2020 for most of us has been one wild ride that we’d like to get off of in the near future, right? If you are feeling a whirlwind of emotions and wondering how to deal with emotional pain in a healthy way, this post is dedicated to you.
We can all suffer from emotional pain.
Symptoms include sadness, depression, anger, and other uncomfortable feelings.
We can feel emotional pain after a relationship breakup, or when somebody has said or done something to hurt our feelings. We can feel it after the loss of a job we were passionate about, a bad medical report, or when somebody close to us dies.
Choosing poor ‘coping’ behaviors like comfort eating, drinking alcohol to ‘numb,’ lashing out at others, or even self-harm, only lead to more problems. All of these are invalid solutions to valid feelings.
So, what are the best ways to handle emotional pain then? These are but a few ideas that won’t bring you lasting, negative consequences.
Remember, trouble won’t last always!
Become Your Own Best Friend
When we are overwhelmed with emotional pain, it’s easy to become increasingly self-critical.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- “Why am I such a problem?”
- “Why can’t I just ‘snap out’ of feeling like this?”
- “How come everyone else is so happy and I’m not?”
- “I just can’t seem to do anything right lately.”
- “What if I had done ___ or didn’t do ___.”
- “If I only had ____ or did ____, I’d be better off and happier.”
All of these thoughts are not only harmful, but they’re untrue!
Do me a favor, will you? Ask yourself, “Would I say this to my own best friend coming to me for advice?”
If the answer is no, why should you be saying it to yourself, or treating yourself so harshly?
In times of hardship and difficult emotions, remember this: YOU are not the problem! You may be facing problems, but you, yourself, are not the problem.
Sure, there are areas where we need to grow and mature. We have not arrived at some form of perfection, and I’m not suggesting that.
What I am saying is that as long as we are open-minded, teachable spirits, still growing and learning, we’re on the right track.
Show yourself some love and compassion. Be your own best friend. Give yourself space and grace while learning how to deal with emotional pain.
In time, you will be feeling much more like yourself again. For now, it’s okay to not feel okay.
It’s not a life requirement to have it all together all the time, or to have all the answers. Be kinder to yourself. We’re all growing. #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #emotions #wellness #wellbeing #healthTweet
Be With People Who Celebrate and Inspire You
When feeling emotional pain, you might be tempted to shut yourself away.
However, while alone time can be a useful part of the healing process, you don’t want to self-isolate for long periods of time.
You might ruminate and brood on your sad thoughts if you do, and without the company of others, you might be inclined to fall deeper into that black hole of despair.
But when you’re with people you love and trust, you will have people to talk and laugh with. You will have people to pray with, and people whose shoulders you can cry on. They might distract you from your pain too, and that will give you some respite.
So, don’t be alone. The comfort and support of others will help get you through your pain.
Don’t have anyone nearby that you trust? Consider joining an online group of like-minded people. When you find others who have similar stories to yours, it helps lessen feelings of isolation.
Seek Professional Help
If you were in physical pain, you would see your doctor, your chiropractor, or some sort of specialist. You would ask them to do whatever they could to ease your pain.
Why not do the same when you’re hurting emotionally? The pain you feel inside can be just as damaging as any physical pain you might feel. Mental health matters and should be taken seriously.
So, don’t reject the idea of professional help. If your emotional pain is overwhelming, please seek the assistance of a trained therapist.
Are you struggling with PTSD or deeply rooted trauma? Consider a treatment program like EMDR therapy.
Seek professional support if you start binge eating too, or if you fall into other dangerous patterns of behavior. There are so many amazing resources available. Do some online research, or ask your doctor for help finding the right resource for you.
Sharing our thoughts and feelings in a safe environment gives us the ability to move forward toward wholeness.
How To Deal With Emotional Pain: Give Your Brain A Boost
I want you to picture something in your mind, if you will. Think of a hammer. What does a hammer do?
In my mind, a hammer can be used to build something amazing. Or, it can be used for demolition and destruction!
Our brains work much the same way as that hammer. We can harness the power of our minds for building a great future. Or, we can use it to destroy our today and tomorrows.
