Emotional pain can be caused by a range of factors - from relationship issues and personal setbacks to trauma and loss. However, despite the challenges emotional pain can present, research shows that there are a variety of ways to effectively overcome it. But first, it is important to acknowledge that emotional pain is real and valid. It is not something that can be brushed aside or ignored.
Experiencing emotional pain is a testament to our strength and resilience as human beings. So do not conceal that pain because you were raised to be strong. Everything that comes under pressure eventually breaks.
A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that writing about emotional experiences can be an effective way to process and move past emotional pain. The study followed a group of individuals who were asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings related to a traumatic experience for 20 minutes each day for four consecutive days. The results showed that participants who engaged in expressive writing reported significantly reduced levels of emotional pain compared to those who did not write about their experiences.
Another effective strategy that is fast becoming popular is practising mindful meditation. According to the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, participants who engaged in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction programme reported significant improvement in symptoms of depression, anxiety and emotional pain.
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and non-judgmentally observing thoughts and feelings as they arise. Social support is another key factor in overcoming emotional pain. Those who have a strong support system reported less emotional pain following a traumatic experience than those who lacked social support. In addition to these strategies, self-compassion is crucial in overcoming emotional pain. Those who took care of themselves reported lower levels of emotional pain and greater resilience in the face of challenging life events.
Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding and acceptance. You develop a more positive relationship with yourself and your emotional experiences.