Our humanity is both a boon and a curse. It is humanity that lets us go beyond being logical creatures, allowing us to love and care for each other. It is humanity that lets us put our heart in paintings and stories, forming so much of our culture.
Yet, it is often our humanity that ends up hurting us. Not all emotions are soft and warm. Some dig into your ribs like a knife and leave wounds in places you can’t reach. When these wounds are left ignored to fester over time, they build into something huge.
Society has progressed so much in the field of physical treatments, but no one teaches us how to release emotional pain. Our life cannot be as wholesome without the presence of emotional healing techniques.
What is emotional stress?
Emotional stress is the prolonged mental strain caused by a build-up of emotional pain. In our daily lives, we go through a multitude of things which cause emotional tension. Overtime at work, nearing deadlines, unstable family matters and other similar things can lead to emotional stress. Emotional stress does not have to be due to something huge. It is usually created because of a million smaller discomforts that we try to ignore daily, but end up internalising.
It isn’t easy to confront your emotions. Thus, when something occurs to spike negative emotions, our first instinct is to ignore it. We think that the pain will go away if we hide it long enough, the child in us insisting that if we can’t see the problem, it won’t exist.
But that is not coping with emotional stress. That is running away from it. And when we run, we get more exhausted and what we dread only chases after us faster. Thus, it catches us at the moment when we are most vulnerable and breaks us apart.
Without the use of emotional healing techniques, this constant hide-and-seek can cause serious damage.
Effects of emotional stress
Not knowing how to manage emotional stress can have severe effects. Emotional pain disturbs the functioning of both your mind and body. So many negative beliefs stem from untreated and unreleased emotional pain. Without knowing how to release emotional pain, your body could suffer major consequences, including:
- Having a severe effect on your mental health. Researchers have connected the onset of conditions such as depression and anxiety to emotional stress. One study discovered that emotional stress can lead to depression in women, particularly.
- Development of unhealthy mechanisms of coping with emotional stress, such as drinking alcohol, smoking and stress eating.
- A lowered sex drive. Being intimate with another person requires a sense of comfort. Not knowing how to manage emotional stress can lead to a hindrance in your sex life.
- Loss of memory and concentration.
- Issues like irritability, anger and mood swings.
- Reveal itself through physical ailments. Certain symptoms such as loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, headache, etc. could be indicators of emotional strain.
Thus, coping with emotional stress healthily becomes one of the essentials in modern life. We need to understand just how much happier our lives would be if we practised proper emotional healing techniques.
What is emotional healing?
So what is emotional healing all about? Emotional healing means soothing the bruises that reside inside of you. It focuses on releasing all the pent-up pain in a manner that is calm and healthy. They allow people to be in control of their healing journey.
You take the reigns in your hands and make your own mistakes along the way. You go at your own pace, till you reach the point where you can process and regulate those hurtful emotions. Emotional healing techniques aim at achieving internal peace so that you know exactly what is happening to you and you can find your comfort in it.
Methods for coping with emotional stress
It can be scary to try and figure out just where to begin. Often, people come to the starting pointing already disillusioned by several failed attempts of watching motivational videos and reading self-help books. But rest assured, because there is something for everyone here.
There are several ways in which you can begin your emotional healing journey, medically or naturally. It is important to be patient with yourself as you try out various emotional healing techniques.
Here are eight common methods that you can try:
Many times emotional stress might be an indicator for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, mood disorder, etc. Thus, if you have the resources and accessibility, consider going to a therapist or psychologist. Having someone to guide you through your emotional healing journey can make it seem less indicating. There are many techniques specially designed for emotional healing, such as emotional freedom technique.
Often, psychiatric care might be recommended as well, with medication given to support the therapy. These medications release chemicals in your body to help you with being more energetic and receptive to the treatment.
Even if there is no serious underlying condition, just talking things out in a non-judgemental space can do wonders.
Mindfulness means moment-to-moment awareness. It is constantly acknowledging what is happening inside your body. Instead of ignoring the pain, you look it in the eye. You accept it’s existence. When you become aware that pain is present, it is possible to pinpoint the cause.
One of the most common ways to practise mindfulness is through mindfulness meditation. Meditation teaches us how to quieten all the noise in our head and focus on the moment. There are a variety of meditation techniques available at your disposal.
For example, breath-awareness meditation, zen meditation, vipassana meditation, etc. With practice, you will be able to achieve the state of calmness mid-meditation in your normal day to day life as well.
The practice of yoga has been part of Indian culture from ancient times. Yoga consists of a set of mental, physical and spiritual techniques to achieve optimum physical health and mental peace. Just adding 20 minutes of yoga to your daily routine will bring about a whole new sense of comfort.
We all know that art is a way of expression. Children are always happiest when they have a supply of colours and papers in front of them. Have you ever considered how art might be an emotional healing technique as well? There is an entire branch of therapy known as art therapy, which deals with channelling your internal distress on plain canvas, giving it a shape and form. Often, it is hard to become aware of the pain inside you because it is such an abstract thing. Through art, you can visualize this pain, bring it out in front of you, learning how to hold it, love it and heal it.
Writing down your emotions and feelings can help you understand them better. Through journaling, you can put the pain in words, so that someday when you feel calm enough, you can look back on it and reflect. Journaling enables you to have heart-to-heart conversations with yourself. You can finally say things you wouldn’t reveal to anybody else.
Alternatively, you can also write letters directed to your childhood self or others around you, saying the things you wish you could have told them.
While some days we do need our space, on other days talking with our friends and families and making warm memories can also help soothe the pain. Being amongst others lets us get out of our heads and avoid spiralling.
Running, jogging, playing sports, dancing, stretching or even stomping your feet can help relieve stored emotional stress. Physical exercise allows our body to work off negative emotions.
Nature is the best doctor. Just a walk in a park or watching the sunrise can bring a sense of calmness.
Practising an emotionally healthy lifestyle
It is not easy to stick to emotional healing techniques. There will be times when you give up and come back again. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Don’t push yourself into making it work fast. Be gentle and practise positive affirmations.
Right now, amid a worldwide pandemic, we need healing more than ever.
Go slow, you will get there in your time. Just reaching this point of wanting to try is such a brave thing in itself.