We always cover a cut with a band-aid or take antibiotics to treat an infection. No questions asked, right? On the contrary, questions arise if someone does not do this. It seems strange to us not to provide first aid.
Then why don’t we treat our mental health with the same care? And it is believed that one day we must naturally “overcome” all our spiritual wounds. Although, if you’ve ever been rejected or suffered a major setback, you know that emotional trauma is just as crippling as physical trauma.
Each of us needs to master the skills of emergency emotional assistance. This can be done in several ways.
1. Learn to notice emotional pain
Physical pain warns us that something is going wrong in the body and we need to deal with it as quickly as possible. Emotional pain works the same way. If the feeling of rejection, sadness from failure or bad mood does not go away, it means that you have a psychological wound inside that needs to be “healed”.
Loneliness, for example, can be devastating to mental and physical health. Therefore, if you, one of your friends or loved ones feels social or emotional isolation, you need to think about how to get out of this situation.
2. Competently react to failures
By its nature, one psychological wound can easily lead to another. For example, after failure, we often focus on what we cannot do, rather than what we can do. Because of this, it is difficult for us to show good results, we begin to worry even more about mistakes and fall into a vicious circle.
To prevent an emotional spiral from starting, learn to ignore the first reaction to failure, which is feelings of helplessness and moral decline. Instead, make a list of everything you can control if you try again. Analyze the level of your preparation and action plan and try to improve them. This will get rid of the feeling of helplessness and increase the chances of future success.
3. Watch for fluctuations in self-esteem
It is a kind of psychological immune system that shields us from inner pain and builds emotional endurance. That is why it is so important to carefully monitor self-esteem and try not to offend yourself, especially if you are already in pain.
One way to “cure” broken self-esteem is to practice self-compassion. When you start criticizing yourself, do a simple exercise. Imagine that your friend is experiencing the same problems, and write him a letter with words of sympathy and support. Then read this message. These are the words you should say to yourself.
4. Distract yourself from negative thoughts
When you replay negative events in your head without any purpose, such as learning something new or trying to solve a problem, it quickly becomes a habit. And it, in turn, can lead to deep psychological trauma.
The best way to interrupt such thoughts is to distract yourself with a task that requires maximum concentration. For example, solve Sudoku. Two minutes of switching to a new business – and you no longer want to return to the negative so much.
5. Find meaning in loss
Loss is part of life. However, they can leave scars and keep us from moving forward if we don’t heal the emotional wounds that come with them.
If a lot of time has passed, and you still can’t recover from the loss, you need to look at it differently. The most important thing you can do to ease the pain and get on the path to healing is to find meaning and purpose in your loss. It’s difficult, but think about what you gained from this event.
For example, you lost your job. But now you have the opportunity to reconsider what you really want to do. Think about how you can begin to enjoy life again and what changes will allow you to live in accordance with your values.
6. Work with guilt
Sometimes it’s good to feel guilty. In small doses, guilt alerts us when it’s time to act and solve problems in relationships with other people. However, excessive guilt is toxic and dangerous. It takes emotional and intellectual energy, distracts us from other tasks and prevents us from enjoying life.
One of the most effective ways to deal with residual guilt is to apologize effectively. Yes, you’ve probably already asked for forgiveness, but an effective apology is a much more complicated process. It requires a so-called sympathy statement. In other words, an apology should not be based on explaining why you acted the way you did, but on how your action or inaction affected the other person. This will help him forgive you, and you can finally get rid of guilt.
7. Figure out what works for you
Listen to yourself and analyze how you personally deal with emotional wounds. Do you brush them off and try not to think about anything? Do you immediately get very worried, but then quickly move away? Or spend weeks thinking about what you did wrong? Use the answers to help you figure out which Emotional Emergency Techniques are right for you in different situations.
Treat it like physical pain. You probably have proven pills that you take when your head or stomach hurts. Find the same remedy for emotional pain.
The same goes for developing emotional resilience. Check in with your mental health regularly, especially after difficult stressful situations. Find techniques that work and learn to help yourself.
Yes, practicing emotional hygiene takes time and effort, but it greatly improves the quality of life in general.