Try one of the following strategies to help cope with symptoms of moral injury:
1. Create a Responsibility Pie Chart: Use this technique if you experience emotions like guilt, shame, or anger around “who’s to blame” for a challenging event or situation. Make a list of all factors that contributed to the challenging situation and a roughly estimated percentage of how much responsibility you can assign to that factor – these will be the pieces of the pie. Make sure to include all possible factors, even if you only think they are 1% responsible. Only once you’ve listed all other factors can you assign yourself responsibility. After you’ve considered all other factors, is there as much blame left over for yourself as you initially thought?
2. Connect with gratitude: Experiencing gratitude can counteract many of the negative emotions we experience. Take 5 minutes each day to identify 3 things you feel grateful for.
Or try one of the following writing prompts:
- Similar to the Responsibility Pie Chart described above, write a short letter describing the challenging event or situation and all the factors that lead up to it. Pay attention to which factors were in your control and which weren’t.
- Experiencing morally challenging situations can lead to feelings of shame, worthlessness, or a loss of trust in yourself. To challenge some of those feelings, make a list of things you like about yourself. What makes you feel worthy, valued, proud?