In the pursuit of happiness, life can serve you up all kinds of emotional distress. Whether you are suffering from rejection, depression, anxiety, unproductive obsessions, addictions, unwanted compulsions, repetitive self-sabotaging behaviours, boredom, unexplained physical ailments, you are likely to be experiencing all sorts of angry, bleak and agitated moods. There is still a lot to learn about our own symptoms of emotional pain, which usually exacts a greater toll on the quality of your life than physical pain. Dealing with emotional pain is therefore more complicated than it may first appear to be. But don’t despair, it is said that:
The Road to Wisdom is Paved with Suffering.
Once you go through one tough experience and learn all the emotional healing techniques you can, you will be left with the experience and wisdom to handle similar situations in future.
So, How Do You Heal Emotional Pain?
What helps reduce this distress? What encourages a person to heal? The current mental health approach relies mainly on medication and talk therapy. However drugs never really work in the long term, and in fact they have a rebound effect. What this means is that you will always need more medication to ease your pain, once the soothing effects have worn off, increasing the likelihood of acquiring an addiction without curing your emotional distress. Drugs in this sense may include painkillers, tranquilisers, alcohol and the like. On the other hand, talk therapy may be helpful, but only to the extent that it is part of the other steps explained further in this article.
The real solution is learning to intimately deal with your true feelings no matter how unpleasant they are. This will liberate you from the hell of emotional pain.
Below are great tips on how to heal emotional pain and gain happiness.
5 Tips for Healing Emotional Pain
1. Let Go of Rejection
This is one way of accepting the pain and allowing yourself to grieve. Rejection activates the same pathways in your brain as physical pain; that is one reason why it hurts so much. It is so distressing that it conflicts with your ability to think, recall memories and make sensible decisions. The sooner you let go of painful rejections, the better off your mental health will be.
2. Avoid Ruminating and Reach out
When you ruminate, or brood, over past hurts, the memories you relentlessly replay in your mind become increasingly distressing and cause more and more anger – without giving any new insights. In other words, although considering a painful event can help you reach an understanding or finish it, ruminating only increases your stress levels, and can be addictive. Instead try reaching out for help from friends or experts who will help you feel good about yourself again, through a holistic approach. You can also seek comfort in prayer, meditation or whatever works best to bring you peace.
3. Turn Failure Into Something Positive
If you allow yourself to feel defeated after a failure, or blame it on your lack of experience or bad luck, it’s likely to lower your self-esteem. Blaming a failure on particular factors that are actually within your control, such as planning or execution, is likely to be less damaging, but what is even better is focusing on steps you can take to be better informed or prepared so you can win next time. Having a positive attitude towards acquiring knowledge about yourself and your situation will unearth great value from this experience. Remember, it will also leave you stronger, wiser and more resilient.
4. Make Sure Guilt Remains a Useful Emotion
Guilt can be useful in that it can stop you from doing something that may injure another person. But guilt that lingers or is extreme can diminish your ability to focus and enjoy life.
If you still feel guilty after confessing a wrongdoing, be sure you have expressed empathy towards the other person, and conveyed the fact that you know how your actions impacted them. This will likely lead to an authentic forgiveness, and the relief of your guilty feelings.
5. Use Self-Affirmations Whenever You Have Low Self-Esteem
While positive statements are great tools for dealing with emotional pain, if they fall outside the limits of your beliefs, they may be ineffective. And when you make statements that start with “I want to be” or ” I wish I could”, that is all you are going to get back … these are incomplete assertions, typical of people with low self-esteem, for whom self-affirmations may be more useful.
By declaring “I am loved”, “I am living a life full of joy and love” “I am married to a man who is loving, caring, loyal and worships the ground I walk on” , you are simply affirming, claiming or owning whatever awesomeness you want to happen as if you already possess it. Even if you don’t have happiness or fitness or wealth, but that is what you aspire to, you announce it as if it has already happened. An important element of this is gratitude, which has the highest frequency and is the secret to manifesting what your heart desires or how you want to see yourself in the future. You attract whatever you think into reality, as explained in the Universal Law of Attraction.
After you have allowed yourself some time to grieve and reached out for support and allowed yourself to recover, you now have to move on. This means taking more care of yourself – just as eating healthily, exercising or getting a great night’s sleep are habits that must be pursued continuously to be effective, your emotional health needs continuous care as well.
This is where your journey to gain happiness starts!
Here are tips for emotional nurturing: Top Tips for Well-Being and Mindfulness
1. Be an Optimist
It pays to have a sunny disposition. Science has proven that optimistic people have healthier hearts and better stress management strategies. It may not be easy, especially when emotional pain is too much, but adopting a grateful, forgiving, sharing and receptive attitude (especially towards yourself ) or just smiling are some of the ways of keeping that sunny side up.
2. Have Hope
Having hope allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel, supporting your push through dark, challenging times. Accomplishing goals, even small ones, can help you to increase your level of hope.
