How to stop being in Denial
‘This means nothing to me’ whereas the truth is “We can see that it means something to you”. ‘I do not think about it anymore’ whereas all that you do is talk about it. These are the few of many examples that actually prove that someone is in the denial stage of something.
Well what could that something be? It can be anything in general. It can be a relationship that isn’t working out anymore. It can be your Job; it can be a past memory that keeps repeating in your head. This is what we are going to discuss that
- What is denial?
- Why do we use it?
- Why is it bad?
- What is the solution?
These are the subtopics we are going to discuss about and probably help ourselves to get out of this phase and cherish the life.
I will use a personal story of mine and explain how did I deal with it and what was the side effect that I had to face just to be in a denial of the things going around me.
Let’s dive deep!
What is Denial?
Let’s explain this with an example!
Assume you liked something (a person for e.g.) and you were having a great time with it. The time that you spent with it was fabulous and you wished it never ended. But then comes a day when for whatever reason you have to split with it. Now here’s come this phase known as Denial! Where a tape keeps playing in your head that how things were great and how you thought it was never going to end.
The thoughts and the words of that person keeps playing and you tell yourself that ‘How could this be happening, just last month so and so happened and now it’s all gone’ ‘This cannot be happening’. This my friend is known as Denial.
The thing that has already happened and we not accepting it as the fact, is known as Denial!
Throughout our life we learn to deal with things and sometimes how we deal with things can prove to be healthy or unhealthy for our mental health. Thus, denial is something that we learn through the circumstances of our life and in the long run it proves to be unhealthy for our metal health.
Why do we use Denial?
As we discussed that denial is something that we learn throughout the circumstances in our life. We mainly tend to use it as a Defense Mechanism.
While denial might reduce your thoughts and anxiety in the short term it is definitely not an effect tool for long term. Because what happens is when the situation is too much for us to handle, we refuse to go through it at all which does not change the fact or the reality of the current scenario. Because the sooner or later when the denial doesn’t work anymore the pain of the initial problem becomes too much for us to handle even if we tend to blame it on someone else (Which hurts the relationship)
We have to understand this simple concept – Our brain is Designed to Protect Ourselves from a Potential Danger. So, what happens is whenever something happens in our life and we are not sure why it had to happen our brain triggers denial because it knows that when we don’t find a reason to ‘why it had to happen’ we are going to experience negative emotions.
Why is it bad?
We all are at least aware of the fact that anything that gives us a temporary solution is possibly bad in the long term. Be it smoking, drinking, eating too much food etc. Denial is no different. I personally believe that all negative habits that we have in our life is because we did not accept it in the first place that it is bad for us.
Denial as discussed, is a defense mechanism. We use that to avoid certain feelings. It can be feeling of uncertainty or feeling of not being important or feeling of unworthy. It can be anything. But what’s more important is that denial is a temporary relief.
Think of denial as a door made of an ice. So, when the sun rises (when the problem gets bigger and closer) that ice (denial) is going to melt and all you’ll have is a bigger problem that you don’t know how to counter.
“Running away from the truth is like running on a treadmill. You’re running in the same place while the truth is right behind you.”
What is the Solution?
Awareness is the first step towards solving any problem- Doesn’t matter how big the problem is! But the question is how do we do it?
- Notice your Emotions and Thoughts: This is the first step in being aware of this Defense Mechanism known as Denial. Are you Emotionally reactive to certain things? Do you keep getting reminded of something? Is there something that is unsolved? Understand how you behave and is that behavior is because of the scenarios that happened in the past.
- Notice your behavior: We all know the fact that how we act reflects who we are. So, what is your reaction to those emotions and thoughts? What is Motivating this behavior? What is it you are not ready to admit and why? Once you understand your emotions, thought process and your behavior you would be well aware of the situation,
The second and the final thing to face the denial problem is of course the acceptance. This step is not possible when you are not Aware that you are in the denial phase of something. Being accepting of something requires deliberate efforts on a daily basis.
There is no magic wand that will just remove the denial mentality from your head. It is definitely a tough and a challenging thing to tackle. So, yes, it is difficult and stressful but this is the way it is. This is the thing that you have to understand and learn from the scenario and keep moving.
There will be time where you get that thoughts again but just remind yourself of the issue and keep repeating the process of Awareness and Acceptance.
If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Personal Growth board to check the post later and Keep Reminding yourself of the newly learned knowledge
Hey, y'all I'm Faisal!!👋
I’m SO excited you’re here! I’m super passionate about improving ourselves and the daily challenges we Millennials go through, gives me hope to change our lives for good!