Curious how you can use your brain like that hammer which builds a better tomorrow? What about…
- Boosting your mood the natural way
- Start a new hobby. You don’t have to be good at it. You just need to enjoy it! Here are 50 hobby ideas to motivate you!
- Spend time in the presence of God, leaving your worries at the foot of the Cross
- Get out in nature and take a walk. (it’s amazing!)
- Start writing/journaling. Write everything. What you’re worried about, thankful for, praying for, afraid of, anything! Writing is cathartic. You are processing your feelings and learning how to deal with emotional pain without even realizing it!
- De-clutter your life! “Decluttering utilizes your decision-making and problem-solving skills,” says Alice Boyes from Psychology Today. Donate your extra items to charity and receive another mental health boost!
- Go, volunteer. It may feel like the last thing you want to do. But, I promise you, helping others takes the focus off of your own pain. Seeing the suffering of others helps us help them with what we’ve learned, and helps us realize how blessed we are!
When we accomplish any goal, even the small ones, our mental health improves. We feel competent and able to take on challenges. When we feel confident and peaceful, we give ourselves a better chance of healing from emotional pain.
Past, Present, Future
In my office, I have a piece of print art that reads, “The past is your lesson, the present is your gift, the future is your motivation.”
Are we rehashing pains from our past daily in our minds?
Are we rehearsing all the bad that has happened by telling anyone who will listen?
If you broke your arm – would you keep hitting it on purpose to make it hurt? Of course not!
So why would we choose to keep ‘hitting’ our painful emotional wounds?
It is good to work through pain with trusted friends, pastors, and professionals.
What we must remember is to not remain stuck there.
Rain Creates Rainbows
When we are learning how to deal with emotional pain, we must remember that our greatest pain becomes fuel for our purpose.
Those terrible storms and heavy rain clouds give birth to the most magnificent rainbows! Your rainbow is on the way!
Time to share YOUR thoughts!
In what ways have you learned how to deal with emotional pain? What has helped you the most in your own life?
I know it’s tough right now for so many of us. I pray that the Lord of all comfort would wrap His arms of love so tightly around you that all fear, anxiety, and despair, completely disappear. 🙏🏼
If this has helped or blessed you, please share with your social media family. Thank you!
Need encouragement? Have a listen…
It’s strange how unhealthy, hurtful or even dangerous coping mechanisms are what we often automatically turn to when dealing with emotional pain, like we need to flog ourselves all the more rather than give ourselves compassion. It’s what you’ve said with “So why would we choose to keep ‘hitting’ our painful emotional wounds?”. Exactly! It seems bizarre when we look at it from an external perspective, yet it comes so naturally to many of us when we’re in that situation. Having some tools and options to hand when you need them can really help, and I love your suggestions.
Being around those that support you, are positive, and help build you up can make a big difference, but it’s not always easy if you don’t have friends offline, or you live with people that bring you down in some way. That’s where the online world can be such a blessing.
Getting a change of scenery and some fresh air among nature is so refreshing. It’s something I’ve really missed during the pandemic.
This is such a comforting, compassionate post, Holly. It’s like a hug in every paragraph, and you’re spreading the kindness around when the world needs it the most! ♥
There’s definitely a hug in every paragraph….
Aw, thank you, Eliza! It does my heart so much good to hear these words from you both! ♥
Nice to see you here, too, Eliza! ♥️
I agree with you 100%, Caz! It is bizarre how we insist on reopening and reinjuring our old wounds from the past. Yet, as you say, it seems so easy (and natural) when we’re ‘in the moment’ of a trigger or discussion of the past. I think consistency is the key when it comes to changing our mindsets about how to handle the pain. The more we use healthy coping mechanisms instead of the unhealthy, the easier it becomes to choose wisely in the heat of the moment. What do you think?
Amen to your comment about the online community! That has been my experience as well. When people have true friendships where they live, they don’t realize how blessed they are! So many of us must rely on the encouragement, support, and love offered by the family we’ve adopted on our blogs, online groups, etc. I hope you know that your friendship has been a true blessing in my life.
