Pain is inevitable in life. The emotional pain you are dealing with right now can feel overwhelming. You might feel like life is against you, unfair or like you just can’t push through the pain today. The obstacles may keep piling on but you realize you have a long road ahead to walk and don’t see how you will ever get to your destination.
Your pain can be a blessing in disguise. The mistakes you have made could be preparing you for something great. Your struggles are an opportunity for you to grow and change. Below are some ways you can allow your emotional pain to change you positively.
1. Pain can propel you to move forward. Feeling stressed, anxious and upset by something in your life is often a huge indicator that something needs to change right now. Making great changes in our lives doesn’t typically happen when everything is going well, comfortable and easy. Sure, you might mentally want to change something in your life, but it might be harder to move forward when overall you feel okay. When you feel pain about something, you have no choice but to either move forward or be overwhelmed by your feelings. You make the choice to either let these negative feelings own your life, or take actions to try to make things better. I know that this pain hurts so much, but it might be time to listen to your feelings and do something different. Apply for other jobs if you feel your job is a source of depression and stress in your life. Go to therapy if you feel you are battling with depression or anxiety. Make new friends if you feel like your support network isn’t supportive and overall is not reliable or there for you. If you are in a situation where you truly feel stuck, then use this time to learn something different, work hard and make yourself figure out where your path should take you next.
2. Pain is part of the journey. No matter what your goal is for this year, the next few years or for your life, there will be struggles. Remember that going out and achieving your dreams is amazing but the road to get there will have accomplishments and struggles. There will be days where learning something is very tough, you want to give up, feel like a failure and keep repeatedly making mistakes. Yet, these struggles are helping you get one step closer to your next accomplishment. There will be moments in your life when you make horrible mistakes. You gave up too early, jumped on board too late, or didn’t take an opportunity. That’s okay. You will be okay. Making these types of mistakes happens to everybody. You will make a horrible mistake but those mistakes don’t have to define you or have anything to do with how your life ultimately turns out. Learn from your mistakes and realize that this is part of your journey. Even though you are in pain right now, this is one part of your life journey that you must accept.
3. The best things in life involve pain. One of the reasons that pain is necessary in life is because it allows us to appreciate, identify and figure out the things that we love and bring happiness in our lives. Pain allows us to push forward and create a life that we are proud of. Imagine if life was painless and easy. Imagine if nothing bad ever happened to you. Would you still have the same motivation to work hard and achieve your dreams? Would you settle in your relationships or go out and find your tribe? When you are trying to make a better life for yourself, pain is always going to be part of the equation. Many people must go through a heartbreak to find true love. Most people must fail at something before they can figure out that successful business idea or creative new idea that transforms the project they are working on. Remember that if you are searching for something wonderful in life, whether that’s a great career, a soulmate or your passion, you will encounter pain along the way.
4. You learn how to manage and cope with your pain. You can never avoid pain. However, you can learn how to cope with your pain. In the past, I used to allow myself to feel such misery and despair when I felt emotional pain. Life seemed bleak and depressing and I allowed those feelings to control much of my life for far too long. When I learned to cope with my pain, I had much more effective ways to take control and not allow the pain to make life harder than it needed to be. I went to a therapist. I learned to exercise when I felt severe anxiety and am overwhelmed with sadness. I allowed myself small luxuries to pamper myself and remind myself that taking care of me should always be a priority. You will have your own unique ways to manage your pain. Some people might need to take medication, spend more quality time with their loved ones, get alone time to be in their own thoughts or write regularly in a journal. Whatever your method, pain allows you to cope with life stressors. Throughout life you will encounter obstacles, and some will be more painful than others, but as you learn to cope with pain, it will be easier to deal with pain in the future and not allow it to control your life.
5. You accept that you can’t control many things but there are things you can control. Life will throw you unexpected obstacles that you cannot control for or even prepare for! You can spend your whole life trying to prepare to avoid an obstacle, but sometimes life throws you an unpleasant surprise. Even though you cannot control many things in your life, you can control how you respond to the struggles in your life. Instead of being angry and upset by things outside your control, allow yourself to accept what happens and move forward in a healthy way. If you make a mistake, you accept that you made an error, and you keep taking steps forward. When you made a bad choice, you accept that you didn’t make the best choice and you figure out how to move forward from this point.
6. Pain teaches you critical lessons about what to avoid. Emotional pain is often telling you that something is very off in a situation. Pain is teaching you something, particularly when it comes to your career, relationships and how you spend much of your time. If you are in a relationship or dating someone who typically makes you feel pain, in the form of insecurity, stress, depression, anxiety and so forth, then listen to your pain. It’s teaching you a lesson, a lesson that you deserve better than poor treatment from a partner. The same goes for your family and friendships. Spending time around people who make you feel pain on a consistent basis is damaging to your health. In some cases, you don’t have to cut people completely out of your life, but you do need to recognize that something needs to change in your relationships or you need to limit your time with these people. The same goes for your career and how you spend most of your time. If you feel pain from browsing social media, then this pain is telling you something. Instead of giving into those feelings, take a break or quit social media. Pain is teaching you a crucial lesson about what you need to avoid in the future to prevent this situation from happening again.
7. Seek closure to help ease your pain. You might have been involved in a situation where you have regrets, guilt, bitterness and anger towards yourself or at another person. Even though you are in pain right now, you might be hesitant to let go of the pain. Maybe you feel weak by allowing yourself to move forward from a situation. Or maybe you feel like you are not ready or will never be ready to move on from what happened. Regardless, of what has happened in your life, you can move forward and moving forward will be one of the best decisions you can make right now. Find closure by genuinely apologizing to the people you have hurt. You can get closure by accepting the situation and forgiving yourself or another for what happened. When you consciously choose to let go of the pain in your life, you open your heart and soul to something other than the pain weighing on you.
Remember that there is a purpose to everything, including the emotional pain you are going through. Take control and move forward through the pain.