet the question remains… How do you deal with something like this?
Everyone and every family is unique!
People have different ways of dealing with their emotions.
But in spite of our differences, most of us have striking similarities in the way we respond to emotional stress.
Many times having mixed feelings about someone or a situation can seem totally illogical and counter-intuitive when it fact it’s quite common.
That’s why I don’t believe there’s a RIGHT or WRONG way to handle emotions…
I think what’s most important is to be SELF-AWARE of HOW you feel and to have some understanding of WHY you feel that way.
Because only when you recognize and acknowledge your feelings can you make better CHOICES about how to express or take action on them.
You’ve probably heard things like not expressing your feelings could lead to stress-related diseases, such as hypertension, headaches, rashes and peptic ulcers.
But …imagine for just a minute… you are really angry at your Mom because once again she made a mess of your kitchen and left the stove on at 3 am because she thought it was time to start baking a cake for you as a way to celebrate you coming home from college on Christmas!!!
You decided not to yell at her because you know it can make her behavior worse. So is it good for you to repress your anger?
Well is not about repressing the anger, if it made you angry …IT’S TOO FREAKING LATE!
You really have to ELEVATE your thinking now…
The key here is to recognize your Mom’s behavior is solely a product of the disease, …SHE’S SICK!
The moment you REALLY figure this out your attitude will change, you’ll feel less frustrated and angry and you’ll take better care of her.
So the caregiving hack here is simple:
Don’t judge your emotions in terms of right or wrong, instead, REFRAME the issue from a different perspective, RISE ABOVE the circumstances and OWN the outcome from the Get-Go!
This is how you CRACK THE CODE to the traumatizing, unexpected and immobilizing effects of negative emotions such as anger, embarrassment, helplessness, guilt, grief, depression, and worry…
…and start feeling positive emotions like gratitude, joy, hope, serenity, kindness, inspiration, and love.
Regardless of what you are feeling, remember it’s ok to feel that way… but NOT OK to not recognize it, or not know why!
Hope you can put this knowledge to good use, but if you are good to go… share it with someone you feel could use it. Thank you!
To Get Instant Access To The FREE Elder Care Guide That Will Go Deeper and Expand On What You Just Learned, CLICK HERE!
–Claudio Alegre is the Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Relations Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys.
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