Healing deep emotional wounds can be pretty tough because we become so conditioned to living with them.
However, saying that, it doesn’t mean they can not be healed. Healing emotional wounds should be a priority for everyone, especially those who find themselves renumerating over hurts of the past right before bedtime.
Hey! We are human; we all do that to some degree, including myself.
By taking our emotional health into our hands, we allow natural healing to take place. By healing, we allow ourselves to get a good night sleep.
Emotional pain is induced by constant triggers of our emotional reactions when our ideas about how things should be, impact how things are.
There are times where we will judge ourselves based on the decisions we’ve made, words we’ve spoken, and the journey we didn’t make.
Throughout our life up till now, we have conditioned beliefs which are continually filtering our perception of how things should be for us right now.
What ends up happening is we fight ourselves daily, wanting the emotional pain to go away, yet not doing anything about it.
· Affects the Brain
Our brain gets stuck in the freeze mode. By getting stuck in the freeze mode, it can no longer flee or fight. It relives the trauma of the emotional pain over and over with no end.
Due to reliving the trauma, our impulses do not follow the usual path. This causes electrical charges to shoot anywhere/everywhere. It causes our frontal lobes to shut down (this is where executive decisions are made).
Because our brain is affected by what we see, we lose the ability to see how others see us. The ability to regulate our emotions is lost, which causes us to lash out at people who don’t deserve it.
E.g., a soldier who returns from war will most likely deal with PTSD due to what they have seen. This is because their brain could not comprehend what was happening before them.
These soldiers are continually reliving the battle in their mind. Can you even imagine the pain it would cause of living this day in day out?
· Causes Physical Pain
When we feel the emotional pain, the same areas of the brain get activated as when people feel physical pain.
Most times, emotional wound pain, which is causing the physical pain is located in those parts of the body where expression was meant to happen but failed to materialize.
What this means is take, for example, a tension headache. Something was supposed to happen but didn’t which caused the head to become tense, this then caused it to become painful.
Physical pain due to emotional pain can be felt as:
- Sleep is disturbed due to the physical ailments in the body
- Stress can cause headaches
- Hurt can cause chest pains
- Anxiety can cause stomach pains
- Guilt can cause neck pain
- Unable to connect with others may cause hand pain
- Jealousy can cause calf pains
- Depression can cause insomnia
Now you might be thinking, how are these emotions related to the different parts of our body?
Any emotion we feel will trigger a point in our body, which will cause the pain to be activated somewhere. Our mind/body are interconnected in such a way that if the mind undergoes a negative emotion, the pain will be felt in a specific part of the body.
As you all know, physical appearance usually makes its appearance when everything is quiet around us; for most this is just before sleep is taking place.
· Numbs Our Natural Emotions
Emotional pain can lead to emotional numbness. Sometimes what happens here is we don’t want to feel the pain, so we numb ourselves to prevent it from happening.
But because we’ve numbed ourselves from feeling pain, all our other emotions don’t get dealt with. This puts us into a loop of continually feeling emotional pain.
We will watch our loved ones engage with each other, yet find ourselves withdrawing from any engagement whatsoever. It can give us an unfocused feeling which can lead to zoning out.
· Brings On Shame
Shame is a heartrending emotion which is responding to a sense of failure. Shame encompasses the entire self. It can be felt physically in the flushing of the face, hunched over, or not able to meet the eye.
It also can cause people to suffer from hot flashes which are not great when trying to get to sleep.
In many people, it creates the desire to hide, disappear, or even die!
Self-blame can cause a person to blame themselves for everything that is going wrong in their life. Any time a person wants to quit something, it brings on shame leading to thoughts of being a quitter or loser.
The shameful thoughts have an exceptionally intricate ability to come sneaking out when our mind needs rest.
· Creates Deep Feelings of Sadness
A person may find themselves becoming lethargic or withdrawing from others.
Having involuntary and uncontrollable outbursts of crying is a classic example that emotional pain is behind the cause. Although sadness is a normal part of the process of growing up, it’s when it turns into a depression that it becomes an issue.
Any time loss is experienced by an individual; the sadness emotion is activated, which leads to emotional pain. This pain is hard to deal with because one is not able to correlate their sadness to pain.
People who are bipolar and lacking sleep will often experience sadness.
· Clouds Our Judgment
Looking back when I was experiencing emotional pain, I used to wonder why I made the decisions that I did.
Of course, now I realize there’s a chance I wasn’t thinking correctly. Rather than act on logic, I was acting based on my emotional wound pain.
There were times where the emotionally based pain would be so much that it would lead to a scary feeling of never being able to heal. When a person gets excited, that’s when they are least likely to miscalculate or underestimate a risk they may be taking.
Deep emotional pain can also lead to some rather rash decisions if we are not careful. These decisions can lead to self-destruction because the risks taken during painful moments don’t pay off.
E.g., overeating to compensate for the emptiness inside.
We are so focused on the pain that everything else takes a backseat to whatever is happening in our life at the time since backseat decisions are made on impulses rather than logic.
Logic makes a great escape when our sleeping schedule is disturbed, this can also lead to sleeping too much.
Emotional pain makes us unpredictable due to the clouding of our judgment in such ways that we react to situations around us. The way we react is not healthy. Many times I have let emotional pain get the best of me. I have responded with anger, stress, and anxiousness.
Not the most beneficial way to react!
· Always Existing in Our Subconscious
Although most of us don’t think about it, deep emotional wound pain always exists in the subconscious. It’s the subconscious that determines what our consciousness is going to do.