3. Accept Yourself
Self-deprecating remarks and observations will shroud your mind in negativity and promote increased levels of stress. So explore the positive aspects of your life and celebrate your best traits, and avoid judging what you deserve based on comparisons with those around you. Even the Dalai Lama said “we can never obtain peace from the outer world until we make peace with ourselves”, so love yourself first.
4. Stay Connected
Having loving and supportive relationships helps you feel connected and accepted, and lets you develop a more positive mood. Close relationships will meet your emotional needs, so make it a point to reach out to others to promote and nurture these friendships in your life.
5. Express Gratitude
People who are thankful for what they have tend to have more robust emotional health and are more able to cope with stress, as well as being better equipped to achieve their purpose. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a recognition journal or list, where you actively write down precisely what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been connected to happier moods, greater optimism, and also better physical health.
6. Find Your Purpose and Meaning
When you have a purpose or intention that you’re striving for, your life will take on a new meaning that helps your mental well-being. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, investigate your natural talents and interests to help find it, and also consider your role in devoted relationships and your capacity to grow spiritually.
7. Exercise Regularly
Exercise promotes higher levels of health-promoting neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the negative effects of stress and also relieve depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool for losing weight, avoiding disease, and living longer – all benefits that are geared to the future – try viewing exercise as an enjoyable daily tool for enhancing your frame of mind immediately, and cope with stress and feel happier now.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in now. This gives you control over the racing, repetitive and counterproductive thoughts that can cause stress. It then leads to a greater acceptance of what’s happening. As you do this more, your confidence and ability to cope with situations grows. This is why mindful meditation has been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective modes of stress management.
Understanding Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation is a meditation technique designed to develop the skill of paying attention to your inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience and compassion. It’s being aware of your thoughts, and this is why it’s widely used to deal with various types of emotional pain.
Consistent daily practice of meditation promotes inner stability and nurtures calmness. This is made possible because as you practise, you learn how to disentangle yourself from your habitual thoughts and behaviours. This in turn allows you to face and embrace even the unpleasant aspects of your daily life and lets you connect with yourself and others in a healthier and deeper way.
Ways Mindful Meditation Promotes Well-Being
- Improves Brain Performance
- Develops Creative Thinking
- Relieves Stress
- Reduces Anxiety
- Increases Compassion
- Reduces Likelihood of Depression and Anger
- Decreases Chronic Pain
- Lowers Danger of Heart Attack or Stroke
- Assists Cancer Recovery
- Removes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you need to get the full benefits of meditation, then you’ll require regular practice. Here are five ways research recommends meditation may help health.
1. Meditation slows age-related brain loss
People who practice mindful meditation get less age-related loss of brain tissue than those that don’t, according to a study that states “the results suggest that participation in MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction) is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.”
2. Meditation can improve sleep quality
People over 55 with reduced sleep disturbances reported a greater improvement in their sleep patterns using mindfulness meditation as part of a highly structured program aimed at changing poor sleep habits and setting a bedtime habit, a US randomized clinical trial has revealed. This suggests meditation could be an efficient addition to a “menu of appealing options” required to “compete with the quick-fix” offered by sleeping tablets.
3. Meditation can stop ‘monkey mind’
Mindfulness meditation can reduce activity in brain regions responsible for our mind’s tendency to flow from topic to topic (‘monkey mind’) – a habit that has been linked to poor mental health.
Mind-wandering is a natural activity present in roughly 50 percent of our awake life but is also connected with lower levels of happiness, according to the authors of a recent study conducted at Yale University. The reason for this is considered to be that our thoughts often gravitate towards rumination or stressful feelings.
4. It can help relieve pain
One of the numerous interesting studies examining the effect of meditation on pain observes that advanced meditators describe feeling less pain than non-meditators, although more movement in brain areas connected with pain is revealed.
This is puzzling at first sight. But it shows that those who meditate are more able to reduce the disturbance of the pain stimulation than others. Rather than blocking the experience, it shows they can evade engaging in modes of thought that make it more painful.
5. It improves concentration
A core advantage of meditation is that it develops attention and that means it enhances concentration. It can even boost capability when multitasking as one study showed.
A group who took mindfulness training two hours per day for eight weeks were much more effective at completing discrete tasks in a multitasking challenge than groups who hadn’t been trained or who had only been trained in body relaxation. The mindfulness group stayed on task longer and switched between tasks less frequently. Moreover, they remembered what they had done better than other study subjects.
This fits in with other studies showing that mindfulness promotes concentration on a physical level by maintaining our attention networks in proper communication.
In summary, knowing how to deal with extreme emotional pain is not as difficult as it might appear. It involves acceptance of the situation and learning from it. It involves reaching out for help from friends or experts. Then reinforcing your new strength and wisdom through the healthy practices of being mindful and using mindful meditation as a regular routine. There is no better guaranteed way to heal emotional pain and gain happiness than this.