How emotional pain can affect a person is a topic which I was emailed about last week. It’s an excellent topic for my site to focus on, as it relates to purpose healing as well it can be healed.
By taking our emotional health into our hands, we allow natural healing to take place.
Emotional pain is induced by constant triggers of our emotional reactions when our ideas about how things should be, impact how things are.
There are times where we will judge ourselves based on the decisions we’ve made, words we’ve spoken, and the journey we didn’t make.
Throughout our lifetime up till now we have conditioned beliefs which are continually filtering our perception of how things should be for us right now.
What ends up happening is we fight ourselves daily, wanting the emotional pain to go away, yet not doing anything about it.
By zeroing in on how emotional pain can affect your mental/physical health, I hope to be able to encourage you to make the changes necessary for your well-being.
Affects the Brain
Our brain gets stuck in the freeze mode. By getting stuck in the freeze mode it can no longer flee or fight. It relives the trauma of the emotional pain over and over with no end.
Due to reliving the trauma, our impulses do not follow the normal path. This causes the electrical charges to shoot anywhere/everywhere. It causes our frontal lobes to shut down (this is where executive decisions are made).
Because our brain is affected by what we see, we lose the ability to see how others see us. The ability to regulate our emotions is lost, which causes us to lash out at people who don’t deserve it.
E.g. a soldier who returns from war will most likely deal with PTSD due to what they have seen. This is because their brain could not comprehend what was happening before them.
These soldiers are constantly reliving the battle in their mind. Can you even imagine the pain it would cause of living this day in day out?
Causes Physical Pain
When we feel the emotional pain, the same areas of the brain get activated as when people feel physical pain.
Most times emotional pain which is causing the physical pain is located in those parts of the body where expression was meant to happen but failed to materialize.
What this means is take for example a tension headache. Something was supposed to happen but didn’t which caused the head to become tense, this then caused it to become painful.
Physical pain due to emotional pain can be felt as:
- Stress can cause headaches
- Hurt can cause chest pains
- Anxiety can cause stomach pains
- Guilt can cause neck pain
- Unable to connect with others can cause hand pain
- Jealousy can cause calf pains
- Depression can cause insomnia
Now you might be thinking how are these emotions related to these different parts of our body?
Any emotion we feel will trigger a point in our body which will cause the pain to be activated somewhere. Our mind/body are interconnected in such a way that if the mind undergoes a negative emotion, the pain will be felt in a specific part of the body.
Numbs Our Natural Emotions
Emotional pain can lead to emotional numbness. Sometimes what happens here is we don’t want to feel the pain so we numb ourselves to prevent it from happening.
But because we’ve numbed ourselves from feeling pain, all our other emotions don’t get dealt with. This puts us into a loop of constantly feeling emotional pain.
We will watch our loved ones engage with each other, yet find ourselves withdrawing from any engagement whatsoever. It can lead to a feeling of being unfocused or ungrounded. Being numb is a feeling of zoning out.
Brings on Shame
Shame is a very painful emotion which is responding to a sense of failure. Shame encompasses the entire self. It can be felt physically in the flushing of the face, hunched over, or not able to meet the eye.
In many people, it creates the desire to hide, disappear or even die!
Self-blame can cause a person to blame themselves for everything that is going wrong in their life. Any time a person wants to quit something, it brings on shame leading to thoughts of being a quitter or loser.
Deep Feelings of Sadness
A person may find themselves becoming lethargic or withdrawing from others.
Having involuntary and uncontrollable outbursts of crying is a classic example that emotional pain is behind the cause. Although sadness is a normal part of the process of growing up, it’s when it turns into a depression that it becomes an issue.
Any time loss is experienced by an individual; the sadness emotion is activated which leads to emotional pain. This pain is hard to deal with because one is not able to correlate their sadness to pain.
People who are bipolar will often experience sadness.
Clouds Our Judgment
Looking back when I was experiencing emotional pain, I used to wonder why I made the decisions that I did.
Of course, now I realize there’s a chance I wasn’t thinking correctly. Rather than act on logic, I was acting based on my emotional pain.
There were times where the emotional pain would be so much that it would lead to an excited feeling of never being able to heal. When a person gets excited, that’s when they are least likely to miscalculate or underestimate a risk they may be taking.
Emotional pain can also lead to some rather rash decisions if we are not careful. These decisions can lead to self-destruction because the risks taken during painful moments don’t pay off.
E.g., overeating to compensate for the emptiness inside.
We are so focused on the pain that everything else takes a backseat to whatever is happening in our life at the time. Due to the backseat decisions are made on impulses rather than logic.
