Struggling With North Carolina Workers’ Compensation: A Guide to Self Empathy

March 9, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Contrary to the stereotype of the average North Carolina workers’ compensation claimant as indolent and needy, most hurt and sick workers desperately want to get back to their jobs and produce and provide for their families. Unfortunately, when you go on benefits – even temporarily – you may find yourself subjected to negative messages not only from employers and co-workers but also from friends, family, and even yourself.

Finding internal resources to empathize with your pain can help you respond to critics and heal faster and better. Let’s look at some strategies to help you metabolize the toxic messages that you brew internally (or that you receive from outside sources) as you attempt to navigate the maze of North Carolina workers’ compensation and pull yourself back to health.

1. Use mindfulness meditation

For thousands of years, spiritual leaders from all religious traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, etc, have used meditation and prayer to absorb and metabolize negative thoughts. Essentially, the goal is to clear your mind of thoughts, using an object or focus. In one kind of Buddhist meditation, for instance, you sit and focus on the breath for an extended period of time – allowing thoughts, judgments, and feelings to “pass you by” as you engage in the exercise. The goal is not to relax – rather it’s to become alert to the present moment. By doing this over time, you develop a heartier emotional immune system and can thus deal with anger and frustration easier.

2. Take positive action

When you are on a workers’ comp – whether you are laid up and can’t move or hobbled by a bad knee – it’s easy to feel worthless. To combat those feelings, get engaged with something positive that’s going to push you towards some other big goal in your life. For instance, if you always wanted to become a master amateur chef, now might be the time to rent a bunch of instructional cooking videos (or get them for free online) and sharpen your culinary skills.

3. Understand your feelings and needs behind anxiety and agitation

The world is inert. People say things and do things, but our emotional reactions to them form in our own brains. When we really listen to what’s going on inside our head – essentially slow down our internal monologue – we can learn a lot about why we feel the way we do about certain comments and reactions. By studying our thinking, using, for instance, tools like Non-Violent Communication – which we discussed in another blog post – you can hopefully develop better self empathy.

4. Get a legal help, if you need it

A battle-proven North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm can provide key legal resources.

More Web Resources:

About Self-Empathy

Non-Violent Communication


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