How to Embark on a Journey of Mental Healing
Have you reached a point where you feel emotional distress is too much to handle? Whether it is due to being in a toxic relationship, past trauma, a significant life transition, or the loss of a loved one, emotional distress can hinder your personal growth and well-being.
This may be a moment to make a change and take steps to improve your mental health and well-being.
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How Does Emotional Distress Show Up in Our Lives?
Feeling down now and then is natural. No one feels happy and fulfilled all the time. However, when negative emotions or experiences become overwhelming and too difficult to manage, they can impact you profoundly, causing emotional distress.
For example, if you are living for too long with undiagnosed and untreated anxiety, this can generate significant emotional suffering. Similarly, childhood trauma, conflicts in your relationships, work-related problems, everyday stress, financial issues, or health concerns can all disrupt your life and contribute to emotional distress.
If we don’t address it, emotional distress can spiral into mental illness, addictions, self-sabotaging behaviors, and physical illnesses. Painful, unrecognized, and unprocessed emotions can trigger anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, obsessions, compulsions, and other mental health concerns.
What is Mental Healing?
Mental healing, or emotional healing, is the process of self-growth and recovery. This process unfolds through acknowledging and processing strong emotions and painful experiences and integrating them into your life. Self-acceptance, self-regulation, and self-compassion are practices you can embrace to reinforce mental healing and recovery.
How to Embark on a Journey to Mental Healing: 8 Practical Steps
Here are eight helpful strategies to promote mental healing and improve your life.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Self-care practices such as journaling and mindfulness can help you become more aware of your feelings and thoughts. The first step to mental healing is allowing yourself to handle all your emotions.
Mindful presence is a great way to gain control over your thoughts and learn to feel your feelings without judgment and self-criticism.
Journaling can also help identify what triggers your negative feelings, embrace vulnerability, express negative emotions, and reduce their intensity.
2. Engage in Creative Outlets
Creative expression such as painting, writing, dancing, or any other creative activities can provide an excellent outlet, helping you express your feelings and release tension.
3. Practice Self-Compassion
Learn not to be too hard on yourself, as self-compassion promotes emotional health and well-being. When you practice self-compassion, you treat yourself with the kindness and love you would offer your child, partner, or friend. Being self-compassionate means understanding that making mistakes is totally normal because we’re all human. It’s about being kinder to yourself and forgiving yourself.
4. Try Positive Affirmations
Many of our mental health concerns begin in our mind. Negative self-talk can take a toll on our mental health. When you are overly critical of yourself, this can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other mental health concerns. It can also mess with your relationships and impede your professional success.
Positive affirmations can make a big difference when it comes to dealing with negative thoughts about yourself. They can help you overcome limiting beliefs and change how you see yourself, which is essential for your emotional healing journey.
5. Take Care of Your Body, Too
Our mind and body are closely connected. So, make taking care of your physical self a priority. Regular physical activity, healthy nutrition, and abundant rest have been scientifically proven to support mental health and promote emotional healing.
6. Practice Gratitude
Every morning, write down three things you are grateful for. This simple gratefulness practice can rewire your brain to become more sensitive to experiencing gratitude, fostering a more optimistic mindset.
7. Let Go of the Past
Forgiveness and self-forgiveness are necessary steps on the road to personal development and healing. While letting go of past regrets, trauma, shame, and hurt can be challenging, it is essential to stop dwelling on the past and let go.
8. Seek Professional Support
Mental healing is a deeply personal and transforming journey that may help you release emotional burdens and begin to live a better, happier life.
Remember that professional help is available; you don’t have to embark on a healing journey alone. A qualified mental health professional can guide and support your self-discovery, growth, and recovery journey.
Counseling can help you become more resilient, equipping you with strategies and tools to better understand and cope with stress and mental health challenges.
Looking for a therapist? Get matched with a therapist today.