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Emotional Pain Journaling

Many people are under the impression that pain is always bad. Pain is often a warning sign that change is necessary. Your pain is telling you that you need to act on something.

Typically, symptoms of emotion pain are: increase in anxiety (increased heart rate or palpitations, excessive worry, shortness of breath, increase motor activity); frequent crying spells; inappropriate emotional reactions (laughing at something sad, crying when something is funny); anger or irritability; low tolerance; negativism; forgetfulness; lack of ability to concentrate/stay focused; feelings of guilt or shame; and heightened response (may startle easily, feel on edge).

It is important to identify the emotional pain that you are feeling and ways in which they are surfacing. By doing so, you will feel more of a sense of control over your emotions and eventually, the situation.

Once you have identified your pain, the next step is to identify the source. There is often more than one source of emotional pain. A good way to identify you’re your source of pain is through journaling. Keeping a journal of daily activities and feelings can really benefit in trying to identify your source of pain.

Journaling is also very therapeutic in and of itself because it helps objectify feelings. We can also track our pain and determine if there is any pattern or recurrent situations. It is very surprising to see how many people do not realize how much they really have to go through on a daily basis until they begin to journal. Then you become to understand why you feel the way you do, you also may stop being so hard on yourself for feeling the way you do when you see on paper what you have to through.

Once you have identified the pain and the source of the pain, the next step is to make the appropriate changes to the source of your pain. There are some things that cannot be changed, for instance, say you have a child who has a disability, this cannot be changed, but you can change how you feel about the situation.

Often, acceptance of a situation that you cannot change is huge in decreasing emotional pain. For those things that you can control, (such as job issues, relationship issues, lifestyle habits) develop a plan of action and stick to it. Always remember to reward yourself for little accomplishments along the way.

What may begin as a feeling of pain may actually end in a moment of change.