Most of us know what to do when our bodies are sick or injured. We either have techniques for caring for ourselves at home, or we know to seek professional help if the injury or illness is severe.
We are often at more of a loss when it comes to emotional pain and injury, however. Either we feel like we should just “get over” whatever hurt us, we have shame around seeking professional help, or we simply do not know where to start finding emotional healing.
While every person and every situation is different, here are ten tips for finding emotional healing.
1. Know that your pain is valid
So often we’re told to just “suck it up” or that our emotional pain is not real or that it’s all in our heads.
Remind yourself that what you’re feeling is real and valid. You have the right to seek remedies and to treat yourself with the same care that you would if your body were sick.
Even if others tell you that you are overreacting or that the cause of your pain is no big deal, honor your pain and seek healing.
This (sometimes not-so) simple step can be a major one in the journey to emotional healing.
2. Protect your energy
When you’re seeking emotional healing, it’s especially important to be aware of what you allow into your energetic space.
People who discount your pain, make you feel bad about yourself, or dismiss your feelings will just continue the harm.
Allow yourself to take a break from these people, or severely limit your exposure to them. If that’s not possible, use other techniques on this list to buffer or counteract their negativity.
3. Spend time with people who fill your cup
As you are on your emotional healing journey, spend time with people who fill you rather than drain you.
This doesn’t mean only spending time with super-positive people, either. Rather, think about the people in your life who make you feel validated, comfortable, and safe.
Spending time with people who always make you feel better when you’ve been around them, is a great way to give yourself time and energy to heal.
4. Reach out
It can be hard to reach out to others when we are in emotional pain, but it makes a difference. Reach out to people who energize you or make you feel seen and heard.
You can also reach out for more structured help by calling a hotline, seeking online counseling, or making an appointment with a therapist. Whatever route you choose, reaching out to others can help counter the isolation that often comes with emotional pain.
5. Take care of yourself
We’re not talking “self-care” as in face masks and pedicures here – though those can be good, too. Instead, it’s important to focus on good basic care as you heal.
Make sure to eat, to stay hydrated, to shower or bathe, and to sleep. If you take medication, be sure to keep taking it. Allow yourself to rest, to opt out of plans that might exhaust you, and generally be gentle with yourself.
If you can take some sick or personal time from your job, do so.
6. Feed your spirit
Spiritual practice can do a great deal in the way of emotional healing.
This might look like participating in a formal faith tradition, such as going to church or temple. It can also look like meditation, working with crystals, spending time connecting with nature, or engaging in prayer.
Some people find that their spirit is happiest when they are making art or dancing.
Find what nourishes your soul and make time for it.
7. Write it out
Journaling is an effective tool for emotional healing.
It allows you to get thoughts and feelings out of you and on to paper. Having the ability to externalize your pain can actually help you heal it. You might also consider writing a letter to the person or people who hurt you — and burning it instead of sending it.
Some journalers also include drawings, collage, and other art in their journals.
8. Give yourself time
There is no timetable for emotional healing, no matter how many times people tell you to move on.
Know that it might take time, maybe even a long time for you to fully heal. Allow yourself to heal on your own timetable.
Healing will not be linear.
Some days will be harder than others, and you may not be able to predict what’s going to be a good day and what’s going to be a rougher one. Know that even if you can’t see or feel it on a given day, you are making progress towards wholeness.