Healing emotional pain is serious business. Some studies have shown that physical and emotional pain even activate the same areas of our brain. Many of us have walked through trauma or pain. While I believe you do need to feel your feelings and face the difficult things in life I also believe that suffering doesn’t serve you. I used to constantly bring up painful things from my past and make myself feel bad about them. I had this weird belief that feeling my feelings and living through the pain would help me heal. I was stuck in a cycle of feeling like crap and bringing up the crappy times in my life over and over again. It made it difficult to have the energy to do the things I needed to do to start feeling better. Seeing friends, exercising and eating healthy are key parts of my mental health management but it’s difficult to get those things done if I’m feeling like crap from recalling memories from the past. I wanted to share with you the mindset and intention setting exercises I used to move out of the cycle of suffering and into emotional healing.
Feeling The Pain
While I believe that feeling your feelings is a very important step in the healing process I also think it is easy to get stuck on this step. If you don’t feel like you deserve to heal or have any guilt associated with the situation you might hold yourself in this phase forever and never allow yourself to move past the emotional pain. I believe you can recognize the pain and then choose to start moving beyond it when you are ready and the time feels right to you. It’s OK to be sad and as humans, we need to experience a full range of emotions in this lifetime. I would never tell someone that feeling negative emotions is wrong. I believe in embracing your feelings, acknowledging them, feeling them fully and then moving on with your life. Once you’ve felt the emotional pain from a situation it is OK to give yourself permission to move onto the other side of it and move on with your life.
Let The Pain Go
I don’t believe feeling the pain over and over again is required for healing. If you’ve acknowledged your pain and faced your trauma you’re not going to get any medals or awards for holding yourself in suffering. While I believe you can’t ignore your feelings I think it is easy to get stuck feeling crappy and recalling painful memories over and over again. This is not serving you and if you are doing this I think you need to find a way to shift out of it as soon as possible. I’m going to share with you my process for doing that below. Everyone is different so you should adapt my process to fit you and where you are at in your journey. I don’t believe you have to wait to heal or suffer for a certain amount of time. I believe you can start stepping onto the other side of suffering right now. You might end up revisiting this old pain and old memories from time to time and that is OK. This is all part of a healing process. Just don’t let yourself get stuck in the suffering and know that feeling the pain over and over again isn’t required for you to heal.
If you believe you don’t believe to heal you won’t. Plain and simple. In order to allow yourself to move to the other side of the emotional pain, you need to forgive yourself and everyone surrounding the situation. You can do this a number of ways. I usually write a letter in my journal to myself, the situation and the other people involved. I never show these letters to anyone and I don’t believe connecting with people is required for forgiving them. If you want or need to repair relationships or get closure then, by all means, do so but I don’t believe that is required to move on from a situation and fully heal. You can release yourself and step onto the other side of the emotional pain without speaking to anyone else about it. You are in charge of your feelings, life, and healing.
The first thing I do to get on the other side of emotional pain is to set the intention that I am ready to be on the other side of this pain. First, I thank your brain for bringing the painful memory or thought to your intention. I believe that acknowledging that the painful though exists helps me clear it easier. Then I set the intention and tell my mind that I am ready to be on the other side. If you are religious you can say this as a prayer and ask for guidance. If not set the intention is still powerful and important and your brain will still help you clear the pain and get on the other side. Here is an example of what I would say or write to set the intention.
I am ready to be on the other side of this pain. I am willing and ready to see this situation differently. I am ready to be clear and free of this pain.
Just setting the intention that you are ready to move onto the other side of the pain can help you get unstuck. It is key that you recognize that you are ready to move past these feelings and that you tell that message to your brain.
Journaling is my favorite way to process painful memories and get myself on the other side of them. You can do any process that feels good to you. Sometimes I will just think about these questions while I’m driving or walking my dog. You can also try meditating on some of these questions or thinking about them while you workout. All that matters is you are able to move through the emotional pain and put yourself on the other side of it. Here are some of my favorite journaling prompts for doing this.
- What would it feel like if I was already completely healed from this situation?
- How would I feel if I had forgiven myself and everyone involved in this situation?
- What story does the version of myself tell about this experience would I tell if I had healed from this years ago?
- What would it feel like to leave this pain in the past?
- How is living with this pain negatively impacting my life?
- How would healing this pain and moving past it improve my life?
- What is a different story I can tell myself about this situation?
- If I knew for certain everything ultimately happened for the highest good of everyone involved what would I think about this situation
- How would I feel if I never felt the pain associated with this event again?
- If I were to shift myself to the other side of this pain how would it feel?
I constantly am moving in and out of old emotional pain. Sometimes something will come up and old trauma will resurface. It’s totally OK if you find yourself facing your emotional pain many times throughout your journey. Just acknowledge your feelings and then set the intention to move through it. For me knowing that I have a process to use when old emotional pain comes up helps keep me from getting stuck in reliving the same trauma over and over again. My process is:
- Feel and acknowledge my feelings
- Recognize that I don’t have to keep suffering around this
- Set the intention to let it go
- Journal with the intention to shift myself past the pain and into the healed version of myself
I do this any time I am emotionally struggling or if I feel stuck. Before I had this process I would constantly force myself to relive my trauma and pain. I believed that if I kept feeling the pain around it that eventually, the bad feelings would go away. This has not been an effective technique for me. It makes my anxiety and depression so much more difficult to manage and my mental health quickly deteriorates.
Talk To a Professional
I have had many therapists assist me with this process through the years. If your emotional pain has had a hold on you for a long time or if trying to let it go feels overwhelming I recommend you talk to a professional. I currently use BetterHelp and talk to a therapist via Skype but I’ve also had in person therapists help me in the past. The important thing is that you find someone that has the skills and knowledge to help you sort out your emotional pain and help you move to the other side of it. I do a lot of journaling but I have found there were certain situations where having a person to talk to and give me feedback really allowed me to heal.
I hope this helps you do some emotional healing of your own. It’s easy to get stuck in the process of feeling your feelings and while that is an important step it’s also important to shift out of that. If you want some pep talks and mental health tips and tricks from me come over and join my Mental Health Facebook group. I do live videos in there every week to share what I’m learning on my mental health journey. Be sure to check out my podcast episode about this topic and subscribe for future episodes on iTunes and Podbean.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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