Emotional pain makes us unpredictable due to the clouding of our judgment in such ways that we react to situations around us. The way we react is not normal. Many times I have let emotional pain get the best of me. I have reacted with anger, stress, and anxiousness.
Not the most beneficial way to react!
Always Existing in Our Subconscious
Although most of us don’t think about it, the emotional pain always exists in the subconscious. It’s the subconscious that determines what our consciousness is going to do.
All our second-second decisions are made based on how our subconscious is feeling. If there is an emotional pain existing there, it will manifest somehow in the conscious whether we like it or not.
Can Lead to Unwanted Addictions
Most times when people are dealing with physical pain caused by emotional distress will resort to taking pain medication.
Although most will only take it when the pain is in existence, others will take it consistently. The consistency leads to addiction.
It can lead to all sorts of addiction, not just pain medications. Some people want to numb emotional pain so much they will resort to street drugs.
As a matter of fact, my husband is one of those people. He has so much emotional pain from his childhood, he resorted to street drugs to cover up his pain. Sadly it led to the demise of our marriage.
So not only did emotional pain lead him to addiction, but it bled into other parts of his life as well.
May lead to a Heart Attack
When a heartbreak occurs, it doesn’t matter due to the grief of loss or a broken heart due to love, the pain is felt in the center.
Just like everything else a broken heart is hard to mend. But it can be mended. The psychological effects of a broken heart will lead to a heart attack because it’s broken.
Sometimes the flood of the stress hormone adrenaline is just too much for the heart to handle. It’s a scientific fact that a person can die of a broken heart.
The thing with a broken heart is that it can affect even the healthiest of people!
When a person’s heart is broken, a part of their heart enlarges which causes the pumping of the heart to go down. The rest of the heart usually functions but with more forceful contractions.
Due to the forceful contractions, it can lead to short-term heart muscle failure. The short-term heart muscle failure causes irregular heartbeats which are the leading causes of death in heart issues, can’t pump enough blood or causes shortness of breath.
How Emotional Pain Can Be Dealt With
Let Your Feelings Be Present
When you are experiencing a feeling rather than stuff it down, let it come on in its full presence. It doesn’t matter if it’s worthlessness, resentment, guilt, or shame. You need to feel these feelings completely in order to shake them.
What you will need to do as the feelings come on, is notice the sensations they cause. Never try to control or manipulate the feelings. Just allow yourself to observe them and with a flick of the hand, move them away.
What you’ve done here is you felt them, observed them but most of all you acknowledged them. By accepting the feelings, you validated that you were observing, listening and seeing.
Most feelings want to be acknowledged. Once they are acknowledged they fade away.
It’s when we stop moving that it becomes a problem. Many people with emotional pain will withdraw into themselves. They quit interacting with society.
You need to keep moving. Movement keeps our feelings moving. When the feelings move around we allow them to float up and out.
Sometimes even going for a simple walk while allowing yourself to focus on a feeling, a resolution can be discovered. But sitting at home doing nothing will have you churning on the negative thoughts which will lead to nothing but pain and unhappiness.
Personally, for myself, I like to go to the gym. It’s my escape. I have my music on which helps me to be more creative on what to do to solve any emotional pain which may come up.
Forgive If Only For Yourself
Forgiving others or even yourself can lead to a whole host of issues being resolved. It’s not that you forget what is happened, it’s that you’ve let it go.
You’ve made the decision you can’t be bothered by it anymore. Once you make this decision, you free yourself up from the emotions that were bottled up due to the trauma you may have endured.
Just a few days ago I wrote a blog post on how to forgive using the timeline technique. Check it out, may be worth your time.
Heal Your Inner Wounded Child
Sometimes the emotional pain we suffer is due to the wounds we suffered as a child. Not physical but more emotional/mental wounds. These could’ve been inflicted by our parents, teachers, or peers.
Childhood emotional wounds are one of the worst wounds we can experience.
Because as a child we don’t learn how to deal with our emotions, by the time we get to our adult stage these wounds have been sitting there for quite some time. Any time a trigger is triggered, the hurt goes deeper.
If you feel like you need to heal your inner wounded child, read this blog post. It might be what you need.
Find someone who can help you deal with trauma
Other times, emotional pain may be too much trauma for one to deal with on their own. That is the best time to find someone who may be able to help you.
I have helped many people move past trauma if you feel comfortable you can contact me to arrange an appointment to move past this.
Now that you know how emotional pain can be healed don’t let emotional distress take away your fair way of living. Start your healing now.
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