We all experience tough times, struggles, and suffering in life. Some of us experience pain early in childhood, while some of us experience hardship later in our adulthood. Life challenges are inevitable, and it is important that we allow ourselves the space and time to heal. When we suffer, we are often left with the choice to either numb our pain or try to heal from our experiences. Finding the path toward healing is a critical part of our journey to mending our mental wounds.
It is natural to want to shy away from our pain. When we numb ourselves after a painful experience, we receive temporary relief from the agony we may be feeling. It can be easy to numb ourselves after enduring emotional discomfort, but this route typically leads to devastating consequences, especially if we get caught up in the cycle of numbing ourselves every time we suffer.
When we numb every painful experience, this coping mechanism can become an addiction which can permeate every aspect of our life. Many addictions stem from an urge to make suffering stop, including addiction for food, drugs, alcohol, painkillers, sex, video games, and other habits that may seem to make life feel a bit more bearable. Over time, these coping methods will only add to our pain.
“When we numb ourselves rather than working through the healing process, the pain we carry can get stuck in our physical bodies and it can affect our overall health,” says Jaylynne Koch, Clinical Programs Manager at Diversus Health. “Processing pain and trauma is more than just emotional healing. We often need physical healing through movement like yoga, where our brain, body, and soul can connect. True healing is when we recover in all of these areas.”
When we endure emotional pain, we can choose to heal our feelings. First, we need to evaluate where there is pain in our life and explore the experiences or events that have caused or are causing us suffering. Then, we need to make the decision to journey down the path toward healing. Start by asking the question, “What do I need to feel better?” It is important to be patient and take one day at a time.
We can look inward and ask ourselves questions that aim toward healing our emotional wounds. We can seek support from friends, family, mental health professionals, and others within our community who can help us find the path toward healing. When we surround ourselves with people who support our journey, they can offer new insights and tools to help us lead a happier and more fulfilled life.
Developing healthy coping mechanisms and strategies that allow us to sit with our pain rather than avoid it is the key to continuing to improve our mental health after suffering painful experiences. As we develop these skills each day, we can become better at dealing with life’s highs and lows as they happen. Eventually, we may reach a point where we can heal our emotions rather than numb them.
*If you or someone you love is suffering with emotional pain, request an appointment with one of our mental health providers at Diversus Health today. We are here to help provide mental health and well-being for all. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.