8 Strategies to Heal From Emotional Pain
We all know that our emotional and mental health impacts our physical health. Last time we looked at ways to open the heart chakra to promote balance and healing. (insert link) This time we’d like to go further and look at emotional pain, as well as suggest strategies for healing. Dealing with emotional pain is key to achieving overall health and wellbeing.
Throughout the course of our lives, all of us experience pain, loss, and sadness. It is a normal part of existence. When we take care of our emotional health and are able to process those feelings with others and within ourselves, we are able to move to a point of acceptance. This allows us to let go of the impact of emotional pain and move past it with new strength and understanding. Sometimes, when pain seems too great, we may hold onto it and find it difficult to work through it. This keeps us stuck and prevents us from healing our hearts and minds.
All of us learned how to deal with pain as children. If we witnessed or experienced trauma, had our feelings met with anger, contempt, or sarcasm, or were made to feel unworthy, our young hearts and minds had to figure out coping strategies for those events. Without support and guidance, we absorbed those hurts in isolation, and the pain continued to grow. We began to believe we were “bad” or not good enough. Shame took root and we started to separate from our emotions and learn ways to protect ourselves. As we developed into adolescence and young adulthood, our feelings were forced into our subconscious and may have led to self-defeating, negative behaviors. We may have believed that if we shut off the link to our heart we would no longer be hurt. As a result, many of us created a virtual layer of armor to protect our hearts, and thus ourselves.
As adults we have the knowledge that heart pain impacts health. As we continue on the road to wellness, we realize that in order to be the people we were meant to be we need to heal from past emotional wounds. Here are eight ways to help you deal with heart pain and further your path toward peace of mind and body.
- Spend time alone in a safe environment thinking back to your earliest hurts. Make a list of events or experiences that lead you to start protecting your heart. After each item, list the ways each particular hurt impacted you over time, and write down how your life will be better once you address the pain.
- Allow yourself to feel the pain of past hurts. When we shut off our hearts to our emotions we become “stuck” because we don’t fully process the things that hurt us. As you confront your hurts and re-experience your feelings, you allow yourself to grieve, which leads to healing.
- Share with others. Talking about your pain and feelings with people you trust lessens the load you carry alone. This frees your heart to accept love from others and helps you move toward acceptance of the experiences that hurt you.
- Examine your early beliefs of feeling bad or unworthy. Use daily affirmations and support from others to begin changing these core beliefs. This leads to unconditional love of yourself and allows you to grow emotionally.
- Connect with your innermost self through meditation, imagery, or the gentle relaxation of exercises like those in yoga and qigong. As you become more present and aware of your body and soul, you will begin to feel liberated from your pain.
- Use visualization when you are relaxed. Imagine your heart opening up and healing each time you share your pain with others or grieve.
- Notice any triggers throughout the day that lead you to feel afraid, sad, or unworthy. Almost always your reactions are connected to the early hurts that need to be opened and healed.
- Nurture yourself. Make sure you take time to relax and to do the things you love to do. When you are able to give to yourself, you begin to appreciate yourself more. Work toward unconditionally loving yourself and knowing your needs are important.
Emotional pain is real, and left untreated it can bring havoc to our lives. When we work
toward dealing with our hurts we are also working toward a healthier mind and body. While it may be painful and frightening to go back and examine the source of your pain, it is a vital step in healing your heart and being open to giving and receiving love. You are not bad or wrong for your feelings or pain. You are human and worth the effort it takes to heal. The following quote from Anais Nin is perfect: “And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” If there is anything we can do to help you in your healing journey, please let us know.
Next time we will wrap up the month of February and talk about your right to be healthy and blossom.