The Emotional Consequences of Family Separation
What are the emotional consequences of family separation? Today we'll try to explain what they are as well as provide some guidelines on how to regulate emotions in a healthy and effective way.
There are many families that, for one reason or another, experience separation. With that in mind, perhaps some of you who are reading this article have experienced what it’s like to be separated from those you love. This situation isn’t easy on anyone, especially if the circumstances are completely beyond your family’s control. That’s why we think it’s important to take a look at the emotional consequences of family separation.
When family separation occurs as a result of force, then the situation becomes even more insufferable and unbearable. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, we’ll try to explain the emotional consequences of family separation.
What’s more, we’ll provide you with some guidelines on how to get through this time as well as possible. If you manage to gain control over your emotions, then you’ll be able to achieve wellbeing despite the unsettling circumstances.
Family separation: Living away from your loved ones
There are times when families have no other choice than to go their separate ways for a time. This may be because of job issues, for example. Or, it may be the result of more extreme circumstances that force families to separate against their will.
“Our emotions are there to be felt, but not to dominate our lives, blind our vision, steal our future, or take away our energy because, when they do, they become toxic.”
– Bernardo Stamateas –
The emotional consequences of family separation
For those who are living far away from their families, not being able to touch, kiss, and embrace their loved ones can be excruciating and lead to extreme feelings of solitude. It means accepting a different rhythm of life. And it requires individuals to take the opportunity to be in contact with the rest of their family in ways that are different from what they’re used to.
So, are you currently far away from your family for a prolonged period of time? You can plan to spend time online with them on a regular basis and create a daily routine. Modern technology gives us the ability to connect in realtime through video calls, for example. This makes family separation much easier to bear and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness.
On top of those feelings of loneliness, sadness can also work its way into our day-to-day lives. And this, over time, can lead to depression. The stress that these circumstances impose on our lives, whether we like it or not, can be completely destabilizing.
Suffering from elevated stress levels can quickly lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. All of this can occur in the most extreme cases. Furthermore, having to live away from your family can cause individuals to experience feelings of anger and rage. So, what can we do to keep all of this from happening?
“Be the owner of your attention. The price of freedom is permanent vigilance. Remember that wherever you place your attention, your emotion and energy will go as well. Whatever you focus on will become more real for you.”
– Mario Alonso Puig –
Family separation: Guidelines for achieving emotional regulation
One way in which we can achieve healthy emotional regulation is to practice mindfulness. Programs like MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) teach, among other things, emotional regulation based on meditation. The first to introduce this program was Jon Kabat Zinn. However, today, there are more and more interventions based on introspection that include sessions dedicated to emotional regulation.
Mindfulness-based programs seek to establish emotional control through the body. So, once an emotion presents itself in the body, we can identify it in order to then regulate it. This way, we keep an internal dialogue from developing regarding the emotion.
In other words, if you can regulate your emotions by placing your attention on your body, then you can eliminate unnecessary emotions that automatically produce negative thoughts about the initial emotion.