Is there anybody in there?

Just nod if you can hear me.

Is there anyone at home?
— Pink Floyd

Millions of feelings and emotions arise on any given day. They are like waves in the ocean, they never stop rolling to shore. Throughout life we learn to navigate these waters, but sometimes in life you get hit by a tsunami of emotions. It feels like you were casually walking along the shore and out of nowhere got pulled beneath the water and dragged across the ocean floor. When you finally float back up to the surface; just thankful to still be alive, feel your heart beating, still able to move, to breathe, and go about what appears to be ordinary life you can’t label and interpret every molecule of water that nearly drowned you; you are just left comfortably numb. Living, but simultaneously lifeless.

Emotional pain is as real and debilitating as physical pain or injury. Ask anyone has grieved a loved one, mourned the loss of a spouse or a child, or suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. What happens deep within can have ripple effects on every layer and system of the body unless we allow ourselves to heal appropriately.

Just as we must each find a way of eating and exercising that fits our needs, goals, and lifestyle we must all come up with our own toolbox for emotional healing. My intention is to share a few of my tools with you to try the next time you find yourself swept up in the emotional waters. Take what serves you and continue to search for whatever else you need on your journey.

  1. Nature:

    Nature is like a shock absorber. Living things such as plants, trees, insects, birds, and animals give life back to those who are feeling depleted. Retreating to the forest to walk amongst the trees can bring comfort to the soul and revitalize the body. Studies show that emotional pain and grief can impair the nervous system and cognitive function.

    Trees let off emit phytoncides to protect themselves from fungus and insects. Those phytoncides provide natural aromatherapy and come with health benefits. When you inhale the phytoncides, it triggers NK cells, specialized white blood cells that improve immune function.

2. Meditation:

Through meditation you can stop the thinking mind and allow your body and mind to recalibrate. Studies show 8 weeks of a consistent meditation practice can decrease the fear center of the brain and increase emotional regulation.

3. Journaling:

You may not be able to express your feelings to someone else fully, but you can find closure by expressing to yourself on paper. As Hemingway once said, “write hard and clear about what hurts.”

Pain can be a catalyst for a masterpiece.

4. Help yourself by helping someone else:

Heal your pain by being there for someone else experiencing a similar pain. Even think of the advice you would give to someone else and then offer that same advice to yourself.

This human life experience isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park all the time. We walk this earth to learn about our soul, the soul’s of others, and the earth itself. We came to live fully and heal fully, and therefore are fully capable of doing so.