“I never get angry,” says a character in one of Woody Allen’s movies. “I grow a tumor instead.”
This is a hilarious line but a poignant reminder how profoundly emotions can affect our human physiological functioning.
Yet, as a culture, we generally place our physical well-being over our emotional well-being. We see it all the time… we conscientiously undertake routine physical health check-ups, but the idea of undergoing a mental check-up isn’t a thing. Isn’t it intriguing how we’re more proactive in addressing physical injuries than emotional wounds?
Yet, research shows that emotional pain – the kind brought on by feelings such as sadness, loneliness, despair, a sense of unworthiness and the like can be more excruciating than physical discomfort. The pain lingers deep within, causing ongoing harm to our overall health and quality of life. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about.
Physical Pain: The Best of the Worst
For physical pain to have a long lasting effect it usually has to be intense but generally, once the physical pain passes, we tend to forget about it and move on.
But emotional pain? Not so. Even just one time experiencing emotional pain can leave a mark that persists. One of the most acute examples is rape. The violence is cruel and violating. It’s a one-time event but the emotional pain can persist long beyond any physical injury that was committed. Or I often hear from clients about bosses who are hyper-critical and condescending; because of that, the employee ends up with on-going (painful) self-worth issues. (If you have something to say about this, drop down to the comments section and share your thoughts or experience.)
This is why it’s vital to find ways to work with these painful emotions so that we can heal from them and let them go. We have two options essentially when it comes to past painful experiences – we can either move on and find peace or keep dwelling on them, which usually just makes us more stressed and upset. And, in addition to feeling lousy, all that emotional stress, as Woody Allen points out, can undermine our physical health. And it’s not just a line in a comedy, research shows it can aggravate (or cause) conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, chronic inflammation and more.
Connect the Dots on Your Emotional Self Care
The bottom line is that just like we take care of our bodies, we need to give our emotional well-being some love too. In fact, as an emotions therapist, I suggest we need to double-down on emotional self-care. But how to do that can be elusive – especially for those who find it challenging to pursue a meditation practice.
Coming this fall, I’ll be offering an online course that will give you a connect-the-dots on how to meet your emotional self-care needs so that you can quiet your mind, rest your body and learn how to release whatever is knocking loudest on your head.
Meantime, think about joining me in Portugal this October for an amazing week in my newly adopted home country. This isn’t just a week that will make you feel better while you’re here with me. Oh no! The tools and expertise you’ll come away with will equip you with a template for how to walk in the world of chaos without becoming a part of it. You’re going to get the whole overflowing package of goodies uniquely designed to help you overcome challenging feelings and find a path towards emotional growth and resilience. Check it out and, as always, drop me a line with any questions you might have!
P.S. Yes, to answer a repeating question about this retreat, microdosing will be offered. As an emotions therapist I have found that for many, the judicious use of plant medicine supports and amplifies the healing process and why I include it (always optional) in our time together.
Questions? Let’s have a chat.