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.

Unhappy with your job? It is time for a career change!

Unhappy with your job? It is time for a career change!

Have you ever wondered if there was more to life than going through the same motions of uninspiring job day in, day out? I certainly have. In fact, every time I feel demotivated or frustrated with my job, I have the habit of checking the employment market to see if anything exciting was going on outside of my tiny little world. I also tend to google articles and blog posts about career change, finding a meaningful job which could give me a full satisfaction and make me feel useful.It turns out that I am not alone in this universe who turns to internet to find answers when they are not happy with their careers. If there is one thing I do not believe when it comes to employment and career, it is that there is no such thing as job for life, nor should there be.I think this old school concept of getting into a permanent job and stick to it until your life ends and you are covered with mould in a dusty office buried with million stacks of files and papers is so 19th, 20th century. We have one life, and we all want to make it count and use it for meaningful things which are important to us. Then how come we find ourselves in menial jobs, uninspiring bosses and endless dread and burnouts?! The answer is five-fold:



I put this first, because let’s be honest, we do what we do not only because it is what we are trained for and passionate about, but also mainly because it is our livelihood, bread and butter, our token for a good life. Money may not buy us happiness (well at least not always) but it can certainly buy us some peace, time and commodities which can distract our brains and make them release temporary happy hormones. That is almost as good as true happiness right…?! But seriously, when your bills are paid and you have a roof over your head, it does bring us some peace and security, in the end of the day Maslows’s hierarchy of needs will always rule, our basic needs are the touchstone of our wellbeing and quality of life. And it all depends on money in this capitalistic world. We all know it too well, that’s why it makes it hard for us to leave everything and walk out of unsatisfying, mentally draining jobs not knowing how you will be paying your next bills.


Getting institutionalised

Do you remember Brooks Hatlen from Shawshank Redemption, an inmate who commits suicide shortly after he is released from prison? Red says that Brooks has been in prison for so long that he has become institutionalised. So, what could this possibly mean?! We humans are creatures of habits.  It is because our brains function in a way to find easy ways of finding solutions and establish routines and certain level of discipline, so the brain doesn’t have to use so much energy to do everyday activities. In other words, the brain works very hard and burns a lot of energy in a new environment, say when you move to a new city or country. It has to concentrate harder to do the risk assessment, and focus on keeping us alive by finding food, water, and a place where we can be safe to sleep to recuperate our bodies. Once these survival things are established, then it becomes a habit for us where to get our food and how to get home safely, which transport to take and which road to walk to. It all becomes very much mechanical, and anything which might knock this routine out of balance is perceived by our brains as a threat to our safety. In a workplace, it is exactly the same, we get used to the tasks, daily patterns, even uninspiring tasks, and tyrannic bosses can be tolerated as opposed to what could be waiting or not waiting for us outside of this cosy, familiar, at times super uncomfortable comfort zone. Even if it keeps us imprisoned, kills our creativity and exploration of our other potential, the freedom can be so scary. So, the brain takes it as a risk and starts producing long list of things ‘why’ we cannot do it, why we cannot or should not take the risk.


Loss of Confidence

Unfortunately, the downside effect from the above reason is losing confidence. Especially if you worked in ‘mechanical zone’ for a long time, if your work has stopped challenging you and you haven’t grown in your thinking, creating and achieving, your confidence starts faltering. You lose track of what is happening outside of your world, what the new and progressive technologies are, what the recruiters’ expectations are, etc. In fact, the underlining and real reason of all the excuses we tell ourselves to leave the unhappy and miserable jobs is fear. Fear that we are not good enough, and we will fail, because we do not deserve better situation than we are already in. Once you know how to face your fear, it all falls into right perspective. With little planning, research and updating your skills, joining the right network groups, you can find your inspiration again. And once you find your inspiration, you can find the will and inner strength to face the unknown. Because you will have a good plan which will work for you, which can also include a buffer, a safety cushion even if you fail it a little bit in the beginning.


You can’t afford being unemployed for any period of time because of financial/family commitment

This reason is quite complex, yes, it is harder to get up and go when you have a family and large household expenses. You would need to consult with your other half who may not be very thrilled at the prospect of loss of income, or maybe a new job might require a relocation. I work in a sector where the essence of the work demands rotation and relocation all the time. I know first-hand that it can shake the best of us. Single people struggle to find partners with their constant moving, families suffer, because partners can get fed up with following their other halves around the world while de-prioritising their careers, social circles, friends and other interests, or waiting for their spouses from R&R to R&R, the children are affected through this unstable uprooted lifestyle and families fall apart. So how do you deal with such situations?It is all about choices and finding out what is really important for you personally and for your family. See in a broader picture where your future is heading to, whether your partner is on board fully and enthusiastically, or are they just at their wits end with this dead-end situation. The change does not happen easily, it is uncomfortable, scary and at times emotionally taxing. In this life where we pay for things with time, money, or health, whatever you choose you are paying for your choice with one of these resources. So, it better be a good choice which is fulfilling and make you feel content.


Outdated skills

Yes, this is inevitable, with rapid evolution of technology and internet, things are changing with the speed of light. It’s not like in previous centuries that if you get a good education and learn few skills, then you are set for life in employment. These days things are changing fast, the organisations and businesses which can’t adopt with the same speed, are losing their supporters, profit and public confidence. I’m a strong believer of life-long learning. Although I do struggle with catching up with all the “cool” and modern technologies with limited available time, I do my best to attend courses and trainings to see what is happening outside of my work bubble.I heard the frustration of stuck colleagues all over the world where I worked so many times and their internal issues are quite similar. They don’t know what is happening outside of our work sector, they are too scared and don’t have much faith that they are employable elsewhere. Some of them don’t even have CVs. Not knowing how to change their situation, they keep going through the same patterns, letting their well being and mental health decline in the process, families and personal lives are affected.


To put my two pennies’ worth

Take the leap of faith and plan your exit. You can break it down into smaller steps; save up for any gaps in employment, brush up your skills, definitely prepare your CV, it can also help you see in one place what you have achieved and what skills you’ve developed over the course of your long employment history. When you are ready and well prepared, it will become less scary to embrace the unknown…