How to Move on From Painful Emotions with Compassion

How to Move on From Painful Emotions with Compassion

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.

How to Become a Positive Thinker

How to Become a Positive Thinker

We are all way too familiar with the term positivity and positive thinking. One can’t even see three pictures even on social media before bumping into dozens of positivity posts. It has become one of the trendy buzz words, hashtag, and a popular escape thing to say to people around us. We start conversations with things like:

“Things are not well, but I’m trying to be positive”, or console each other with “let’s have positive attitude”. Is there any truth in it?

We live in a world where the time is the most precious thing to have, and everything moves with the speed of light, one moment we are reeling from the devastating news of death, wars, and diseases, and the next minute we are happily engaged in the chitchat gossip of celebrity life, viral social media posts, and let’s not forget the adorable cat pictures floating everywhere. Who wouldn’t love those, after all they are the epiphany of positivity motivators.

But how easy is it to make our minds become positive? What is it anyway to be positive and think positively?! Is it even good, or helpful to have better attitude, better days, finding better solutions?! And if the answer is yes, then how do you learn to become a positive thinker?!

Let’s speak honestly though, we all are humans, and we all go through ups and downs of life, and we live in a society which constantly tells us that everything will be fine, that things happen for a reason, to get on with it, to be positive and if things are going wrong, then your negative mind is attracting negative vibe from the universe. We even scold our children with words like wipe off your nose, chin up, be a man, don’t be a girl, be a big girl, big girls don’t cry etc. so we teach ourselves to sink into denial of reality, to things happening to us and to people we love and care. We master the pretence of being ok and being positive that we ignore our true feelings, true emotions.

But what happens when the true feelings and painful emotions do not go away, that it becomes a struggle, and alienates us from our friends, families, and wider society?

We falter, because if we don’t deal with our emotional pain and push aside our human experience, we end up developing internal struggle to cope. So instead of dealing with an unpleasant situation, we spend all our energy pretending that the problem doesn’t exist.

Do you just pretend that things are great, or do you delve into the reality and find out what is happening around you and to you?

In truth, I often struggle with such beaming positivity, my hard-wired realist and slightly sceptical nature always weighs up the pros and cons, especially the cons. Leaving the comforts of my familiar environment at a young age made me rely on my meticulous judgment of situations, risk aversion plans and make my life as safe as possible. It made me a bit of an overthinker too, but it has always helped me to make more or less good decisions.

Popular myth, the idea of this holy grail that we all should strive to become positive, and happiness as a goal is not supported by research.

If we set happiness as a goal, over time it sets us to fail, because as it happens, the happiness is a bypass product, not an end goal. Striving to think positively do not heal the pain, nor does preaching to be positive can actually teach you to become one.

So, what to do then?! In reality ‘positive thinking’ does not and should not omit the acceptance of bad things or negative things happening in your life. But instead, it should include how to better cope, how not to lose faith in goodness in the world, and hope for change. And it takes hard work discipline and practice. There is no magic way of waking up in the morning as a positive person. Believe me! I tried and waited for that miracle…

Develop solid healthy habits

Mine is running, when I run, things immediately change in colour, shape, and nature in my heart. I also find that when my eating habits are out of control, somehow it really affects my mood negatively even more. But I will talk about it in another post.

Use empathy

Empathy is an important nutrient for your soul. Always practice empathy. For yourself and for other people around you. By using empathy, you will understand that you are not a lonely soul, nor is your situation the worst one. And there is always a way out even when it feels like you are in the eye of a tornado at the moment. No need to whip yourself out of guilt or shame, remember you can’t change the past. Don’t say things to yourself which you wouldn’t say to people you care about.


Like I said above, the good place to start thinking positively is to accept that there is nothing much positive about this certain stage of your life. Whatever might be your dilemma; family issues, broken heart, loss of a loved one, financial problems, health issues, workplace bulling, being stuck in a rut… Just by accepting that your situation is not ideal at the moment, that it feels like your world is falling apart, that you feel pain in the places you never knew existed before, you can stop being in denial. Blame, guilt, anger, and sense of unfairness, they all accompany the devastation of a bad stage in life. Once you accept that all, you can then make some head space to think what you can focus on, and which feeling should be prioritised. Keep busy, have your mind occupied with work, study, or whatever routine you have going. Do it with discipline, it still may hurt or feel uncomfortable, but the pain will slowly get duller, anger will subdue and so on. One day you won’t feel so negatively about that particular painful experience anymore.

Cut or reduce toxic relationships.

Well, this is a bit tricky, the advice is to cut friends who consistently pull you down, make you feel insecure etc. I once had to cut my best friend loose, because we were not on the same page anymore. It hurt like hell, considering all the breakups I had, that one hurt the most, because I really loved her. Of course, years later we rebounded again, although the quality of the friendship is not the same, the new boundaries keep our relationship healthy. So, you can permanently or temporarily cut them off, it won’t be easy, but it is doable. The hardest part is when the negativity and toxic relationship come from your own family. It is much harder to cut your mother, father, or siblings off. So, what to do then? According to my observations, of the worst mental duress and negative conditioning came from the closest family members. Especially almost all the women I met had some kind of negative baggage from their mothers, fathers, or siblings. Although many women still prefer not to share such experiences out loud for fears of stigma and embarrassment, worst of the mental, physical, and sexual abuse also were caused by close or more distant family members.

Of course, then, these events would shape their entire outlook in life, their trust, coping mechanisms, mental health, future relationships, and confidence. Those experiences cannot be easily brushed off with the breeze of positivity as they suggest. However, by actively choosing to move forward and choosing to be happy, one can find some level of peace. For those who are struggling to cope, I strongly recommend seeking help from mental health specialists. Moreover, if you can, use regular therapy as a maintenance, once you get to a good place with your recovery.

Practice Regular Meditation.

Meditation also has become an all too often repeated trend. But I swear it works. People who never tried it before, like me before I tried, might imagine it as something only regular practitioners of yoga, and bearded Indian gurus and Buddhist monks do it weirdly folded positions. No, it couldn’t be further away from the truth. Meditation has many levels and layers. The basic one is just to connect with your breath. We know that whenever we are emotional, our heartbeat changes, our breathing accelerates, the face gets flushed, and the muscles become tense. These are also the symptoms of panic and anxiety attacks when we think we lost control of certain situations or of our lives. Just by connecting with your senses, breathing deeply in and out, focusing on your present surroundings, your sense of smell, vision, and touch, you can slow down the racing mind. Mastering the connection with your present is a great power and it gives you the biggest tool to take back control over your thoughts and emotions. And that is very important to change the course of your thinking from painful to pain free, from negative to positive to put you back to the present. The more you practice it, better you master the meditation.

Last but not least, being positive is not something which should force you to block your pain, your trauma, and your bad experience. It is a state of mind which gives you ‘despite things are not going so well right now, I will be alright, I can change this, I got this’ attitude. And believing that even when you don’t want to wake up to face the world or do some serious damage to everyone who hurt you, deep down you know that you can fix it, and choose happiness over and over again. To me, that is a damn good place of positivity!