At some point in life, we all get dealt an emotional blow. Maybe it’s a job loss or health crisis, a breakup or divorce, the loss of a loved one, or a major disappointment.
When emotional pain strikes, it’s vital to our well-being to take a step back and allow room for emotional healing. Yet emotional healing only can happen if we have the proper tools, support, time, and willingness to deal with the pain and move through the hurt to the other side.
If we try to avoid feeling the pain, or had to hide our emotional pain as children, it can go unattended. Like dirty clothes stuffed into drawers or under a bed, if we have too many unattended emotional pains, they may start to build up and spill into our lives.
We may have pains in our bodies or overreact emotionally in different situations. Also, we may have frequent low mood, anxious feelings, or feel isolated and afraid.
Maybe our negative self-talk becomes debilitating, or we engage in compulsive behaviors. Or maybe we go from relationship to relationship, trying to outrun it.
These challenges and behaviors are an invitation to heal. It’s never too late, but it does take work to gain emotional healing.
Here are tips gleaned from research and mental health professionals to help you on your journey to emotional healing.
9 Practical Tips That Can Help You Find Emotional Healing
Admit Your Emotional Pain
Admitting you’re in emotional pain is the first step in the healing process. This can be difficult, especially if you feel it’s shameful or a sign of weakness to have emotional difficulties. It’s important to remember that vulnerability actually can be a strength.
If you can admit it, that means you’ve stopped fighting and/or running from your pain, and you’re willing to move through it. Emotional healing is possible.
We can’t do emotional healing alone. Get support. When we disclose our emotional pain to someone we trust – whether that’s a mental health professional, spiritual advisor, partner, or friend – it facilitates healing, which can boost our emotional and physical health.
One study showed that holding a loved one’s hand when sharing emotional pain can provide healing and comfort. The love, empathy, and caring another person shows us, especially when we’re vulnerable, can help us out of isolation.
Take Restorative Time Alone
Solitude or downtime is really important to access your own thoughts and feelings, and to heal. This is especially true if you’re processing a painful loss.
Make sure your schedule isn’t too full. Do something that doesn’t require too much mental activity.
Research shows solitude is important for coping, emotional release, and self-renewal.
Write It Down
If you’re processing painful emotions, remember what may be difficult to express out loud can be given voice through writing. Keep a journal.
Take time to write in it every day. You can start with just 10 minutes. The beneficial effects of writing as a means for emotional healing are well documented.
Emotional healing requires time and space. You’ll likely be more limited in what you can do. Schedule less, don’t take on big challenges, and don’t overextend yourself.
This isn’t a time to push yourself. Give yourself a pass if you make mistakes or have to say no.
Prioritize Your Health
Emotional and physical wellness are closely knit together. Practice these healthy habits:
- Do your best to get restful sleep
- Nourish your body with brain healthy food
- Take nutritional supplements as needed
- Get regular exercise
- Go to the doctor and get your blood work done
- Get a massage or try acupuncture
- Practice meditation or yoga
Make it a priority to take good care of your health.
Combat Negative Thoughts
You can aid your emotional healing by improving the way you talk to yourself. Correcting your negative thinking can help reduce your internal stress.
Whenever a negative thought pops into your head, combat it with these 4 questions:
- Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do I react when I think that thought?
- Who would I be without that thought? Or, how would I feel if I didn’t have that thought
Discover New Things
As you start to heal, explore new hobbies and interests. Novelty is good for your brain health and well-being.
- Take a hike on a new trail
- Go to the museum
- Try a new recipe
- Learn to play an instrument
- Try playing pickleball
- Take a dance class
While emotional pain is often about loss; emotional healing can be about new beginnings.
Help Others and Find Gratitude
Helping others is a wonderful way to boost your own emotional well-being. This is a known truth.
Also, when we see the challenges others are facing, it helps us to feel more gratitude. Look for reasons to be grateful. Gratitude is the song of emotional health.
Remember that it takes courage to face difficult emotions. Be patient. It won’t last forever.
You will come out wiser, stronger, and more resilient on the other side.
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