Emotional Healing

Happy relieved, emotionally stable young woman with tattoos

Emotional Healing

Reading time: 8 minutes

Definition

Emotional healing is a bit self-explanatory. It is simply the healing of emotions. One doesn’t need to do any research to know that emotional disorders plague much of the western world. Issues with depression and anxiety are increasingly common and that makes emotional healing more relevant than ever.

The General Idea Behind the Emotional Healing

The general idea is that in order to reach a point of positive health, one needs to recognize their past negative experiences and traumas, accept they happened, then learn to “let go” of these experiences so they can no longer cause significant psychological, emotional, and physical damage to a person. Then from this point on, patients can then focus on learning how to gain control over stress and their emotions to prevent further damage from negative emotional experiences.

Patients are also encouraged and taught how to protect themselves from the stressors and emotion-inducing experiences from the outside world. The key to emotional healing is accepting that emotions are caused from within the body as a reaction to stimuli, not directly from experiences themselves.

Emotional healing helps to get rid of negative thoughts and focus on the positive ones
Emotional healing helps to accept and let go the negative experiences and traumas.

It is believed by some emotional healing experts that the body holds onto negative experiences and emotions in the form of toxins, and this can cause numerous physical ailments within the body including headaches, nausea, as well as more serious disorders. These emotional toxins can be both acute and conscious in addition to being chronic and unconscious.

Others believe that traumatic events and a negative emotionality can have a detrimental effect on the chakras, which can result in a number of spiritual problems.

Different Methods of Emotional Healing

Psychotherapy, the most widely-practiced form of emotional healing, is considered commonplace in many Western countries. It’s just that people often apply a different label: psychotherapy. It is well-accepted that there is a direct link between emotions and mental health (and thus physical health) and psychology recognizes the positive effects of psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy and their ability to heal.

The general belief is that our thoughts and emotions are directly linked to our behaviors and by helping people break their negative thought patterns they can deal with negative emotions. It is used to treat emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Some psychologists are studying its effectiveness on other emotional disorders and discomforts.

Emotional healing is not just limited to the work of psychologists and psychotherapists. There are a wide range of therapists that can help a person find emotional healing. Some believe that the key to emotional healing can come from a few key processes. One is simply talking about their feelings. This is a major part of the aforementioned psychotherapy and can be administered by not just professionals, but friends and loved ones as well. The very act of talking about something can help in the process of accepting the past and its hurts, and to also come to terms with current stressors.

An important part of the emotional healing process is realizing that pain is an impermanent state. Sometimes a therapist or healer is needed to reach this realization. Mindfulness meditation can also help one achieve this state of mind. Unfortunately, it is a good idea to seek help from a trained meditation leader to learn the best methods to do this.

Some also believe that affirmations may help with emotional healing. Affirmations are a positive idea or sentence that patients are encouraged to repeat, write down, or continuously think about. Affirmations can come from within or be fed through inspirational speeches, lectures, videos, classes, or through mantra chanting in groups.

It is believed that by repeating an affirmation, it will become internalized and accepted. The general idea is that by focusing on a positive thought, it will have a positive effect on one’s emotions.

Have Fun

Another way that some believe can lead to emotional healing is by simply having fun. Social activities and the company of loved ones may have a positive effect on a person’s emotions. This can act as either a distraction from trauma and negative emotions or can reduce stress. Plus, having fun and laughing feels good.

Exercise is also thought to have a positive effect on one’s emotions, not only by reducing stress, but by working as an outlet onto which to focus one’s negative emotions.

Manipulate the Energy

Finally, there are many who believe that there are spiritual methods of emotional healing. These include consulting healers who can manipulate the energy of the body and balance the chakras.

For example, problems with the heart chakra can cause numerous emotional problems, so hiring a healer can help with these. Other alternative methods for emotional healing include acupressure and massage therapy, in addition to energy healing.