I hope you can get back out into nature soon, Caz. It is very healing, I agree. There’s just something freeing about feeling the fresh air against our faces, the open space around our bodies, and the spectacular beauty of flowers in bloom and trees rustling in the wind. Ahh, I’m relaxed just thinking about it! 😀
What you said about “it’s like a hug in every paragraph,” really touched my heart. I couldn’t ask for much more than that. When talking about emotional pain, it’s a difficult subject. I wanted to be sensitive to that. 🤗 Thank you for your kind words, my friend.
Sending hugs and endless love right back to you! Thanks, as always, for your amazing comments!
Hi Caz! Hugs ♥️
Emotional pain is very real and it is so important to have healthy ways to be able to deal with that. Nature and animals are a wonderful way to ease the pain and feel better. And talking to a friend also helps. Thank you Holly for those great ways!
Nature and animals are definitely two of the very best ways to ‘cope’ with emotionally difficult times, I agree! The unconditional love of animals is unlike anything else. Even when we don’t feel like laughing – they are sure to make us laugh anyway! Don’t they?
I appreciate you so much, Svet. Thank you for another thoughtful comment. I enjoy hearing your views on things.
What a great post! It certainly has been a rollercoaster of a year.
Thank you so much. You’re right, it really has! I hope you and yours are well. Thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts.
Ya, major colossal roller coaster! 🎢
How about it. Couldn’t agree more, unfortunately. Although, there has been a lot of good come out of 2020 too. If nothing else, it has made us far more aware of what’s going on within ourselves. Though it’s hard, it’s also healing! Healing rarely feels good in the moment. That’s why it’s often called, “the healing crisis.” 🤗
I needed this!! Especially the part about being your own best friend. Lately I’ve been asking myself why can’t I seem to do anything right and why can’t I just snap out of this feeling. And there you are reading my mind again! 😁
Your tips are so helpful. I’ve always wanted to try journaling and I think it’s time to start. Thank you for these amazing tips! ❤️
Aw, Michelle! I wish I could give you a HUGE hug right now. I get exactly where you’re coming from. I’ve been in that same ‘head space.’ It has been a struggle to maintain a positive outlook, right? I don’t know about there, but it has felt like even the simplest of tasks require some monumental effort. (sigh) YOU are amazing and there’s nothing wrong with you or how you are. Go easy on yourself, my friend. Take some time to rest and take care of you.
I do hope you journal. There’s something incredibly healing about it. Not sure how it works or why, but things just start making sense that didn’t before. Studies have shown that writing things down helps our brains purge and start the creative solutions process. Then God does the rest. 🙂
I’m sending you all of my love, tightest hugs and most heartfelt prayers. If there’s anything I can do, let me know! 🤗
These tips are just so it. Apt!!
I was smiling through, reading it. ❤
We really need to learn to give ourselves grace and that has been something He has been teaching me. It’s like I always wanted to blame myself for every wrong happening around me even when I am not directly concerned. I am learning to breathe, pray and not take up the burden that is not mine but His. So I choose to maintain what He says about me. Not what someone mentioned or felt is a definition of me.
Nature walks are another thing I love too. Just looking up at admiring all of God’s creation is indeed calming. 😊
Journalling was another thing He took me through. It helps a lot!!!!.
I can’t agree more with this tips. I have gone through some and it is of great help. We just need to be intentional about what we allow and what we don’t – with His help too.
Blessings ma’am. ❤🤗❤
AMEN, sis! I love that Holy Spirit is helping you see what belongs to you and what doesn’t. We take on so many false burdens in this life. One of the things I love most about God is how He takes those right off of our shoulders. Praise God that He is doing that for you! I pray each day brings more rest, peace, and deeper understanding of God’s overwhelming love for YOU!
I agree with you about journaling. It’s pretty amazing what God can show us simply by writing down some words. It’s almost as if He has the highlighter pen and shows us what we need to know, right? I love how He does that!
