8 Tips for Healing from Emotional Wounds
Nov 13, 2019
I think that Emotional wounds are beyond “sadness”; they're felt in the depths of your being. and whilst a strategy could be to Honour your pain; (don't run from it), we need to understand what honouring looks like. It's healthy to share painful experiences—but there's a difference between honouring emotions and wallowing in them.
Your emotional wounds don't imply you are flawed, they're simply your battle scars that show you have danced with life and live to tell the tale.
Honouring your emotions means that you communicate to others of the struggles that you have experienced / are experiencing, but you don't define yourself by these emotions, and you open yourself up to healing them as opposed to being stuck in their narrative.
When a person has an inner emotional wound, it is often accompanied by a deep sense of self-negativity and the feeling that “No matter what I do, I am never good enough.” ... The feeling that I am “never good enough” at some skill or ability, like making money, being “perfect” or something else I “should” be good at. Once this negativity becomes a habit, you find may find yourself swirling in the emotional experience for longer than necessary, which transitions from sharing to wallowing.
Although this list isn't by any means exhaustive, it's a start in Healing from your Emotional Wounds before you start Wallowing in them.
- Take baby steps 🐾. And take them one at a time. Trying to change too much at once may feel overwhelming or worse, if you don’t succeed, you may feel like a failure. Making micro-changes – small, manageable, incremental changes create feelings of success, hope & encouragement that are important to carry you through your healing process.
- It’s NOT all or nothing. There ARE shades of grey. you don’t have to heal 100% to improve the quality of your life. In fact, what is healing 100% anyways?! We’re all one big onion, peeling off layers as we go. Many people mistakenly believe that emotional healing is a destination. this belief can be discouraging but most importantly, it’s not possible & therefore not achievable. Any amount of healing will improve the quality of your life. Take it one step at a time & you will notice small improvements in your mood, ability to cope with triggers, relationships, self-esteem, + ability to complete your daily 🛒 activities.
- Be patient. Healing is work. Albeit it subtle, it can be challenging. 💆🏼♀️ allow for the space & time needed to gain new insights & skills. Keep going even when it gets difficult. To change is to try new approaches; challenge yourself with the uncomfortable.
- Set realistic expectations. dramatic changes are often unsustainable & we end up disappointed & frustrated – often at ourselves, which doesn’t help. One of the most common unrealistic expectations that I see is expecting progress to be consistently forward. If time nor healing is linear, then how do you even know what progress really is? don’t be surprised if sometimes you take two steps backwards & one forward. This isn’t a failure, it’s life. realistic expectations coupled with patience, persistence, & self-compassion will lead to forward progress, it just may include a few detours 🚧 & be slower than you’d like.
- ... on that, view setbacks as part of the process & see stumbles & 🥺 hurdles as learning opportunities. Not only are setbacks ‘normal’, but they’re also necessary for our growth & evolution. we learn more from what doesn’t work than what does. So, instead of trying to avoid setbacks or relapses, expect them & accept that they are part of the process. curiosity in times of challenge has been such a beautiful practise for me.
- Prioritise self-compassion. emotional healing takes an awful lot of energy, time, & sometimes money. In order to keep going, you need to really pay attention to your feelings & your physical body ‘cause your body is smart 🤓 & it speaks to you to tell you what it needs. Take the time to listen & take good care of yourself.
- Be willing to go there, & by ‘there’ I mean, to the icky feelings which you’ve probably tried to suppress + or ignore. Trying to avoid what’s happened in your past doesn’t work. Those feelings tend to stick around, sometimes lying dormant or numbed for a while, but they eventually burst back into our consciousness with a vengeance. This is why I so often talk about needing to “feel your feelings”. We need to feel them & give them space so that they can lose their power over us & truly become part of the past. I’ve found that stillness 🙏🏽 practises are best for this. sitting quietly, allowing your feelings to surface, naming them, & exploring what they’re about. For many people, this is quite challenging & working with a therapist can be helpful.
- Ask for help. Healing isn’t meant to be done one your own. It takes a Village. Use your voice and as for support & guidance. Help 🤱🏽 can take many different forms depending on your needs, so look at it as another form of self-care & ask for the kind of help that best meets your needs.
You may be experiencing a wound having reopened after many years of numbing out.
Numbness kept you from fully feeling your emotions because they were too much to bear at the time. That means, that you didn’t process them, and now, they have manifested in your life. According to Mayra Mendez, Ph.D., LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist and program coordinator at Providence Saint John's Child and Family Development Center....
“Emotional numbing is the mental and emotional process of shutting out feelings and may be experienced as deficits of emotional responses or reactivity,”
Often times, emotional numbing results in temporary restrictions in the capacity to feel or express emotions.
"While emotional numbing blocks or shuts down negative feelings and experiences, it also shuts down the ability to experience pleasure, engage in positive interactions and social activities, and interferes with openness for intimacy, social interests, and problem-solving skills," she adds.
Ultimately, it becomes a coping tool defined by avoidance, denial, detachment, and dismissal that blocks capacity for confronting, processing, problem-solving, and managing of emotions and experiences.
You can read more about Emotional Numbing HERE.
If this is you, take extra care, and if the above steps are overwhelming, confusing or you feel like you need some extra support, work with me or someone else whom you trust so that you can free yourself from the emotional wounds and baggage that comes with feeling blocked and restricted.
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