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Dealing With Emotional Pain

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When a person undergoes a life disruption, such as divorce, job loss, a death, it is usually not advisable to take medication that will alleviate the pain immediately.  When pain is alleviated with medication, the person’s motivation to make changes is reduced.  And there is a great deal to learn from the process of managing emotional pain.  (Of course, there are times when medication becomes necessary, especially with suicidal thinking which may accompany a major depression.)  When you undergo a major life crisis, you need time to gain insight into what has gone wrong and achieve integration again.  Emotional pain, while unpleasant, serves its purpose, just as physical pain in our bodies.  It prompts us to take action.  Similarly, drugs and alcohol may help to alleviate emotional pain – but then the opportunity to learn our life lessons vanishes.

Deadening pain chemically may allow old patters of behavior to continue – in which case, paradoxically, the pain you are trying to escape will persist into the future.   Pain spurs us to learn new ways of coping.

There are three tactics that people in crisis can use to get through the crushing periods of pain that accompany a life disruption.  These methods do not end the pain, which has value, but they allow us some relief for a time.

First, diversion.  Sometimes we need to remove ourselves physically or mentally from our emotional pain for a while.  We can take a weekend trip, read a book, watch an engrossing movie, talk to a friend, take a walk or get some other physical exercise.  Diversion allows us time to heal or sufficient distance from a problem that we can come back to again and perhaps see in a new light.

The second tactic for dealing with emotional pain is to stay in control over those aspects of your life that you still have some ability to control.  A major life disruption can leave you with the feeling that you have no control over events.  However, you can use self-discipline to clean your residence, bathe, feed the dog, water your plants, and pay your bills.  Stay in control of those things that you can control and let those things that are uncontrollable run their course.

Finally, find someone who can show you empathy.  There is no better way to relieve emotional pain than to talk to a trusted friend or therapist who can say with conviction, “Yes, I understand – and I care.”

 

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Published by , 01.01.2015 at 00:59
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Charles King
Charles King 2 January 15 13:00 the only thing that can help to deal with emotional pain is time. Just wait for some period & the pain won't be so strong. Text hided expand
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Phebe Paul
Phebe Paul 3 January 15 02:40 Alcohol, just alcohol my friends... Text hided expand
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Kenneth Murphy
Kenneth Murphy 3 January 15 03:54 For me using self-discipline is not working( Text hided expand
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Anna K
Anna K 23 June 15 21:17 I was just talking to a coworker about this today - when our lives are a disaster, say after a bad breakup, we have a responsibility to ourselves to hold it together. The only way we might be able to do that is through completing simple tasks like cleaning our apartments, making sure our bills our paid, eating very carefully and not drinking ourselves blind, etc. We have to take baby steps to regain control over our lives, and that turns into a coping mechanism for dealing with the pain. Our energy is spent performing important tasks, not wallowing in self pity. And yes, having a friend to support you is vital - empathy is so important. Text hided expand
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Anna K
I was just talking to a coworker about this today - when our lives are a disaster, say after a bad …
Anna K Dealing With Emotional Pain
Anna K
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At what age better to talk with children about sex?
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Kenneth Murphy
Phebe, have you got any sexual problems after that?
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Its not depend on kind of job - just what you think about it.
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For me using self-discipline is not working(
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Phebe Paul
Porno is my teacher)
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You are right, Charles!
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Alcohol, just alcohol my friends...
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My parents never talked to me about sex. All these statements are strange & new for me.
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