You’re right – we do need to be intentional about what we allow and what we don’t. Holy Spirit will always show us when it’s the enemy of our soul and when God is wanting to heal a hurt. There’s a big difference between the two. Blessings and endless love to you, sweet sis. 🤗
Journaling and prayer are my go-to ways to deal. I pray through it and write out what I am feeling – sometimes draw or scrapbook or doodle. It is my best was for my heart to come out so God can show me where my part is for the situation.
I agree with you – journaling and prayer are powerful, either together or separate. I’ve been amazed at how much God can reveal simply by writing thoughts down…
Thank you, Holly for this gentle reminder of grace. You’ve shared very helpful ideas, that we can all benefit from, I agree that we’re hard of ourselves and it’s not helpful, we forget to extend compassion to ourselves. 💖
Sending many hugs and much love your way, my friend. You’re right – extending compassion to ourselves is a must, now more than ever! Allowing ourselves the space to process, heal, and grow is critical to our well-being. We’re all facing a time of transition and that’s usually not easy!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I sincerely appreciate you! 💕
Thank you, Holly🥰I appreciate you too 😘, your posts are uplifting🌸Hugs & love to you🤗❣️
What a lovely post. We really need to read this especially in these difficult times. Counselling, therapy and meditation helped me a great deal in healing from extreme emotional pain and abuse. Forgiveness is also very important. It took me a long time to reach that point, but I finally achieved it. Thank you dear Holly. <3
My sweet friend, how are you doing? It’s such a blessing to read your thoughtful comments. You always make my day. Please know that my endless love and deepest gratitude extend to you always.
I love what you said about forgiveness. Yes!! Not only the forgiveness of others but also ourselves. We can be incredibly mean to ourselves, holding us hostage to a painful past. Letting go of what no longer serves us, forgiving us, and the others involved, brings freedom, healing, and wholeness like we can’t imagine. That doesn’t make it easy though! It’s a process and a journey. Hurt comes before healing.
God bless you for your courage to face that difficult journey. I’m so grateful you are here, sharing your wisdom, love, and goodness with all of us! You are deeply valued and treasured. Thank you for being who you are, my friend! 💕
Hi Holly, Such a wonderful and thoughtful post for these times. Not sure how I missed reading this beautiful post .It’s so true we wouldn’t say the things to a best friend who comes for help , we need to learn be kind to ourselves.instead of being critical I love all the points you mention about prayers, volunteering ,learning a new hobby , de-clutter to divert mind and boost the brain up. Thank you for sharing such generous and precious thoughts and enriching our lives with this wonderful post ! I am pretty sure it will help many readers feel better about themselves and give great ideas to feel better. Definitely going to share this .
Dearest Nisha, your comments always make my day! You are such a kind, wonderful person. Thank you! Oh, and believe you me, you needn’t apologize for missing a post. It’s easy to fall behind with so much always on our plates. Catching up, on the other hand, isn’t always so easy. 😉
I pray that your inner best friend encourages you all day today and fills you up with pure love! You deserve all the love and kindness that comes your way. 🤗 Thank you for sharing my posts. You make me smile!
Thank you so much dear Holly appreciate it, have a wonderful day!
Prayer is the answer to every challenge you face. I’ve had a lot of difficult moments this year and giving up the burden to God has helped! Thanks for writing an honest and very helpful post!
I agree with you, Ena! Giving our heavy burdens to God and leaving them there in perfect trust of His goodness is life changing, isn’t it?
I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had many difficult moments this year. My prayers and love are with you! ♥
[…] How To Deal With Emotional Pain In Safe and Healthy Ways […]
Thank you! This post will help me a lot. I have PTSD issues, but most people do. I’m seeing a therapist. Our appointments are by phone due to COVID-19. You seem to really understand. Cool.
And I forgot to thank you about your appreciation of my upcoming book (memoir). It stirs me to not keep procrastinating as I have taken much time in doing so. 🙄
Dear Tamara, I definitely do understand, and I am grateful this post helped you. Although I am terribly sorry to hear about the PTSD. It can be a terribly difficult condition to live with, as you never know when the triggers will present themselves. Please know that my thoughts & prayers are with you. My hope is the work you’re doing with your therapist will help you find freedom from the overwhelm.
