Addressing Emotional Pain #2 – Tools

Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.  ~ Carl Jung

The key message from my last posting was that emotions, painful ones, need to be represented and processed – they need an outlet.  Emotions in general are natural, and they are going to happen.  If you try to stop, distract, dismiss,or suppress them, they just find another way to show up.  Pain tells us something needs attention.

Since I don’t require medication, and cannot take them anyway, I prefer to use tools to address emotions.  Here, I will share some of what I have learned.  Many are a repeat or a variation of the tools I listed for addressing physical pain, but I will list them anyway.  There are several, but in my opinion, you can never have too many good tools in your toolbox.  Some tools are used more than others, some work better than others given the situation, sometimes you need a combination of tools, and others are used infrequently, but it sure is nice to have them when you need them.  Everyone needs to find what works best for them with proper guidance from a healthcare provider.

Remember:  Distracting an emotion is like taking an aspirin – it just masks the symptoms and doesn’t get at the root.  Eventually, the aspirin wears off and the pain returns.

Tools

  • Talk to some you can confide in 100% – Talking and expressing your feelings is a key tool, and the most important for me.  To be effective, the person you talk to needs to give you their full attention and genuinely want to listen. More
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Ask and you shall receive an answer – maybe!

Don’t listen to friends when the Friend inside you says “Do this”  Gandhi

In my last post I talked about my first experiences with guided imagery and visual imagery and about asking my “inner advisor” questions.  I had, and still have, many questions.  So, with a new tool in hand, I went home to practice, practice, practice.  I followed the guidance I received, but I wasn’t getting answers.  My inner advisor wasn’t talking to me.

But wait!  The strange part to me was putting a question “out there.”  And even more confusing to me was how I would receive the answers.  I didn’t know what would happen or what I would feel.  How would I know it’s the answer?  How would I know I wasn’t just making it up?  More

Guided Imagery and Visual Imagery – I’m learning more tools!

 Until you make the unconscious conscious,
it will direct your life and you will call it fate.  ~  Carl Jung

Guided imagery and visual imagery are two more techniques based on the concept that the mind and body are connected.  They involve the subconscious and imagination and help with stress reduction and relaxation.  The subconscious, as explained to me, is like a computer CPU continually processing things in the background, mostly without our knowledge.  The conscious is like the computer screen – we only see a portion of what the computer is processing.

In my pain psychology sessions, we approached guided imagery by first selecting something to symbolize my “inner advisor” (the non-conscious, or subconscious self).  This could be a person or an animal, etc. – but something that feels safe to be with.  The next step was to close my eyes, select a safe and secure place where I can feel relaxed, and visualize this place in my mind.  The inner advisor I selected was one of my favorite dogs we had when I was a kid. More