How can I deal with hurt?
Psychologist Shane Martin suggests 10 tips that can help you move on.
- Acknowledge the hurt you’re feeling. Don’t put a lid on your emotions. We all have a right to our feelings. They need a voice.
- Embrace yourself with compassion, realising that during hurtful periods you need to ‘mind’ yourself not hammer yourself. Don’t make the hurt worse by blaming it on yourself. Don’t turn it inwards.
- Reach out to others for support and soak up whatever companionship and support that is offered. It is wonderful to have people around that care about you.
- If you feel you need to make a decision as a consequence of the hurtful experience – press the ‘pause’ button first. Seek advice and talk it through with others. Often the wrong decisions are made solely because they were made at the wrong times.
- Remind yourself that you have an innate capacity to heal and move on. We eventually look back on all crises. Healing needs work, and patience is key to its success.
- You have the right to the best possible life no matter what has happened or what might happen. It’s your precious life and you only live it once. Don’t let the past throw a shadow on the rest of your life.
- Sometime we park ourselves for too long in our hurtful circumstances. Over-analysis and constant recall only prolong hurt. Distraction can be helpful. Try hard to allow yourself to forget about things for a time.
- Remind yourself that you do not have exclusive rights to hurt. We all experience disappointment and sadness in our lives.
- Hurt has a physiological dimension. It affects our ‘insides’. Our body needs to calm itself down. Meditation is very effective and helps us heal.
- Focus on this day and all that is right about NOW. Be still and listen to the sounds of the world. Let the beauty around you reach into your heart. There is therapy in the breeze, in the songs of the birds, in the sounds of the gushing river, in the aroma of cut grass and in the colours of our world.
Remember, if you feel lost or engulfed in hurt, it might be advisable to talk it through with a psychologist or therapist. Everyone can learn strategies to manage hurt and protect our health.
Shane Martin is a psychologist and his ‘Moodwatchers’ psychology course has been delivered at community venues across Ireland. Visit www.moodwatchers.com for more information.
This article has appeared in a previous version of Sláinte.