Ahhh yes, the old procrastination foe! I hear you! It helps to remember this; YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! Why am I saying that? So often, we procrastinate doing these things because we often don’t feel capable. It’s a fear of failure, fear of not coming across well…on and on. It’s still fear. If you can discover what’s causing the fear, you can target the dreaded procrastination. INFP and INFJ writers are known for this. Are you familiar with Lauren Sapala? She is a writing coach, ONLY for INFP and INFJ writers. Her books and her insight of how our intuition works is brilliant. You can find her work here: https://laurensapala.com/ — Hope that helps!
Thanks! I will look up her site. Also… yes, you are right! Fear causes me to procrastinate. I had never thought of it this way, before now. Thank you! I really appreciate your prayers as they work miracles. I have seen this all my life! Amen, Jesus!
Really great post! I have found that getting out in nature or meditation/yoga has helped me the most when it comes to dealing with negative emotions.
Thank you, Pooja! I agree with you. Both activities are very ‘grounding’ and help us see the bigger picture. When we see past our fears, worries, and pain of the moment, we gain the perspective we need to heal. ♥️ Sending my love to you. Thank you for another thoughtful comment.
Absolutely agree and you’re very welcome!
Yes, it is so important to be your own best friend. We need to understand ourselves to the very core.
Amen to that! The more we understand about who we are and why we have the gifts (etc) we do, the less we listen to the hurtful inner or outer critics! Thank you for your thoughts ♥️
I like what you say about boosting mood naturally, Holly. Now more than ever before there’s a need to focus on helping those who are in very emotionally challenging situations. It’s a great idea to volunteer to help with emotional pain, and think of the positive impact people would have by doing so. Excellent words throughout this one! xo Blessings
Hi, Christy! I agree with you. It is more important than ever to be a lighthouse of hope for people. There is so much suffering, so much hopelessness out there. When we can offer encouragement, genuine love, care, and a listening ear – we have the power to change lives! What could be better than that? You are a life-changer too, my friend. Thank you for all you do to inspire, encourage, and uplift. ♥
LOOOOOVE what you wrote, Holly! Thanks for your friendship xo
Thanks for these great tips, Holly. I recently fell of the wagon myself after experiencing such debilitating symptoms after contracting COVID. I’m an emotional eater and with being stuck in bed, I did little else. Here I am now, 40 pounds heavier, finally feeling like my health is improving and working hard to get things turned around. I know I will, but I also know I need to be more vigilant in the future and make sure I’m managing my mental health better. Thanks for the tips. I’m sure some of them will help!
Hi, Michelle! It’s lovely to hear from you! 🤗 I am so deeply sorry for everything you’ve been through after COVID. It breaks my heart you’ve had to endure so much. Please know, first and foremost, that my loving thoughts & prayers are with you! 🙏🏼
I understand what it is to experience exactly what you describe. As you say, getting ‘back on track’ can be difficult. Just remember, show yourself grace. Be kind to yourself, my friend.
The mental health component of COVID is one that is often overlooked. Both my husband and I had what everyone believes was the virus back in February. Let me tell you, Michelle, my mental health is what took the hardest hit. It took me about 60 days just to get over the thick fog that had settled in. I get where you’re coming from and I’m so sorry you’re struggling with it. I remember it well and it was very difficult. When you’re living in those moments, it’s easy to forget all the ‘right things’ we know to do. From now forward, my hope for you is that each day brings more clarity, health, and goodness to your everyday life.
Sending love to you, my friend. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate you! ❤
Thanks, Holly! I’m so glad you and your husband were able to overcome those hurdles. I know I will, too! Much love and many hugs to you both!
Lulu: “Finding a dog and petting it helps too.”
Charlee: “Or a cat.”
Chaplin: “That’s what we hear from our Mama and Dada, anyway!”
Charlee, Lulu and Chaplin, I couldn’t agree more with your Mama and Dada! The best therapy ever! 😉 Sending love to each of you!
Thank you for sharing this blog with us its very useful for everyone.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you found it useful!