Healing is the new self-care. This component of personal development focuses on freeing oneself from negative experiences and trauma. With the hostile climate of racism, sexism, and general discrimination, women need more ways to protect themselves from the harsh reality. Natalie Watson-Singleton, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Spelman College, did a study of 158 adult Black women, that showed that those who agreed with the Strong Black Women schema experience psychological distress. (Journal of Black Psychology, Vol. 43, No. 8, 2017).
Having ways to move past the painful events in one’s life is crucial to well-being. Thus, the concept of healing is plastered throughout social media. Leaving the proper way of healing to be misconstrued. Some popularized self-healing techniques offer temporary fixes and lead women to avoid emotional wounds instead of healing from them. Improper healing may delay those uncomfortable feelings, only to leave you to be triggered by someone or something that brings painful memories.
If you’ve been on the journey of understanding your emotions, reducing negative energy in your life, and want to live a joy-filled life, being healed is the key to unlocking your happiness potential. Let’s look at the process of healing and the five signs that demonstrate you have healed or are on the path of healing.
What is emotional healing?
Emotional healing is the process that comes after a moment or a period when you’ve experienced strong emotions, intense emotional pain, or trauma. It requires that you acknowledge the emotional moment in your life and move to a place of processing and accepting the painful moment.
Whether emotional healing is done through therapy, mindfulness, or simply practicing self-compassion, it’s important to remember that moving past any type of emotional discomfort takes time.
Like a physical wound, simply bandaging a cut will temporarily stop the bleeding. Taking time off, having a girl’s night out, can temporarily ease the emotional pain. But under the bandage, the wound will still bleed unless your body closes it by healing. If you haven’t truly healed from your past traumas and pain, your emotional wounds will bleed into the areas of your life that make you happy. It’s important to know what healing truly involves and how to apply those techniques to your life.
What does emotional healing look like?
As mentioned before emotional healing is a process. Here are some ways to better understand if you’re on the path of healing or if you’ve been distracting yourself.
Feeling your emotions: Emotional healing doesn’t mean your heart turns to stone. You don’t feel any emotions. Nor does it mean that you are happy all the time and nothing can bring you down. Instead, you can feel your emotions in their entirety and not be controlled by them.
You feel better in your body: Have you ever wondered why you’ve experienced odd aches and pains in your neck, hips, or back? Maybe you’ve associated it with a bad night of sleep or just growing old. However, those aches and pains can be associated with the emotional trauma that has been stored in the body. Think back to a stressful moment in your life. Naturally, you might feel your shoulders tense up as if someone punched you.
This is because your body has a physical reaction to stress. Your body will often release cortisol to activate your body’s fight or flight mode. With constant exposure to violence in the media, the fight or flight response can be triggered more than often. Leading our bodies to collect and store tension and stress we haven’t processed. Feeling good in your body can be a sign that you’ve released some of that pent-up tension.
You can accept help from others: The strong Black woman or the independent women persona can affect how open women are to asking and accepting help. There is a misconception that asking for help can make someone appear weak or inexperienced.
You’ve forgiven yourself: We all know that everyone makes mistakes. However, we tend to treat our mistakes as a fifty-pound weight we need to carry everywhere. Instead, let that weight down by forgiving yourself. Allowing what happened in the past to stay in the past and move forward through forgiveness and self-compassion. Knowing that holding on to the past will do nothing for your future.
You’re not so easily triggered: Being triggered means having an emotional reaction to a tragic event. Types of triggers include internal triggers, which means an internal function causes an emotional response. For example, a fast heart rate might trigger a memory of running away from something harmful. External triggers can come from outside forces such as a movie, a song, certain types of conversations, even places. Triggers can take time to overcome through proper healing, you can learn to adjust, adapt and respond to them instead of re-experiencing a tragic event.
Emotional healing can be uncomfortable and liberating. However, it can be a necessary process that aid in better physical health, leading a less stressful life, and overall happiness.
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Kiersten is a freelance writer and coach. As a writer, she has written for Travel Noire, Passion Passport, BAUCE mag, and various travel and lifestyle blogs. As a writer, her goal is to write content that inspires others to take action. As a coach, her goal is to empower women to be their most authentic selves. In her free time, you can find her dancing to any song any where.