Have You Got An Emotional First Aid Kit?

Most people would agree that emotional pain takes a greater toll on your quality of life than physical pain. For whatever reason, physical pain seems to be so much more manageable than emotional pain, probably because the degree of discomfort we feel is subjective, and because if things get too bad, we can just take pain killers.

Emotional pain is different: when you’ve got it, it’s always there. And reducing it is a lot more complicated than simply popping a pill or doing something to distract yourself.

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What’s worse, emotional pain is related to a bunch of dangerous health conditions, including excessive stress hormone levels, higher blood pressure, weight gain and an increased chance of having a heart attack.

So what should people do? Here, we’re going to investigate some advice from the pros.

When You’re Rejected, Let Go

Guy Winch is the author of a book all about the various strategies you can employ to reduce the amount of emotional pain that you feel. One of his tips is to let go of rejection.

Here’s the funny thing about rejection: it actually activates the pain pathways in your brain that light up when you experience physical pain. As far as your brain is concerned, it is physical pain, and it can make dealing with rejection particularly challenging. According to Winch, the pain caused by rejection can be so severe that it actually interrupts your capacity to think, remember things and make decisions while you’re at work. His advice is to let go of your rejection. If you are finding this difficult to do, then there are services out there, like CISM by Health Assured, which are designed to offer support and expedite this process.

Use Self-Affirmations If You Have Low Self-Esteem

It used to be thought that all you needed to do to correct self-esteem was regularly give yourself positive affirmations. But researchers playing around with the first theories of self-worth in the 1970s weren’t particularly sophisticated in their approach. They thought that just telling people they were great over and over would eventually convince them that they were great, thus solving the problem. It turned out, however, that this strategy wasn’t particularly useful. People just didn’t believe what they were saying to themselves. As a result, most esteem-boosting interventions failed.

Now there’s a movement which recognises that self-esteem is something that has to be earned. Instead of focusing on positive affirmation, experts like Winch are suggesting people use “self-affirmations.” These affirmations fall within the boundaries of a person’s beliefs about themselves and help to reinforce the good characteristics of a person, without appealing to things which they have patently not achieved.

Make Guilt Work For You

Guilt is actually something that helps improve our long-term relationships. It’s the emotion we feel when we’ve wronged somebody. Feeling guilty is a positive emotion when it incentivises you to apologise to someone who you’ve hurt because it can help repair relationships. But experiencing guilt well after you’ve made restitution can impede your ability to enjoy life.


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