Happiness comes in waves
Alright readers, today we're going to tackle emotional pain versus physical pain. We're going to delve into a bit of research and then talk about some details and tips to help with the mental blocks!
There has been new research conducted by Tor Wager out of the University of Colorado in Boulder that says that although physical and emotional pain share a distinct brain "signature" they do not process these hurts in the same way. After conducting a study with 114 young adults, Wager found that the brains response to physical pain versus emotional pain was different, "there's a pattern of response to physical pain, but [it isn't seen] with emotional pain stimuli at all".
Wager also said that the participants feeling emotional pain did register the distress upon seeing the stimuli so the scans likely recorded current pain, not just pain from the past. What does this mean? "That may be why social pain is so painful: every time you remember it, you feel it all over again and that’s not true for physical pain" Wager says.
Now you might be asking, "what does this mean in my life?" Well, it means your emotional pain is very much as "real" as your physical pain. There is no reason to tell yourself "this doesn't hurt as bad as... breaking an arm, spraining an ankle, getting a concussion, etc. All of those hurts are exactly as painful as your emotional hurts. Possibly even less so, if every time we think of our prior emotional hurt we relive it, it can definitely be more painful and more detrimental to our well being than simply remembering a broken finger we once had.
Now, what are the tips? I'll tell you! When you go through an emotional hurt, no matter what it is, don't discount it! You are allowed to feel that pain, it's good to feel that pain, feeling that pain means you are working through it. When you go through an emotional hurt don't let it define you, feel the pain and hurt then let something come from that pain. Whether it's something creative, some self care, a renewed connection with someone, or simply some time to yourself. We can't go through life letting our emotional hurt control us, for us to move on something has to come of it, feeling productive or successful are some of the best small steps. Even if your success is a tiny one it should be celebrated, which brings us to the last tip, celebrate your wins! If your emotional hurt does start to take over find something small you can do and complete so that you can feel successful and/or productive. You deserve to feel good!