Pain is inevitable. This is not meant to scare you or have you avoid taking any risks. It can alert us, warn us, protect us, and guide us to safety. Pain shapes us in so many ways and often leaves behind scars to remind us of our transformational journey. Pain is both physical and emotional and some emotional wounds are more traumatic than others.
What is an Emotional Wound?
Sometimes, emotional pain accompanies physical injury or illness. But more specifically, there are psychological traumas we endure that can create a lasting emotional wound. Our experiences and memories of those episodes can be long-lasting. They shape our perceptions and our behavior.
Common Emotional Wounds
Within each of these categories, there are an infinite number of variations. What they share in common is trauma. The presence of trauma is what separates a bad, in-the-moment experience from a long-term emotional wound. Like any wound, these are defined by their lack of healing and scar tissue. Emotional wounds exist in an acute, yet chronic state. They probably will not fix themselves and they may continue to impact your behavior, choices, and mindset.
4 Ways to Heal Your Emotional Wounds
Accept the Wound For What It Is
If you cut yourself, you may not want to look at first. But you summon the strength, assess the damage, and get yourself some help. It’s no different for emotional injuries. The sooner we identify its impact and effect on our functioning, the sooner we can begin addressing it. Acceptance is power.
“Sterilize” the Wound
This involves removing the factors that cause the wound. In a physical sense, you avoid germs. In an emotional sense, this means surrounding yourself with people who will support your healing. Emotional wounds directly connect to people in our lives. It’s up to us to make important decisions as to who will contribute to our recovery and who will not. Quite often, healing requires cleansing.
Bandage and Re-bandage It
It’s raw, it’s open, and it won’t heal overnight. Guard the wound. Avoid re-injury. Make decisions that enable you to protect yourself when feeling so vulnerable. This step teaches us to recognize and respect the process. Honor the journey and be ready to adapt when necessary. Patience is an indispensable component of this undertaking.
Don’t Expect Your Wound to Heal Without Your Attention
Wound care involves your participation. You help it heal and work to prevent it from happening again. Your active presence is not negotiable.
Let’s say you endured a trauma in the realm of betrayal. Recovery will not happen without taking action and fully engaging in a plan. In addition, you must accept the undeniable, to need to trust again. Trust smarter, but trust again.
How Can We Get Started on This Journey of Healing?
When we suffer a physical injury, we may consult a specialist to diagnose and point us towards healing. This is a self-loving choice. That same self-care mindset is very much needed when the injury is not physical in nature.
A therapist is an expert when it comes to emotional pain and healing. They will help you understand how and why a wound happened in the first place. From there, they work closely with you to simultaneously explore both healing and prevention. The goals you and your counselor set include addressing long-term pain while examining any patterns that may once again put you at risk of an emotional wound.
Posted by Counseling Wise on April 9, 2018