Here it is about small strategies, which we can use when we realize that we are bleeding inside. To give ourselves self-support to start healing the emotional wounds: the marks of our internal struggles.
And if you are having professional support from a therapist, even better: you are helping your therapist to help you better.
This is a sequel to the previous week's blog – where the context of how to identify if we are in emotional pain, bleeding inside, but we don't even realize it because the body and blood are hot, and we have all our energy focused on survival. It still doesn't hurt, but the emotional cut is already there.
1. How to heal the wounds then?
If you see that you need professional support: don't be shy about asking for help. In fact, it is far from being a shame: it is an act of courage. Courage to stand up to help yourself.
2. The imagination
I would say that the best way to heal a wound is in the imagination. Train the muscle of imagination. It's like a muscle: it needs to be trained.
Why is imagination so important? Because the brain does not distinguish the real from the imaginary.
And if the brain does not distinguish the real from the imaginary: it is necessary to put the body to work for our well-being. And imagination can be a good tool.
2.1 Make your sleep a sacred moment
Forget scrolling on your phone for a few minutes.
The ideal is even to do it before going to sleep: to go to bed with a smile on your face and a washed soul.
Reserve a few minutes before going to sleep to daydream (but with your eyes closed, without tension on your face, and with deep breaths)
You'll say: it's hard with so much sh*t going on in life. One more reason to train your imagination muscle until it becomes an easy habit.
Today imagination. Tomorrow reality.
Imagine anything that gives you or would give you genuine pleasure: that trip to Latin America, swimming naked in the sea, piloting a yacht or a helicopter...
The secret is to create the image in your mind and, at the same time, have the sensations in the body that it would give you.
If you do this before going to sleep: you'll sleep with your dreams instead of sleeping with your stresses.
And when you wake up, you'll feel the difference in your mood throughout the day, in how you face the small and big issues of the day.
You will look at your life differently. One day at a time.
3. Breaking the negative thought loop circuit: breathing and counting backwards
This one is easy. It's hard sometimes to realize you're in a loop. But here's the cue.
You begin to feel physically tense, ill, irritable, and frustrated: some thought has caused it and you didn't even realize it.
3.1 Circuit Cut-off: Breathing
If you're feeling like you can't stand it: instead of rushing to the usual escape mechanisms (usually some kind of addiction, compulsive consumption, whether it's unnecessary shopping or ingesting something): take a deep breath.
We need to train ourselves to say “No” to the inept brat within us.
Exhale as if you were blowing out a candle: and you will feel the tension leave the stomach area and literally be expelled by the air that comes out of your mouth.
3.2 Circuit Cut-off: counting backwards
Another cool way to break the loop of negative thoughts is to count backward from 5 to 1.
If you are not driving, close your eyes, concentrate on the point between your eyes (direction of the pineal gland), and imagine a large television panel, 2 meters in front of you: visualize the numbers you are counting as those that appear at the beginning of movies.
4. Another muscle to train: self-esteem
If we are bleeding from the inside, our self-esteem has been damaged in some way. Something made us feel small in the face of circumstances, defenseless, less than...
When we feel betrayed by life and/or our choices: the first thing to do is to have self-compassion. Yes: self-compassion. It is not self-pity.
Self-compassion because we didn't know how to do better at the time. Self-compassion because we actually did the best we could with what we knew.
Self-punishment? You'll bleed even more.
Take the focus off the unfavorable situation/context, take the focus off the person who hurt you, and focus on yourself.
What can you do to feel comfortable in your body, in your mind, and with yourself?
Do things that genuinely bring you joy and peace of mind.
If you already know how to go to that space in you that brings you such tranquility, do that. Or try something new to see what works best for you.
(Note: avoid the shortcuts of addictions, shopping, or whatever: learn to say "NO" to the brat within you. This will give you a dopamine spike, which lasts for a few minutes and then you have a “hangover” and you feel even worse than before.
For the little things, the big things, the people who represent an emotional pillar (whether they are alive or dead), be grateful for what you have, thank the sunlight, and the noise of the sea (which is so calming). Give thanks: and you will see how good it makes you feel in your skin. By the way: it is not biologically possible to feel gratitude and resentment simultaneously.
Your skin will feel good. Guaranteed.
Eliminate guilt and do not generalize situations
Was it badly done yesterday? Tomorrow you will do better. Guilt anchors you to the past in a very negative way. And once again: the only thing you should carry from the past are the good feelings and lessons from challenging times. And nothing else. Guilt is highly corrosive.
Be your first fan. Not in a narcissistic way: because narcissists need external validation to feel like a person. They need a power supply. Remember that imagination exercise? It can be more than that: you can visualize your goals. This in itself: it gives you inner motivation. And when you have that fuel: things happen. It's like the universe rewards you for daring to dream.
Stop comparing yourself to other people
A comparison is a form of competition. And a disloyal one. To yourself.
You have a unique combination of genes, a unique biological and emotional life experience, and you have gifts.
Why on earth should you compare yourself to others? If being yourself put you in a place where there is no possible competition?
Celebrate your uniqueness. Not everyone will celebrate with you. You have to be at peace with that, because at the end of the day: it's you with you, it’s with your mind and soul.
No matter how many people you have around you: there is no way to escape from you. Therefore: accept yourself. And what you least love about yourself: get better at it.
So you're the one who has to :
feel proud of who you are,
have pride in what you do,
feel proud of who you are becoming.
And if you don't feel it: any phase of life is a good phase to change something. As small as it may be.
Stagnation is death. And it's always the small, consistent steps that make the big changes.
Getting Better Every Day
Hey! I'm Eunice Veloso and you'll find more about me on my About Page
Antoine Lavoisier, 1789
The Law of the Conservation of Mass