Life has its inevitable ups and downs—and one of those downs is experiencing emotional hurts. Some roll off our backs like water on a duck—like when an acquaintance won’t return our calls or a colleague or supervisor snubs us.
Others are more difficult to shake off. Growing up in an abusive environment, being in an abusive relationship, or having been betrayed by someone you trusted and depended on can prompt deep emotional pain that stays with you for weeks, months or even years.
Such trauma threatens our emotional stability and can shatter our assumptions about the world, making us to believe that it’s not as safe as we once thought. It can affect the quality of our relationships, our capacity for happiness, our emotional stability and perspective, and our overall physical and emotional wellbeing.
Here are five tips to help you let go:
1. Remind yourself that feeling sad, betrayed, angry and hurt are healthy responses to emotional trauma.
2. Be patient with yourself. Like any physical injury, emotional trauma takes time to heal.
3. Give yourself time off from feeling bad. Hang out with friends, read a book, take a walk, or watch a movie. If a particular person contributed to your emotional pain, take time off from seeing him or her, as well.
4. Letting go is a mourning process. If someone close to you caused your emotional hurt, it’s natural to mourn the loss of that relationship.
5. Talk to a professional who makes you feel safe and understood. Unresolved traumas make you more vulnerable to future hurts, so taking the time to resolve them should be a priority.