Whether our hopes for a perfect family life with obedient children, a beautiful princess for a wife, or an all-knowing Prince Charming for a husband, evolved from the fantasies of our best fiction writers or not, we are certain now that none of this exists in real life without a fair share of disappointment and tragedy.
Even so, we still have a tendency to be hard on ourselves, and we think of our failures over and over again in the hours after painful events. We go through life trying to create perfect situations we can be proud of, and when things don’t work out we blame ourselves. We reach for the stars but trip over enormous mountains of disappointments that refuse to lower and let us pass. The worst thing we do is beat ourselves up by holding onto the pain far longer than it serves us on our journey.
We treat pain like it’s the enemy and, by doing so, it stays around much longer than it should.
Each of us must learn to effectively deal with pain as an important signal for change. Pain is not supposed to magically go away; it shows up in our lives for a reason. It’s meant to be felt, and it’s important to acknowledge it and understand why it’s there.
A normal part of personal growth and self-realization is being vulnerable and submitting to the signals going off from within yourself. Your pain is there to guide you, and a lot of times it moves you away from the things you don’t want in your life. Its mission is to send you urgent emotional messages that prompt you to dig deeper and do something about the situations that hurt you, or to learn from them and let go when change is not yours to enforce. Eventually, we grow weary of the infliction brought about by painful feelings. We find the strength within ourselves to resolve and move whatever is standing in the way of our happiness. Pain should not be long-lasting. Here are some ways to minimize and release it from your experience.
“Turn your Wounds into Wisdom” ~ Oprah Winfrey
- Find the Lessons or Value in the Situation that Caused the Onset of Pain. There is always something important to be found from our painful experiences, even in a senseless action or death. The lesson could be that life is short and unpredictable for some, and we should spend as much time as possible giving love and showing appreciation for the people in our lives.
- Realize and Accept Things You Probably Already Knew and Celebrate Your Intuition. Dealing with a break-up is similar to dealing with death, because your entire life changes in an instant. Many times we feel it coming on but still freak out when it happens. Intuition is your friend and will be with you until the end; embrace it for all it’s worth.
- Change How You Perceive Your Situation. Instead of focusing on the end, channel your thoughts into trusting a new beginning is also taking place. Plan for that.
- Change Your Focus to something within your control and abandon thoughts about the things that are out of your control.
- Learn a New Skill or Hobby or pick up where you left off with one of your favorites. If you didn’t have a hobby or skill before, vow to always have one now.
- Let Yourself Cry, yell, and vent but only for a limited time. Too much crying can cause internal and physical changes that are counterproductive to your healing process.
- Take Comfort in Knowing You Are Not the Only One going through this at this moment.
- Take Responsibility for anything you did to contribute to the situation, but do not beat yourself up about it. Ownership works to create inner strength, not self-pity and slow healing. Be sure to stay on track by keeping that in mind.
- Go Over the Three Options to any situation and decide where you’re at in the larger scope of things. Are you supposed to Change it, Accept it, or Remove yourself completely?
- Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Person Who Hurt You. Developing a mature understanding of both sides can alleviate unwanted pain and emotional suffering.
- Write a Letter expressing all the things you want to say. It doesn’t matter how nasty and upset you become. Read it over, keep it for a day, and be sure to toss it in the trash the next day. If you have a chance to talk to the recipient again, at least you will have addressed the worst things and reduced the risk of being hurtful simply because you’re hurt.
- See Letting Go as a Sign of Strength. Culturally, many of us see holding on as a sign of strength, but the opposite is often true. In situations where pain is leading your thought process, letting go is the best thing you can do for yourself and the other person.
- Go to the Spa for a massage and body scrub. Treating yourself to a day of pampering from strangers reminds you there is love in the world. Being cared for by others will release feel-good chemicals and restore your confidence and sense of inclusion. Surrounding yourself with strangers also helps you refrain from moping or talking too much about the things that are bringing you down.
- Surround Yourself with People engaged in activities. This will keep the pain off your mind and allow you to heal slowly while focusing on something fun.
