Emotional Pain versus Emotional Suffering
So first, let’s talk about emotional pain versus emotional suffering. All humans experience emotional pain, but when someone gets stuck in their pain and can’t get out of it for an extended period of time, they experience suffering and can actually become immobilized by it, and they can’t move forward in their life by it.
So what happens is when we attach to something we think we want or need, such as a situation, a person, a material object, a belief or even an identity, we can stay stuck.
This attachment comes from this core level belief that we think we could be happier to have it, or we think it would address a core need, or we feel as though we need it for our survival, which is not necessarily true, but the brain can play tricks on us sometimes.
So I suggest starting off in the letting go process is to set an intention to let go. So actually make a commitment to yourself that this is something you’re going to be working on. It’s not necessarily going to happen overnight, but at least you’re going to take the steps to let go.
To start, I suggest making a list of reasons of benefits of letting go. So what would your life look like if you were able to let go of this emotional suffering? What benefits might come into your life?
First, start off by seeing if you can create some space, especially if this has to do with a person or situation that you’re having a hard time letting go of, especially during this stage of healing and processing.
If we’re constantly exposed to this person or situation, it can bring up or trigger our intense feelings, which can cloud our judgment about it.
So giving yourself space from that situation or person can make room for more logical thinking if you feel that this attachment is more of an internal attachment you can always allot a certain amount of time in your day, say an hour where you let yourself be in that thought or that feeling and then the other times of the day you’re focused on something else.
So that’s another technique to give yourself some space but work on moving on from it, work on challenging the thoughts, work on writing out your feelings or expressing your feelings and being with your feelings.
Easier said than done, focusing on the present and what you can control. So the reality is life happens in the present moment. There literally is only the present moment. A moment ago yesterday happened in the future tomorrow is going to happen. But now there’s only now.
So by being engaged in the present and being engaged in what you’re doing at the moment, it becomes easier to accept things as they are rather than living in the past or in the future. And the reality is as well that you can’t change other people. You can’t even control what thoughts or feelings come up.
But you do have control over slowing down your breathing and eventually being able to control that breathing gives you more space in between those thoughts or feelings that might come up, and it gives you space to respond to them rather than to react to them.
And this is where the practice of mindfulness and meditation can be so important. This practice helps you be more in the present moment, be less attached to external-internal ways of being or thoughts or feelings, and also long term contributes to a calmer mind.
So please check out some of our videos on mindfulness. There are tons of videos online elsewhere for you to learn and practice mindfulness.
Feel your feelings again, something easier said than done. However, if you don’t give yourself an opportunity to feel your feelings, then this avoidance of feeling can lead to denial. It can lead to overwhelm and inevitably being stuck where you are staying stuck in that suffering of the situation.
So please honor your pain, honor your loss, honor your grief and let yourself process those feelings You can move through it and out of it rather than staying stuck in it.
However, for some people, these feelings can be so intense that they fear they’re going to end up harming themselves or others. So if this is your situation, please, there’s no shame in reaching out to professionals to help you and processing your feelings so that you can move forward from them.
It might sound silly, but actually giving yourself permission to cry is actually a self-soothing mechanism that isn’t harmful. It helps to release pent-up stress and emotions and release those feel-good hormones that I’m sure you’ve heard about many times now oxytocin and endorphins. So if you feel it coming, it’s okay to let it out.
Self-compassion and self-care. All humans make mistakes, all humans experience loss and hardships by treating yourself with self-compassion and kindness you’ll be able to move forward faster.
Research shows that self-compassion actually helps us move forward faster rather than beating ourselves up, which keeps us stuck and down. So pay attention to how you might be talking to yourself and ask yourself would I talk to my best friend this way? What would they tell me in this situation? Maybe call your best friend and ask them.
Take care of yourself and your needs using healthy self-soothing activities and kinder, more realistic self-talk. Learn the lessons by asking yourself what lesson you can learn from the experience you have an opportunity to get to know your needs and your feelings and your wants at a deeper level.
You’ll even get to know how you can create better boundaries with yourself or others in the future. How you can make better decisions in the future that obviously won’t lead to the same result as the one that you’re stuck in right now.
When we refuse to let go, we’re actually giving up an opportunity to learn from it. Allow others to be there for you. It’s actually a beautiful gesture to be vulnerable and open with a loved one or a trusted person.
Talking things out can also be a way to release pent-up emotions and bring greater clarity and insight to a situation. And also, we feel less alone if we reach out to someone.
Forgiveness. This is a big word, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Forgiveness doesn’t mean giving up on yourself, and it doesn’t mean accepting the situation as being okay, but what happens is when we constantly focus on past wrongdoings, whether they’re of others or ourselves, we stay stuck.
The harsh reality is sometimes people might not be able to change or they might not be willing to change. So rather than holding yourself in these feelings of resentment or anger, give yourself an opportunity to experience the freedom of not being stuck in their past actions, which is ultimately something that you didn’t have control over in the first place.
Letting go takes courage. If it was easy, everyone would do it and no one would feel stuck, but that’s not the case. But by letting go, you’re creating space for bigger, better things in your life. Sometimes these unfavourable things that happen in our life actually happen for us and not to us.
For us? Well, why would that happen? Well, if this happens for us, it would change our perspective to look at it as something more positive. Then it’s a way to build our character and build our internal strength and resilience, which I know you all have.
If you’re here watching this video, then you have gone through a lot of processes yourself and you’re making the choice to be here and work on yourself and I’m very proud of you.