The idea of self-love is quickly gaining traction in our lives and the concept has become a part of our regular conversations. Being comfortable in your skin, not comparing our life journey with peers, positive self-talk, finding comfort in emotional distress and solitude are a few areas that mental health experts recommend all the time.
However, we face a difficult time expressing our deepest emotions and showing our vulnerable side seems like a weakness all the time. All too often, our internal feelings and external behavior bear no correlation. We try to cover up our wounds with a loud laugh when all we want to do is to cry like a baby. So, we hang on to usual self-care activities whether it’s going to a spa, treating ourselves with shopping, cooking our favorite meals, following our dreams, and so on.
The Positivity Paralysis: How Our Conditioning Has Taught Us to Ignore Difficult Emotions
Whenever we walk up to someone to discuss our emotional distress, we are fearful inside. Apart from the constant fear of judgment, common phrases like “Stay Positive” or “This too Shall Pass” are the last things we want to hear while dealing with emotional pain. It’s true. Read any self-help book, or listen to motivational speakers, be positive and optimistic is the advice more common than anything.
Once you overdo spilling your negative emotions, people label you a “negative creature,” and the never-ending cycle of ignorance commences. We have so much locked up inside, yet we can’t be honest about our raw emotions for the fact that people can walk away from us.
When life gives you lemons, you can’t make lemonade every time. Sometimes, the lemons are going to hit you hard and you are going to feel an acidic burn inside your mind. You can do nothing but feel helpless at such times. As every cloud has a silver lining, these situations also play a crucial role in shaping your life. As adults, tough conditions help us build emotional resilience that allows us to navigate the challenges of living with abundance and confidence. Therefore, even when you are feeling lonely and find no one to talk to, give yourself permission to cry your heart out and beat yourself a bit if it’s required.
Difficult emotions allow you to see your potential beyond means. As kids and adolescents, we have always lived in overprotected environments. Our parents managed the essentials, gave us all the love in the world, and were always committed for our happiness and well-being. No lesson in school taught us to manage loneliness and emotional pain. Even when we used to fall on the playground, a hundred helping hands came to pick us up.
Your Moment of Glory: Life Teaches to Pick Ourselves Up
Once we enter adulthood, we no longer feel special. When life pins us down, we expect our parents, friends, and siblings to rush and pick us up like they always did. They still do, but they can’t take responsibility for us as they used to during childhood. We have to take the life bullet with a bulletproof mind that takes a lot of pain and time to develop. We have to learn to carry ourselves as a philosopher once said, “Even your own shadow leaves you in darkness.” People can give you a helping hand sometimes, but your efforts are also going to count.
Since our childhood, our society is high on the concept of being social. Regular parties, meetups, being with family has been an integral part of our lives. We have become so much accustomed to emotional support externally, that it’s become a crib for our minds. The moment we have to spend even one day alone at home, anxiety and depression kicks in. We struggle to keep up our sanity and try to fill that void with binge-watching, alcohol, food, and other external substances.
Manage Your Emotions Alone First: Practice Pain Compassion
It’s high time to leave that kid behind who fell in the playground and needed a hand to get back on his feet. That kid, now us, has to summon all his strength to push through the pain first before seeking external help. As Buddha says, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” We are going through so much while growing up from toxic workplaces, divorce, breakups, child abuse, death of a loved one, fake friends, depression, isolation, and everything that questions our being.
We have been told time and again to reach out to someone for emotional help. Yes, we must do that for the sake of our mental health. But, only after we have exhausted all options or when the emotional pain goes through the roof. The problem is, your peer group and family are going to feel hopeless seeing you helpless, which is why mental health counseling and therapy is recommended. Because generic advice like “You will be fine” is only going to drive you crazy. We must learn that maintaining our emotional health starts with a conscious effort and we have to be in the driver’s seat first.
No school has taught lessons about dealing with emotional pain. That’s why we are able to give a pep talk, but our morale crashes during difficult emotions. Self-love is not only taking a walk on the beach or positive talk. It’s time we learn to manage our emotional pain the same way we do with physical hurt.
“Learn to observe your pain with compassion and tenderness. Treat it the same way you deal with a physical wound.”
Draft an Emotional Pain Policy to Your Rescue
Jon Morrow, founder at Smartblogger.com, explains the art of the counterpunch to deal with negative emotions. For a little background, Jon has helped millions take up blogging and become a successful writer, all behind a wheelchair. Yes, because of muscular dystrophy, he can’t move any part of the body except his face. That’s the type of emotional resilience life demands from us. A spirit that keeps going all the time, despite the emotional turbulence and hurt life throws in the form of people around us and external circumstances.
When you are into a job, you abide by company policies and procedures, Right? To keep our mental sanity and our peace of mind, we must create an emotional pain policy as well.
- You have full permission to keep people away who caused emotional hurt in the past
- You have the right to walk away from toxic and abusive relationships and workplaces
- You have complete freedom to heal away from people that are committed to hurt you
- You have the right to step away from ignorance and bad behavior
- You have the right to walk away from situations that sabotage your self-respect
- You have the right to quit circumstances that render you worthless
- You have the right to block people who have threatened your mental sanity in the past
- You have the right to stay away from people that wronged you despite your best efforts
- You have the right to get away from people who made you felt ignored unloved
- You have the right to walk away from people who betrayed your trust and demeaned your love
Just remember not to relax the rules in your pain policy for anyone. It should be universally applicable, irrespective of your bonding with people. Make sure to amend your emotional pain policies with time, but never stop living for temporary people and situations in your life.
Be A Proud Torchbearer of Your Life And Live Well
It’s going to hurt badly when things are not working in your life despite your best efforts. And, you have full permission to feel sad, angry, and resentful to get past those emotions. But no matter what, running away from your feelings will never allow you to conquer emotional turbulence. You have to soak yourself in the hardest emotions until they hold no power over you. Mental health counseling is always an option when things go out of control, but remember that you can manage your emotions. When you learn to manage difficult emotions, even the presence of people is going to feel blissful. You are going to attract abundance and until then, try to sail with your feelings! Good Luck!