- Engage in Deep Breathing Exercises, silent meditation, and guided meditation tracks, like this one, which can bring you to your spiritual center to reconnect with yourself. This is where you can learn to lock in inner peace and rediscover your personal power. Do this often – 5 to 10 minutes daily, first thing in the morning is ideal.
- Take Control of Your Experience by catering to your senses to elevate your mood. Palo Santo Wood chips, Frankincense, and Ganesha Blue Lotus (insert links to shop) incense offer gentle aromas to soothe and position your spirit for internal peace and happiness.
- Call Someone You Trust. Make sure this person is someone you know is capable of handling your personal feelings discreetly and with compassion and respect.
- Try an Easy Yoga Routine or a more advanced one if you’re already a pro. Yoga’s physical movements and deep concentration practices encourage peace and fluidity with nature. Practicing yoga also tends to forge a trinity between body, mind, and soul, which is crucial during painful and stressful life experiences.
- Replace Your Emotional Thinking with true statements. For example, instead of saying: “No one will ever love me like my last partner,” or “I’ll never find another job like this one,” say things like: “If I met him, once I’m healed, I’ll be more than capable of meeting someone more compatible.” “If I got that job, with time, practice, and honing new skills, I can secure an ever better career.” Or, if someone has passed away, “I will remember the good times and be sure to treat people kindly and with love like it’s their last day every day.”
- Organize your closets, kitchen drawers, dresser drawers, desk, or anything needing your attention. Throw away things you don’t need. Cleaning up can inspire good feelings that are mentally associated with new beginnings. Be sure to keep your space organized and easily manageable during painful times.
- Throw Away Reminders of the thing or person who is giving you pain. If you don’t feel like tossing it away, store everything in a box far away from you. Do not leave it in a convenient place where you can easily access it. You can put the box under many shoe boxes or up high in a closet to deter you from opening it while you’re healing.
- Laugh Out Loud. Remember your favorite comedies and watch reruns on Netflix or Amazon Prime until you are laughing silly. Find new comedies or whatever you know will get you laughing and tightening your belly at the same time.
- Refrain From Deliberately Playing Sad Music to remind you of the pain or situations that brought you here. If necessary, avoid music until you heal completely.
- Visit the Library and pick up books about topics that interest you. Reading can take up your time in a good way. Stay immersed in top-sellers, preferably self-help and empowerment genres.
- Don’t Find Your Self-Worth in Other People. You are worthy and valuable all alone. We live in a society that romanticizes perfect relationships, Pretty Woman couples, and flawless lives. Shake that idea off; it’s absolutely unrealistic. There are more people in your situation than you could ever imagine. You are perfectly normal and so is your pain.
- Do Something Alone that seems to be cut out for multiple people. Go to a carnival, movie, museum, or on a vacation. This will start to reinstate your independence and restore your happiness. It will also open pathways for you to meet new, interesting people. Be sure to say hello first and not just speak to reciprocate greetings.
- Take Responsibility for Your Happiness. Create a list to make your preferences real. One list should contain reasonable things you like that offer you happiness. The second list should be comprised of things that can cause you unhappiness. Determine why they make you unhappy, then make sure you avoid them in the future by planning properly. The last list should include really big things you would enjoy. Begin planning to achieve them.
- Let Go of Anger and Bitterness and abandon all sense of entitlement. It’s important to let yourself know that any anger you hold against people who hurt you actually works to damage you further. At the least, it creates and stores negative energy that could be mistakenly used against new people in great relationships. Forgive and learn, not forgive and remember. By doing this you also forgive yourself and make room for new experiences from a wiser perspective.
- Decide Not to be a Victim. When we see ourselves as victors who sometimes make mistakes it becomes easier to get over the things that bring us pain. No matter what happened, find your role in the outcome and work toward improving that area in your life. Being the victim once sets you up for being the victim again. The truth is you can control your happiness by focusing on the things you do control.
- Focus on the Present Moment. What you do now sets the stage for a brighter future. Focus, plan, and start taking action toward the things you see in your mind’s eye for yourself. Check your to do list and cross out the small achievements. This way, when you go back each day, you will feel a strong sense of accomplishment.
You can get through this because you were made to do so. Do something today that you haven’t done before and be grateful to allow happiness back into your life.