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How to Heal: The 4 Steps of Emotional Healing That Can Set You Free

You may need to consider taking steps towards emotional healing if you, like many do, tend to bottle up difficult emotions. Grief, sadness, anxiety, depression, addiction, unhealthy obsessions, anger. We hide them in the basement of our minds and continue living under the pretense that they are gone. These bottled-up emotions grow bigger over time and start manifesting in our daily thoughts and behaviors. At some point, it feels too overwhelming to handle. That tipping point is a signal showing that we need emotional healing. Unlike physical healing, where rest or exercise can be sufficient, emotional healing requires us to do the inner work and connect with our subconscious mind. By taking a closer look into your subconscious mind, you can identify the root cause of all these difficult emotions. Consequently, you can take appropriate actions to heal yourself. This article will provide the information you need to heal your difficult emotions. You will learn how to set yourself free from the emotional baggage you have been dealing with.

What Are Emotional Wounds?

Emotional wounds come from negative experiences that involve someone close: a family member, lover, friend, mentor, or other trusted individuals. They can be caused by tragically losing someone or not feeling loved by family members. Such traumatic experiences can lead to building up emotional walls within ourselves. These barriers are thought to protect us in the short term. When left unaddressed, however, they make it even more difficult to let go and move on from the emotional wounds and suffering associated with them. These emotional wounds can live in our minds for decades. Moreover, they find their way into our daily behaviors. As a result, they negatively affect our lives in the long term—often without us realizing it.
How do emotional wounds affect you?
Let’s take dating as an example. This event can make someone rejoice at the possibility of finding the right person. In contrast, it can induce a deep fear in someone else who has been abused by their ex-lover. How is it possible that a single event can trigger such opposite reactions? This is because the subconscious mind of a person who has an emotional wound around relationships can associate new experiences with past trauma. As a result, whenever faced with triggering events, their mind fires up overwhelming emotions. These uncontrollable emotional responses can lead to sabotaging multiple areas of their lives. Unhealed emotional wounds can affect: Your relationships Emotional pain can manifest in the shape of insecurity. It can express itself as negative emotions such as jealousy, anxiety, obsession, or anger. These emotions can lead to undesired behaviors that can negatively impact your relationship. Your career Other expressions of emotional wounds can show in the shape of impatience, hesitation, or self-doubt. These emotions could cause you to react emotionally and create friction in your work relationships. They can also discourage you from speaking up in discussions, or even keep you up worrying at night. As a result, this can affect your work performance and may lead you to miss out on a promotion or even lose your job. Your relationship with yourself This is the most critical area that can get hit the worst. For example, emotional wounds can make you loathe yourself. Moreover, you may habitually compare yourself to others and constantly find fault with yourself. Consequently, this behavior will harm your self-respect, self-esteem, self-image, and self-worth. You have learned how unhealed emotional wounds can lead multiple areas of your life downhill. Now, let’s explore why it is important to heal and how to heal yourself.

Why Is Healing Emotional Wounds Important?

Emotional healing, or mental healing, is an inner journey that requires deep inner work to unshackle the chains of the past. If you have lived with emotional wounds for years, it can be difficult to imagine how you can let them go. However, many beautiful transformations await once you embark on the journey of emotional healing and experience emotional release. Here are some of the benefits of emotional healing:
1. Let go of emotional baggage and attachment to the past
We often let past failures and fears define our present decisions, thus preventing us from reaching our fullest potential. It’s time to drop past baggage and attachments. You might be surprised to suddenly have the courage to pursue the passion project you have always wanted. You will be able to apply for your dream job. Moreover, you will allow yourself to take the opportunities that land on your lap without second-guessing your abilities. You will stop being a prisoner of your past and become an architect of your future.
2. Learn to respond, instead of react
Sometimes certain events can remind us about past traumas we’ve experienced. When this happens, we may react in undesirable ways, like exploding in anger or wailing with sorrow. However, once you have healed your wounds, you can hold the ‘reaction’ handbrake and choose how to respond accordingly. If someone unintentionally angers you, you can choose to remain calm and walk away. For example, a friendship goes sour. As a result, you can wallow in the sadness and let it consume you. Otherwise, you can choose to see the good in the experience and take action to repair the friendship. When you can choose how to respond, you can truly become the person you want to be.
3. Grow into a stronger person in all dimensions
The journey towards emotional healing is a rewarding one. Although the tunnel may seem bleak now, rest assured that there is light at the tunnel’s end. Once you have reached the end, you will grow into a stronger, better, wiser person in all dimensions—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You will experience a whole personality upgrade, just like how you upgrade your iPhone devices once every few years. Your self-esteem will skyrocket. Your self-image will improve, and your self-love will overflow. Above all, you will regain the inner power to work on overcoming your trauma and refuse to let it dictate your life. With so many beautiful transformations awaiting, how can you release the chains of the past once and for all? It all starts with emotional healing.

