Sarah Sultan – Muslim Mental Health – Dangers Of Not Grieving

Sarah Sultan
AI: Summary © The speaker discusses how grieving can lead to a "urance" mode in which the body is shutting down and the brain is shutting down. They suggest that the "urance" mode is due to the "weanover" of the body and the "weanover" of the brain. The speaker also emphasizes the importance of allowing oneself to grieve and rewire the body to heal from the grief and healing process.
AI: Transcript ©
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taboo topics. So what happens when we don't allow ourselves to grieve? Right? So we talked about how systemically it's permissible to experience grief, right. But what happens when we're so caught up in not allowing ourselves to grieve, whether it's because we're afraid of feeling, the intensity of the sadness, whether we're afraid of what people might think that we haven't gotten over it yet, right? In terms of whatever loss it is,

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no matter what the reason is, it's really important to allow ourselves to grieve fully in order to fully heal, right. And so when we don't grieve fully, that becomes a trauma. Right, that becomes something that gets stored in our bodies that gets stored in our brains, and something that we can't fully get past. And it can become very damaging, right, and so our central nervous system then becomes very dysregulated. And very hyper activated. And that stability is now gone, right? And so when we do this, right, so like we said, grief is natural and healthy, we're supposed to grieve, when we don't allow ourselves to do what is natural and healthy. That's when problems arise. And

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that's when trauma can can arise and can get very complicated, right, and what I see this a lot with clients who are afraid to allow themselves to feel the depth of the feelings of sadness, and when we're afraid to experience that it's very hard to get past it. And so we get thrust into that survival mode that we talked about like that fight flight or freeze response. And then what happens there is that, like I said, that back part of your brain is on, right, and it's on constantly that survival mode. And what happens is the other parts of your brain start to start to shut down a little bit. So if you notice yourself, forgetting things like your, because your memory is not

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working as well,

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that can be a symptom of this. But the main issue that arises from that is that there's a certain part of your mind that's in the front of your brain, it's called your prefrontal cortex. And that brain area is responsible for decision making and good judgment. Right. And when that gets somewhat shut down, then we can't think clearly. And so that's why during times of like, grief, if somebody hasn't fully allowed themselves to grieve, they might be making decisions that don't make sense. They might be doing things that they know won't make them feel better. Or they might be avoiding things that they do know will make them feel better. And so why am I why am I bringing this up? I'm

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bringing this up, because a lot of times when somebody is grieving, or somebody is really struggling, whether it's through grief or trauma or something, what do we tell them? We tell them, just pray more?

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Just pray more, just read some Quran. Right, you'll feel better. And we know we know. Islamically we know from the Sunnah. We know from the Quran itself that the Quran is the source of healing, right? So it makes sense that advice makes sense. We know that that also salam used to ask Bilal to give the event to bring a source of calm and peace, through Salah, we know that it can be a source of goodness, and we know that it can be a source of peace. But what happens when your brain is in survival mode, and this part of your brain, the brain, the part of your brain that is required for you to think clearly, when that's not online,

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than when you pray. And this is something that often comes up in sessions, I pray five times a day and I never feel any different.

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Is it prayer supposed to be a source of solace? Or am I supposed to feel better once I've prayed? Right? If your brain, this part of your brain is not online, then that focus can't be there to allow you to take in the goodness of you know, reciting the Quran, the goodness of prayer in order to calm down right? There was a research study that was done really, really interesting research study that was done about the impact that prayer and meditation can have on your brain. Right? And so that research study found that that prayer can actually if you're in a very deep state of prayer, can actually help to relax that survival mode and bring this part of your brain back online. But if your

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brain is really traumatized,

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the it's really really difficult to bring that part of your brain back online to be able to get that soothing, that you need in order to get the benefit that comes with Salah because you're always

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In that danger activation center of your brain, you can't calm down enough to get the benefits of it. And so one thing to realize is that when you are grieving when you are surrounded like surviving, some sort of trauma, and you struggle to pray, you struggle to feel uplifted, realize that this is not an indication of the state of your heart. It's not an indication of the state of your Eman. It's an indication of the state of your brain. And so one of the things to do to help with this, right, number one, allow yourself to grieve. There's no shortcut. When it comes to this. If this becomes a struggle, it's because this grief has not healed. And so your brain is still in

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danger mode. Allow yourself to grieve. And the other thing is, if you can't get your brain online, then help your body to do that for you. Meaning, figure out how to calm down your body so that your brain can realize that this is a safe situation, I can turn off this danger mode. And I'm okay. Right. Once you can do that it shuts down the amygdala area a little bit. And it can bring back this brain area back online and you can gain the benefits that you want from the spiritually uplifting exercises. And this can be done by calming your body down through deep breathing, through relaxing tense muscles through doing some sort of mindfulness exercise through making Moodle where you're

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focusing in on the feeling of the water on your hands and on different parts of your body as you're making Moodle. All of these can be very helpful in getting your brain back online and sha Allah and that can be very helpful in allowing yourself to heal from that grief and be able to change the state of your of your brain so you can benefit from the things that you want to benefit from inshallah

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