Physical healing is often very straight forward, we rest, we take medications, and follow doctors orders. Emotional healing on the other hand, can be a tricky journey that can be hard for many people. People look for emotional healing after all types of trauma, and growing after these types of trauma can be hard, in fact, we might never be the same as we were before.
Emotional healing is the process of acknowledging, accepting and processing any painful life experiences and strong emotions. This can involve a lot of self-compassion and acceptance, as well as becoming more empathetic. You might avoid emotional healing by minimising your pain and negative emotions - but that can slow down the process of emotional healing.
Emotional healing can take time, and you need to fully process your feelings, which might take longer than you realise. Emotional healing will look different for everyone, but you will eventually be able to be more present with both yourself and other people. Common stressors that can lead people to look to emotional healing can be loss, divorce, job loss, illness, or stressful world events. Emotional healing is possible for any scenario.
Healing is not an easy process, but it can be rewarding and help you find clarity and inspiration in your life. But you might want to ask yourself some questions before you start your healing journey. Think about how not healing is negatively affecting your life, and what you want your life to be like. Also have a think about if you’re ready to experience the healing journey and any emotions it might bring up for you.
Here’s some tips for emotional healing to make the journey as easy as possible:
Remind yourself that you’re not broken, and don’t beat yourself up all the time. Self compassion is essential to heal from trauma, and you’ll find it very hard to improve your emotional well being if you’re not compassionate about yourself. This also includes being thankful towards yourself, acknowledging how far you have made it despite any struggles.
Trying to go it alone can hide your healing journey, even if you feel like you want to hide away until you are feeling better. The reality is that friends and family want to help you and it can be great to have a support network that is aware of what you are going through.
Emotional healing isn’t simple, and trauma can have deeper roots inside of you than you realise and can be affecting you in more ways than one. Be realistic and don’t expect to fix everything all at once.
Sitting through your feelings can be one of the hardest things to do. You’re probably experiencing a whole range of deep feelings like grief, anger or sadness. These emotions aren't fun - but it's important to let yourself feel rather than ignoring or rushing through them. It can feel uncomfortable but acknowledging rough feelings is part of the process of healing. The good news - these feelings will pass!
Healing, especially emotional healing, is never linear. You can be making breakthrough after breakthrough, and then have a day where it feels like all that work has been undone. Don’t worry when this happens, and know that you are doing the work and eventually it will get better.
Some of the benefits of emotional healing can also improve your physical health. If you're afraid to start healing, here's some of the benefits that you can reap from the positive emotions you get through healing: Improved cardiovascular health, lower stress output, lower heart rate, improved respiratory health.
If you’re looking to start your emotional healing journey, some ways you can get started include:
Mental health professionals can help with the painful feelings emotional healing can bring on, and help you move forward at a pace that is right for you, and help you find insight you might not be able to find by yourself.
When we are healing, it can be easy to get distracted by the past, and stress about the future. Mindfulness can help you stay in the present, and see that you are fine at this exact moment. Journaling can help, as it is a great way to reach insights into your mind by working through your feelings and experiences. Most importantly, allow yourself to feel the fullness of your emotions, without tattaching further meaning to them. And when you feel emotions, take note of how long it takes before the feeling goes away, using your mindfulness skills in the meantime.
Move your body
Moving your body can help to process your emotions, especially exercises like yoga. Listen to your body and how it wants to move, and allow yourself to move in this way.
And remember, there is no end point or finish line to cross to signify the end of your healing journey. Emotional healing can be so gradual that you might not even realise how much you have healed before other people notice it. But, if you find yourself looking back at trauma without becoming overwhelmed, and if you are bouncing back quicker from stressors, or even if you feel peaceful and more chilled, this shows you are well on your way to feeling emotionally healed.
By Amy Cavill
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