Trauma and emotional pain are relative in terms of the effect on people. While death and dying may be the ultimate trauma, people can and do experience similar upsets when dealing with many of life’s challenges. As much as I’d like to believe that healing happens overnight, it doesn’t. No amount of efforts or even prayers can fix the emotional emptiness in a day or even a week. One must understand that healing (emotional, mental, physical ) is a process
Often people fail to take emotional ailments as seriously as they take physical ailments. You wouldn’t tell someone with a broken arm that “Hey buddy! It’s okay, just sleep it off”, then why do people have to tell someone undergoing emotional imbalance to be okay with it!
Each individual is struggling in their own form – some are dealing with an unhealthy relationship, while some are fighting their own self-doubt and inferiority complex, some have marital conflicts, while some have a severe work life disequilibrium. Each phase of life carries with itself a toll which may range from adolescent problems to parenting issues to facing difficulty with aging. So, let’s not constantly try to make each other believe that how invalid our feelings are, but rather embrace every emotion that we face.
Healing is not a simple 1-2-3 formula that will lead to an automatic restoration of 100% efficiency of an individual. True healing is not linear. You can’t expect someone undergoing depression to just wake up one day and decide “now I don’t want to die”. Healing can take months, sometimes years and it may have backslid along its way. You can’t expect things in your life to be perfect that very moment because things happen.
Process of emotional healing escalates the process of creating personal change and transformation with the ultimate achievement of inner peace. An individual passes through 5 stages while going through healing process. These stages last for different periods of time and do not necessarily occur in sequential order.
1. The Denial Stage: Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to acknowledge and accept ‘what is.’ It is a defense mechanism. Some people spend their entire lives in denial. The result is staying stuck in relationships and situations that are unsatisfying and anything less than gratifying.
2. The Anger Stage: Anger can manifest in a variety of ways. It can be outward toward other people like rage, or inward toward us resulting in isolation and negative emotions. It is important to acknowledge your anger. It is more important to be willing to let it go!
3. The Bargaining Stage : Bargaining never provides a sustainable solution. We bargain or seek a compromise when fear gets the best of us. This is when we sabotage progress and success in our lives and in our quest for inner peace.
4. The Depression Stage : The title of this stage is deceiving because it is truly an indicator that you are beginning to accept, with emotional attachment, your past and your present. At this point, you may feel sadness, regret, remorse, fear and uncertainty. You have begun to release and remove the barriers and blocks to peace.
5. The Acceptance Stage: This stage indicates that you have emotionally detached yourself from your past and its regrets, the present and what are your current circumstances and the future, with all that is yet to be. By accepting ‘what is’ you begin to take inspired action and see people and the world very differently.
In addition to the 5 stages mentioned above, researchers came up with an additional stage required to complete the journey of healing
+ The Forgiveness Stage: Experiencing forgiveness inherently means you are experiencing inner peace. Forgiveness does not mean you condone someone’s inappropriate behavior or stay in an unhealthy situation or relationship. Forgiveness is an act you do for yourself to set yourself free! Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR EMOTIONAL HEALING
1. Be yourself
You must be yourself. This means asking for what you want, setting boundaries, having your own beliefs and opinions, standing up for your values, wearing the clothes you want to wear, eating the food you want to eat, saying the things you want to say, and in a hundred other ways being you and not somebody small or false.
2. Invent yourself
Be aware of the potential that you have within yourself and unfold your underlying strengths. You reduce your emotional distress by deciding to become a person who will experience less emotional distress: a calmer person, a less critical person, a less egoistic person, a more productive person, a less self-abusive person, and so on.
3. Get a grip on your mind
Nothing causes more emotional distress than the thoughts we think. We must do a better job than we usually do of identifying the thoughts that don’t serve us, disputing them and demanding that they go away, and substituting more useful thoughts. Only you can get a grip on your mind.
4. Flip the anxiety switch off
Rampant anxiety ruins our equilibrium, colors our mood, and makes all the already hard tasks of living that much harder. There are many anxiety management strategies you might want to try—breathing techniques, cognitive techniques, relaxation techniques, and so on—but what will make all the difference is if you can locate that “Inner switch” that controls your anxious nature and, deciding that you prefer to live more calmly, flip it to the off position.
Writing down our thoughts and our pain is a healthy way to release those emotional wounds that are still alive and deep. There are times when we don’t feel like talking about our problem any longer because friends don’t want to hear it, they don’t understand us, or we feel as if we are being giant crybabies. Write down how you feel about the situation. Don’t censor yourself. Allow your emotions to come across in their raw format.
A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Also, observe the constant stream of negative thoughts that run through your mind. See yourself as the one who’s observing all that emotional pain and all that discomfort. But don’t make the pain part of who you are. Feel, sense and accept the situation.
7. Turn your wounds into wisdom
Every experience that comes your way comes your way for a reason. Seek to know what that reason is. Seek to learn from every painful experience and every painful interaction life sends your way. Turn your wounds into wisdom and your difficulties into opportunities. Let your pain make you better, not bitter.
8. Realize that no pain is forever
If you’re still alive, if you’re still breathing, it only means that there’s still a lot of life for you out there. So pick yourself up. Dust yourself off, and start all over again. Start rebuilding your life and make it ridiculously amazing. Don’t let a bad and painful experience make you feel like you have a bad and painful life. Don’t let a rainy day dampen your fun. Never forget that the Sun always shines above the clouds. It’s always up there
Take the time to be alone with yourself, to acknowledge, love and appreciate the parts of you that are beautiful, to love yourself and to know yourself. Be patient; take time to heal and to fully recover from all that you are feeling.
Image Courtesy: The Daily Gazette