How do you react when you’re injured? Let’s say you cut your finger while you are preparing dinner or sprain your ankle while you’re walking? What do you do? You treat yourself in the proper way and soon to avoid any further problems, of course. And what about if you suffer from emotional cuts and bruises; such as loneliness, rejection, or failure — what do you do then? I suppose you do not treat yourself at all, or you think that this will pass without any effort or treatment. Even though you do not see the blood, or feel any heavy physical pain, if you don’t properly take care of these “injuries”, the suffering will get worse.
Remember how you felt when you were rejected by someone you loved? Or when you lost that dream job? Think of the times you wanted something so much, having so many expectations… and suddenly rejection came. Hold that thought — I am sure you will acknowledge that they were very painful. Rejection can cause so much damage. It affects your thinking, you are overwhelmed with anger and your self-esteem is crushed. And what you can do, as an emotional first aid, to cope with this?
Take a piece of paper and draw a line down it to make two columns. The first with negative or self-critical thoughts and the second one challenging these thoughts with counterarguments — like you were a third person giving consulting. In this way, you are alienating yourself from the problem, making yourself think more rationally. And you make it easier for your mind to absorb things.
Let’s say, for example, that you are rejected on a date. The counterargument could include poor chemistry or different lifestyle and even thoughts about how you can work on your flaws.
There are times you feel lonely. You want your solitude; it’s normal. You just want to sit at home watching TV and eat whatever you find around you. Loneliness is a serious issue in our day and age. It starts by feeling unloved and unwanted and it’s a serious contributor to depression. We become less and less comfortable with speaking about our feelings, thus becoming unable to love and trust, and we end retreating to our shell.
If you want to help yourself, start by challenging your negative views. Even though it’s difficult, you have to find the courage to trust people around you – knowing, of course, that the possibility of betrayal exists. But what if the people you are going to trust they would not betray you and there are more than you ever expected, wouldn’t be a gift for the rest of your life? The bottom line here is to recognize that being lonely is about having faith in people again. I am not saying that you have to be careless and trust everybody. I am saying that you are capable of recognizing who’s good and who isn’t. And if you find that diamond in the rough, give them a chance.
Last but not least, try to remember how you cope with failure in this fast track environment. When you feel that you haven’t achieved enough, when the thought that you are not clever, attractive, capable or skillful enough arises, especially when it’s because of something that’s not in your hand, banish them from your mind. First of all, it’s important to focus on things that you can control. Even though you gave your best at something, it might go wrong due to factors beyond you. Secondly, accept the situation; you are bruised but still alive and well, so try again. Redirect your energy to new and more fulfilling things.
Next time you suffer from emotional bruises, remember to react as if you’ve been physically hurt. Seek immediate help and treat them well because by treating these battle scars, you can heal more quickly and minimize their negative impact on your life.