What Are the Steps of Emotional Healing?

Emotional healing is possible and accessible to anyone. If you have found yourself asking the question “How do I heal emotionally and mentally?”, then read on to find out the top four emotional healing techniques. 1. Acknowledge your power It is not easy to open a can of worms and face the trauma you buried a long time ago. Certainly it can be overwhelming and scary. As re-living the traumatic experience again could cause another devastating blow to your psyche. So, the first necessary step of an emotional healing journey is to acknowledge that you have the power to change. Stop attributing your fears to other people or denying your emotions. Commit to healing yourself and strengthening your internal locus of control instead. Locus of control refers to a person’s sense of control over their own lives. The internal locus refers to things within your control. External locus, on the other hand, refers to things outside of your control. With a strong internal locus, you will begin to realize that you are the director of your life story. You can be in control of how you interpret your past and traumas, not the other way round. One effective way to harness the power within you and cultivate your internal locus is by practicing affirmations consistently. Affirmation practice uses the power of positive words to change the way we feel about ourselves. Some simple and powerful affirmations you can use are (feel free to fill in the blanks with empowering or relevant words of your choice): I already have the power to create change in my life. My body has the natural power to heal itself. I am in charge of how I feel, and today I choose to feel ______. My day is free of ______ today. I am committed to healing myself. I am good enough. Once you acknowledge and strengthen your inner power, you will be ready to take a trip down memory lane and face your past traumas. 2. Identify the source of your emotional pain Most emotional wounds come from our childhood—when we are most vulnerable. If something traumatic happens to you as a child, your mind interprets that experience from a child’s perspective. It then forms a permanent imprint in your subconscious mind resulting in an emotional wound. For instance, your mother might have inadvertently scolded you, but your mind interpreted the event as “You are not lovable, you are not good enough.” As a result, this misinterpretation of the incident can lead you to believe these things about yourself and leave a lasting emotional scar. These emotional wounds stay with you and can influence your thoughts and behaviors in many significant ways. To fully release yourself from these wounds, it is imperative to identify where they come from. Notice the events in your daily life that trigger you. Then, ask yourself the following questions: What exactly am I feeling when I am triggered? When did I experience similar emotions for the first time? Grab a pen and journal about it. Write down thoughts and feelings that come to you. This can help you see things from a new perspective and identify where your emotional wounds come from. 3. Practice self-love Often we can be our own worst critics. We could be angry at ourselves for not being the kind of ‘calm and collected’ person we aspire to be. We can criticize ourselves and say things like, “I am immature, needy, or stupid.” Sometimes, we might even feel we deserve being mistreated because a part of us feels that somehow we deserve it. It is at these moments that self-love is crucial. Your past experiences, traumas, emotions, upbringing, and mistakes do not define you. At your core, you are already perfect the way you are. You are already enough, and always will be. Remind yourself that you are already whole, and no emotional wounds can change that fact. To rekindle the self-love in you, you can write an appreciation letter to yourself, detailing your strengths and unique talents. You can also try practicing self-love guided meditations to cultivate the self-love you deserve. 4. Address the root cause of your emotional wounds The Root Cause of Your Emotional Wounds At this point, you have already learned how to acknowledge your inner power, identify the source of your emotional pain, and practice self-love. Your journey has yet to end. The next step is to address the root cause of your emotional wounds so you can move on to your life’s next fantastic chapter. Through decades of experience working with world-class celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs, I noticed a recurring pattern among all of my clients, friends, and social media. Whether the issue is emotional pain, traumas, addictions, or fears and phobias, its root cause always boils down to the feeling of “not being enough.” It is the feeling of not being smart enough, attractive enough, intelligent enough, or interesting enough. The good news is that you have the tools to tap into your own emotional healing. These tools actually lie in your subconscious mind. As I mentioned earlier, your subconscious mind forms interpretations based on past experiences. These (often-incorrect) interpretations are well hidden deep inside your mind. Therefore it can be challenging to get to and heal your emotional wounds by yourself. The steps above can help you kickstart your healing journey, but it can take time.

How Do You Know When You Are Emotionally Healed?

The healing process doesn’t look the same for any two people. Your journey through psychological healing is completely unique, and so you cannot put a time limit on your path. With that said, it may not be possible to pinpoint the exact moment you become healed, as the healing process is a constant and ongoing journey, as you yourself are always in a state of change and flux. You may notice you achieve a sense of peace and contentment when you follow the above steps. This is an ideal state to achieve when seeking emotional healing. However, as life goes on and situations change, you may find yourself going back a step or two, and in need of emotional healing once more. This is completely normal, as you are ever-changing and need to adapt to respond to the hardships of life. If this happens, simply come back, and keep following the steps until you achieve your state of peace once more. Reposted with permission from marisapeer.com.