All our second to second decisions are made based on how our subconscious is feeling. If there is an emotional pain existing there, it will manifest somehow in the conscious whether we like it or not.
These manifestations take place at night where the critical thinker in us tries to outplay every good thought we have. Want to learn how to critical thinking, follow the easy suggestions in conquering your inner critical voice post.
· Can Lead to Unwanted Addictions
Most times, when people are dealing with physical pain caused by emotional distress, it may have you resorting to taking pain medication.
Although most will only take it when the pain is in existence, others will take it consistently. Consistency leads to addiction.
It can lead to all sorts of addiction, not just pain medications. Some people want to numb emotional wound pain so much they will resort to street drugs.
My cousin is one of those people. He has so much emotional pain from his childhood; he resorted to street drugs to cover up his pain. Sadly it led to the demise of his marriage.
So not only did emotional pain lead him to addiction, but it bled into other parts of his life as well.
Now not only was he not getting sleep, but his significant other was also sleepless due to a 25-year marriage breaking up.
· Broken Heart Due to Deep Emotional Pain Can Lead to a Heart Attack
When heartbreak occurs; it doesn’t matter due to the grief of loss due to death or a broken heart due to love, the pain is felt in the center.
Just like everything else, a broken heart is hard to mend. But it can be restored. The psychological effects of a broken heart will lead to a heart attack because it’s broken.
Sometimes the flood of the stress hormone adrenaline is just too much for the heart to handle. It’s a scientific fact that a person can die of a broken heart.
The thing with a broken heart is that it can affect even the healthiest of people!
When a person’s heart is broken, part of their heart enlarges, which causes the pumping of the heart to go down. The rest of the heart usually functions but with more forceful contractions.
Due to the forceful contractions, it can lead to short-term heart muscle failure. The short-term heart muscle failure causes irregular heartbeats, which are the leading causes of death in heart issues, can’t pump enough blood or causes shortness of breath.
So enough about the causes of an emotional wound! Let’s get on with healing deep emotional wounds so you can get the sleep you deserve.
1. Let Your Feelings Be Present
When you are experiencing a feeling rather than stuff it down, let it come on in its full presence. It doesn’t matter if it’s worthlessness, resentment, guilt, shame, or anxiety. You need to feel these feelings entirely to shake them.
What you will need to do as the feelings come on is notice the sensations they cause. Never try to control or manipulate emotions. Just allow yourself to observe them and with a flick of the hand, move them away.
What you’ve done here is you felt them, observed them but most of all you acknowledged them. By accepting the feelings, you validated that you are watching, listening, seeing, understanding.
Most feelings want to be acknowledged. Once they are acknowledged, they fade away.
2. Keep Moving
It’s when we stop moving that it becomes a problem. Many people with emotional hurts will withdraw into themselves. They quit interacting with society.
You need to keep moving. Movement keeps our feelings moving. When the feelings move around, we allow them to float up and out.
Sometimes even going for a simple walk while allowing yourself to focus on a feeling, a resolution can be discovered.
But sitting at home doing nothing will have you churning on the negative thoughts which will lead to nothing but pain and unhappiness.
Personally, for myself, I like to go to the gym. It’s my escape. I have my music on, which helps me to be more creative on what to do to solve any emotional pain which may come up.
Another benefit of the gym is I get a great sleep at night due to being tired. I’m usually tired anyways due to chemo, but the gym gives me a satisfaction I would not find anywhere else.
3. Forgive If Only For Yourself
Forgiving others or even yourself can lead to a whole host of issues being resolved. It’s not that you forget what happened, it’s that you’ve let it go.
You’ve made the decision you can’t be bothered by it anymore. Once you make this decision, you free yourself up from the emotions that were bottled up due to the trauma you may have endured.
4. Heal Your Inner Wounded Child
Sometimes the emotional pain we suffer is due to the wounds we experienced as a child. Not physical but more emotional/mental wounds. These could’ve been inflicted by our parents, teachers, or peers.
Childhood emotional wounds are one of the worst wounds we can experience.
As a child, we don’t learn how to deal with our emotions; by the time we get to our adult stage, the wounds have been sitting there for quite some time. Any time a trigger is triggered, the hurt goes deeper.
Healing childhood inner wounds isn’t difficult, but it’s not for the faint-hearted either. You would need to find out what wounds you are trying to heal.
These wounds have been festering for some time; they compound due the not sleeping properly at night.
How do you heal childhood emotional wounds?
- Find your safe space in your home where you won’t be disturbed.
- Lie down or sit, whatever is your preference.
- Take in a deep breathe and release three times.
- Let your mind drift.
- Notice if you see a place of damage.
- Drift down, just watch as though you are watching a movie.
- Replay if you need. Remember this cannot hurt you anymore, because it’s only a movie.
- Now ask yourself is this still bothering you, if so then do what needs to be done, so it doesn’t bother you anymore.
- Maybe you will need to forgive. But remember, even if you forgive doesn’t mean you are forgetting.
- Once this work is done, drift and move on.
- Keep doing this until you find no more childhood wounds.
5. Find Someone Who Can Help You Deal With Trauma
Other times, emotional wound pain may be too much trauma for one to deal with on their own. That is the best time to find someone is specialized in healing emotional wounds.
My Final Thoughts
Deep emotional wounds should never be left open to fester. The more they fester, the more they will disturb your sleep at night. Trauma due to letting our emotions affect us in daily living can have undesired consequences. They also take away from us living our best life.
Share your thoughts below on how you have dealt with emotional trauma.