Efficacy

The link between our emotions and our physical health has been the focus of numerous studies over the years and most doctors seem to agree that negative emotions have a generally negative effect on our health. It is believed by many that our mental, emotional, physical health is inter-connected.

There is a significant connection between depression and chronic disease such as diabetes, stroke, and cancer. However, one should be wary because correlation does not always imply causation. People who suffer from depression are often shown to have a weaker immune system. Keep in mind that this may be the result of poor diet and lack of physical activity on the part of depression sufferers as well. People with depression and other mental disorders live statistically shorter lives than those who are mentally healthy (this is excluding the effects of suicide on the statistics).

Does Emotional Healing Release Stress and Trauma?

Numerous studies show that stress has a detrimental effect on one’s health. Cortisol, one of the main stress hormones, is a proven immuno-supressor and can cause inflammation that can also lead to the eventual development of cancer. Therefore, one can argue that anything that reduces overall stress can have a generally positive effect on our health.

It has been reported that traumatic experiences in childhood such as abuse and neglect can have long-lasting effects on one’s mental and physical health. People who grow up carrying childhood trauma have been shown to engage in more risky behavior. They’ve also been shown to engage in various forms of self-medication such as drugs, alcohol, and cigarette smoking in an attempt to cope with the negative stress they still carry. These behaviors have a severely negative effect on one’s health.

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Another fascinating and devastating effect that childhood trauma may cause is toxic-stress. Some amounts of stress are normal and can actually be beneficial in helping one’s emotional and mental development by teaching people how to deal with stressful situations in a healthy way. Prolonged exposure to extremely stressful situations, however, can very negatively affect somebody’s health. It can lead to unhealthy relationships, impair brain development, and lead to other disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Fortunately, a child who later experiences healthy, nurturing, and positive relationships after a toxic-stress response may reduce the negative effects. Although toxic-stress can have a permanent effect, studies have shown that relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, message, and spiritual healing can reduce it, which supports the views of many. Naturally, prevention is the best method.

Another well-studied effect of trauma and repeat exposure to stress on our health is allostatic-load. This can cause a decreased immune function, cognitive ability, increased fat deposits on the body, and hypertension. Clearly, it is undeniable that our emotions are directly linked to our physical health.

As stated above, any method that can help one control their stress level, reduce cortisol, and deal with the negative effects of trauma can have a positive effect on one’s health. Therefore, mindfulness meditation can be considered an effective method for emotional healing. Not only does it relieve stress, but can also help reduce the symptoms of depression. Practitioners believe that a regular practice can help one process and control their emotions better.

The efficacy of Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other forms of psychotherapy has been well studied and shown to have a helpful effect on one’s emotions and stress. Affirmations, however, have had mixed results. One notable study has shown that affirmations may have a positive effect on people who have a high self-esteem, but they can also have a negative effect on emotions for those with low self-esteem. This shows that affirmations are not necessarily a form of emotional healing that should be used by everyone.

Other methods of healing such as chakra alignment, energy healing, and crystal healing may have a certain benefit on one’s emotional health. As stress is often caused by one mental state, even a possible placebo effect has the possibility of helping reduce stress and other emotional effects. Also, if the very process helps one reach a state of relaxation, then these methods of emotional healing are far from useless.

Relaxed woman after emotional healing session
There are many methods for emotional healing, all of them will help you to achieve a state of relaxation.

Finally, much research has gone into the effects of “fun” on emotional healing. Naturally, having fun can reduce stress. One doesn’t need study to show this, but research does seem to back up what we feel. Studies have shown that laughter can help increase our pain tolerance and reduce the feelings of acute pain. Studies also suggest that laughter can cause an increase in antibodies to help us fight disease and have an effect on cortisol levels in the body.

This all further suggests a strong connection between our emotions and health. It also shows that encouraging a positive emotionality may benefit us. Laughter is just one method of doing so. So, laughing may be the easiest and most fun form of emotional healing.

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