Dealing with denial through self-examination: Mind, Body, Soul

A man in a suit looks at his reflection while touching the mirror.The denial, sometimes referred to as an acronym for "Reon & # 39; t miven K.N.ow IAM. largeying ", is one of the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is widely recognized in the field of mental health and is important in witnessing, causing, and / or surviving trauma. While denial can be quite effective in the short term, it is often harmful in the long run. Staying in the capsule impedes change.


Denial is the refusal to accept reality in order to protect yourself from a painful event, thought or feeling. It is a defensive mechanism that gives you time to adjust to life situations.

Denial can be present for anything that causes vulnerability or threatens the sense of control. This can be illness, racism, addiction, anger problems, financial problems or relationship conflicts. You can be in denial about something happening directly to you or something happening to another person. Denial can occur at the individual level but also at the wider system level, such as the family, social or cultural context.

The denial is universal – everyone understands the events with personal bias. However, the refusal process is complex and (at least initially) largely silent and unconscious. However, you can recognize and challenge the denial through an ongoing process of radical honesty and self-evaluation. This process can give you information or encourage traffic if you are stuck.

When undergoing self-assessment, it often helps to use a holistic approach that includes the mind, body and soul.

Looking at the MIND

Investigating your internal dialogue (self-dissolution) and external dialogue are useful strategies in examining self-denial. Try to see if you are using cognitive distortions such as rationalization, minimization, and spiritualization. These are used to change the perception of reality and may eventually suggest refusal to play.

Using the conflict example in a toxic relationship, consider the following:

  • Rationalization: Explaining events for seemingly reasonable reasons, even if they are not true or appropriate, in an attempt to avoid the true explanation.
    • "If the house were clean, he wouldn't be upset with me."
  • Minimize: Reducing the importance or consequences of an event or feelings.
    • "I only get caught when I try to leave."
  • Intellectuals: Focusing on the minutes in order to detach ourselves from emotional thoughts.
    • "If you let me, I could spend more time with friends, my beloved activities, travel more, etc."

These cognitive distortions are indicators that you may be stuck in denial. Also, find phrases or keywords that may indicate that you are exercising a cognitive bias:

  • "Yes but…"
  • "I'm fine."
  • "Anyway…"

Examining what one thinks or says is important in examining self-denial. Consideration of the unreported is also important. Consider what you avoid. What do you refuse to think? What won't you talk about? What situation, past or present, will not be recognized? What events will you not face? Thoroughly consider what you are afraid of, and then evaluate the potential negative consequences of not taking action.

Looking at the House

Stuttering, disconnection and / or decomposition often occur with denial. These symptoms indicate a nervous system injury response: the freezing response. Physical awareness can be a useful tool to counteract refusal and freeze response. Increasing physical awareness means learning to feel your body and making your visceral experience more conscious.

To increase your physical sensitivity, try the following exercise:

  1. Use the 5 senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) to externally orientate your environment.
  2. Observe what's going on internally when you receive information from the environment through your senses (that is, the sound made your heart rate increase, the view was calming, etc.).
  3. Orient the focus on identifying the inner senses (i.e., Alarm intensity, muscle, skin, temperature, contraction, extension and whole body sensations).
  4. Think about what you can refuse and notice what inner feelings you come across. If you do not know what you are denying, just continue to observe the senses, as well as any thoughts, images, feelings or impulses that arise.
  5. Stay with the experience, just observe, until you experience sensations that are accommodating and enjoyable, such as less contraction, more breathing and more presence.

Practice regularly. As your physical awareness grows, continue to deliberately seek the senses and practice staying with the discomfort.

Looking at SOUL

Denial has been described as a shock absorber for the soul. Engagement in the soul refers to looking at a deeper relationship or relationship with yourself and others.

A sign of denial is when you are constantly trying to prove how good you are, how good you are, or how much someone has or has not hurt you. Trying to prove yourself in the world can really suggest that it is you who doesn't believe how good you are, your value or your bad. Trying to prove yourself is often presented as being accused, compared, or defended. These tactics show that not only are you likely in a state of denial, you are also disconnecting yourself further.

Individuals remain in denial and unable to hear the truth until they are emotionally ready to face it. Individuals remain in denial and unable to hear the truth until they are emotionally ready to face it. This often involves a firm connection with oneself and with others. You can deepen your self-esteem and self-confidence by re-examining the challenges of the past that you have overcome. Take time to identify your skills, successes and strengths. You can deepen your connection with others by allowing yourself to express your fears. Consider opening a trusted friend or loved one and / or joining a support team.

Finally, identify discrepancies between your values ​​and your behaviors. The discrepancies may indicate denial. If you value love, for example, consider how your actions (or inactivity) contribute to the experience of harm or hatred. Make sure you use your internal and external resources according to your values ​​and reflect your sense of greater importance or purpose.

Treatment can be a safe place to deny help and other defense mechanisms. When denial has affected a marriage or relationship, counseling for couples can be especially helpful.

© Copyright 2019 All rights reserved. Publication license granted by Tahmi Perzichilli, LPCC, LADC, therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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