One of the most surprising and even uncomfortable aspects of healing from trauma that people often experience is becoming more emotional. And contrary to what you might think, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
You may find yourself asking, “Why do I feel more emotional during healing?” This happens because, in a safe and supportive environment, your nervous system can relax and recover.
Unhealed trauma can be described as any event or experience in your life that was too overwhelming for your nervous system. When that happens, your system gets stuck in states of fight, flight, shut down, or freeze.
In those states of shut down or freeze, you might feel numb, emotionless, and disconnected from your body, others, and even your own feelings.
The amazing thing is that when you actually start to regulate your nervous system and get unstuck from that state of shut down or freeze, your emotions begin to thaw out.
In these situations, you feel secure enough to let your emotions come to the surface, work through them, and eventually heal.
So, let’s look at why we feel more emotional during healing and how it’s actually a sign of progress.
The Paradox of Emotional Healing
It’s a bit of a paradox, isn’t it? We expect the emotional healing process to make us feel better, but often it can feel like we’re taking a few steps back before moving forward.
The truth is, emotional pain and mental health are closely linked, and the healing journey often involves revisiting painful emotions or even reliving traumatic events.
Emotional Healing: A Nonlinear Journey
The emotional healing journey is far from a straight path. It’s more like a winding road with ups and downs, twists and turns.
As we progress, we might experience heightened emotional reactions to certain triggers or situations. This is a normal part of the healing process.
Unpacking the Emotional Baggage
During the emotional healing process, we often need to confront and work through a whole range of emotions, from anger and anxiety to grief and shame.
This can feel overwhelming, but it’s essential for healing emotionally and improving our emotional well-being.
Physical Sensations and Emotional Pain
As we heal, we may also experience physical sensations linked to our emotional pain. For example, stress and anxiety can manifest as tension in the body, and unexpressed anger might cause headaches or muscle tightness.
Acknowledging these physical sensations is an important part of the healing journey.
The Phases of Emotional Healing
Let’s break down the emotional healing process into some key phases. While everyone’s experience is unique, understanding these phases can provide a helpful roadmap for navigating the emotional ups and downs.
Awareness: The first step in the emotional healing process is becoming aware of our emotional pain and acknowledging its impact on our lives.
Acceptance: Accepting our emotional suffering and the reality of our painful life experiences is crucial for moving forward. This involves letting go of self-blame and embracing self-compassion.
Expression: Learning to express our painful emotions, rather than suppressing them, is an essential part of the healing journey. This might involve talking to a trusted friend, family member, or health professional.
Integration: Integrating our painful emotions and experiences into our sense of self allows us to grow and heal. This involves developing emotional intelligence and self-acceptance.
Transformation: As we work through the emotional healing process, we can begin to transform our pain into wisdom, resilience, and a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.
The Role of Professional Help
Sometimes, the emotional healing journey might feel too challenging to navigate alone. Seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, can be invaluable in providing guidance and support throughout the healing process.
Coping with Emotional Ups and Downs
Feeling overwhelmed by the emotions that surface during the healing process? Here are some strategies to help you cope:
Develop healthy coping mechanisms: Replace old habits and negative coping strategies with healthier alternatives, like exercise, journaling, or connecting with supportive friends and family.
Set boundaries: Protect your emotional health by setting boundaries with people or situations that may trigger your pain.
Be patient: Remember that emotional healing takes time, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed or struggle with difficult emotions along the way. Give yourself grace and patience as you work through the healing process.
Celebrate progress: Acknowledge and celebrate the progress you’re making, even if it’s small steps. This will help reinforce your commitment to the emotional healing journey.
Feeling more emotional during the healing process is a normal and necessary part of the journey.
As we confront and work through our emotional pain, we’re likely to experience a wide range of emotions, both positive and negative.
Remember to be patient with yourself, seek support when needed, and celebrate the progress you make along the way. Emotional healing may not be easy, but it’s an essential part of our overall mental health and well-being.