Is it possible to move on from painful emotions accumulated from bad experiences in life? Very much so. Our experiences of life, it’s ups and downs shape us as a person in a certain way. From the day you were born, your mind is learning the world surrounding you for one sole purpose! To keep you alive and safe.
Your five senses are constantly scanning your environment for potential threats and feeding you data on how to navigate around those threats while keeping you safe. Experiencing these threats and living through some sort of danger developed our fear to make us cautious.
I talk a lot about fear and its purpose. The purpose of fear is to keep us alive and safe. Period. A child who touches a hot stove and burns his hand knows better not to touch it again and handle the hot surfaces with attention and care. So, fear is a learning process, it is an antidote to the life-threatening danger out there.
It is exactly the same with emotional and mental safety. So when you experience emotionally painful event; whether it is a childhood trauma, bullying, breakup of unfaithful relationship, lie etc. your mind registers these experiences as a ‘danger’ data, and develops an antidote fear to keep you careful and avoid such situations in future. But what happens when your fear gets out of balance?!
Practicing Self- Awareness
Too much emotional fear is crippling, it stops you from becoming the best version of yourself and try out new opportunities. Ultimately too much fear will stop protecting you, instead it will become the single source of all your pains, worries and misfortunes.
That’s the reason why it is absolutely important to take the time to heal the pains of bad experiences, spend time with yourself, find out who you are in your heart, your values and what is truly important for you in life. By getting in touch with your core self, you can start showing the compassion and support you need to yourself. Practicing self-awareness can tremendously help you to catch the harmful and self-destructive thought patterns. If you don’t know how to practice self-awareness you can follow these five simple steps:
- Stop if you notice your mind is filled with anxious thoughts and your heart is racing. You can actually stop doing any physical activity you are doing at that moment and shift your focus to your present reality.
- Scan your body for any sensations, emotions, and any physical pain. Acknowledge the presence of these sensations and feelings; whether it is a racing heart, flushed and hot skin, throbbing headache, burning throat. Just simply acknowledge their existence in your present moment and notice if thee is any change.
- Connect with yourself once you are aware of how you are feeling in body and mind. Place one hand on your heart, and one on your belly, and take three deep breaths. Spend equal time in breathing in and breathing out. Connect with your senses, notice where you are, what you feel with your fingertips. Keep breathing in and out and feel if there is any smell in your surroundings, whether it is pleasant or not. Close your eyes and visualise the inner parts of your body, your heart, your lungs, blood circulating through your veins, etc. Notice how they feel inside your body by visualising them,. Notice any changes in your heartbeat, in your pulse.
- Detach from all self-destructive thoughts once you are connected with your body in the present time. Remember you are not what you think, the thoughts come and go as the situation changes, and mistakes will let you grow, not turn into a complete failure. The main thing is to give yourself a plenty of compassion and love when you are hurting. With time your core values will get you back on feet again and you will be able to think and analyse the past experience with less pain and bias. Give yourself that time.
- Reconnect with real tasks ahead of you once you detach yourself from your negative thoughts and make the distinction between your fleeting thoughts and your core values. Remember, you can’t change the past and undo the events made you feel this way, but you can build up resilience and emotional strength by giving the necessary support and attention to your inner being.
Accepting Your Emotional Pain
It is good to ask a lot of questions about certain events in our lives, but in some point, it is better to accept that there may not be right answers, or answers to make your pain go away. Often times we burden ourselves with asking “why me?” “why did this happen to me?” etc and etc. To be honest, there are many reasons why this happened to “you” and why you had to endure such emotional turmoil. But there is no one simple explanation why it happened to you and what could have you done to prevent it from happening. Even if there were, why ruminate over something which will never come true?!
Better to accept that you cannot change your past experiences. And you are most definitely not alone in this, there are so many people in the world who had to go through such experiences or worse. You end up hurting yourself more, by singling yourself out in your experience, fall into isolation and your unresolved pain ends up putting you into self-destructive mode. The worst part of it is, often times the fear and self-destruction gets internalised in our subconscious mind, which means you keep going through the same patterns not realising why you are doing it. Or how you can change this pattern.
Choosing to move on from Painful Emotions
Actively choose to move on with conscious mind. Why? Because your past may have been hurtful, but your future is untouched yet, and only you can define it by your own rules. What do you choose? Do you choose to continue the same patterns and feel the same painful emotions again and again, or do you choose to move on and with a bit of hard work to transform your life into safe, happy, and healthy place?
When you feel alone in your head, remember, nobody in this world has figured out how to live the best life with no pain. Everyone is trying their best by going through trial and error. You are one of the many, and sooner you realise this, faster will be your recovery and return to thriving social life. And your past experiences do not have to define and control your present and your future. You can read more here about how choices can affect our lives.