Emotional pain can get us into trouble:
2. Change your emotions.
If your emotional pain does not fit the facts (for example, you are making assumptions about things you do not really know about, or your emotions are out of proportion), then the situation does not need to change. Instead, you need to work on changing your emotions. Your therapist can help you with this, and one approach is to focus on activating your ‘rest and digest’ system (your in-built relaxation device). There are simple exercises, such as deep breathing and visualizations, that you can do to force your body into a more relaxed state – isn’t the human body an amazing work of art!
3. Accept the status quo.
If you cannot change the situation, and you cannot change your emotions, you may feel a little better by focusing on acceptance of the status quo. This is not just accepting it in your mind. Instead, you use every part of your body and mind to radically accept that things currently cannot be any different. For example, if you have to work alongside someone who really annoys the hell out of you, you can radically accept this person with every inch of your body; you force a smile, and force positive thoughts and emotions about this person, even if it feels completely unnatural. The idea is that this gives you a sense of freedom if nothing else. This reminds me of Viktor Frankl’s words: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
4. Stay in emotional pain.
According to Marsha M Linehan, the final option is, of course, to do nothing and stay in your emotional pain. That is your choice.
If you have been suffering and you need help with this, get in contact today. A confidential initial telephone call is free, and you can book this online.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist in Ridgewood, New Jersey