How to Free Yourself of Pain and Negativity
In a previous blog post, I talked about going towards pain in order to get rid of it. This week I wanted to elaborate on that and share my thoughts on turning a negative into a positive. Our challenges, fears, insecurities and anxiety all cause us some pain and we often view these things in a negative way because we don’t like how they make us feel. I’ve learnt that the pain we feel won’t go away unless we change our attitude about it and rather than running away from it, we need to go towards it in order to let it go. I’m going to share some ways to get you started if you are wanting to let go of negativity in your life or inner pain that you have been holding onto. I’m not suggesting you have to do this right now, you can always deal with pain when it arises, but running away from it when it comes up, will only prolong it and bottle it up for it to possibly come up in the future.
You are perfect just the way you are
Firstly, I just want say that you are more than enough and you are never broken, weak or flawed. Nobody is perfect in every single way, and we should never aim to be perfect because there’s no such thing. We can only be the best person we can be and that is what we are right now. You’re probably thinking well, there are things you want to work on and be better at, but I’m talking about accepting your whole self, your nature and your challenges. For me, I’m naturally a quiet and an introverted person. I used to look at these traits of mine as things I didn’t want to be and felt a constant need to change myself into a more confident and outgoing person. That isn’t me though, and it was only last year that I realised how hard I was on myself when it came to embracing my quiet nature. Now that I have fully embraced who I am, I don’t feel any need to change. Whatever you may feel insecure about or maybe something you find challenging, like anxiety, try and look at it differently and acknowledge it as it is. We can be insecure about things that other people wouldn’t even notice, or maybe those traits are the very thing that make you, you, that people love. Don’t ever try to change yourself for anyone. If people don’t accept you for you, they are not worth being in your life.
Acknowledge and feel it
When the feelings of pain come up or challenges arise, acknowledge its presence and allow yourself to feel it. You won’t get absorbed in these feelings forever, and understand that they are separate from you. All you have to do is step back and just watch it and feel all the feelings for what they are, with no judgement. Once you have sat in the pain, you will start to think that you don’t want to feel like this any longer. What we normally do is distract ourselves and avoid dealing with the pain, for it then to just be pushed to the side, out of our current view. This might get rid of the feeling temporarily, but it’s most likely going to arise again in the future. When we acknowledge pain for what it is, and allow ourselves to feel it, just like any other emotion or feeling, we know it’s not going to hurt us, unless we let it. We would never avoid feeling happy, so why avoid feeling pain. It’s just a feeling that will pass.
Change your attitude
We don’t have to be afraid of feeling pain. Again, it’s just a feeling that will pass, and when we really understand that it’s ok to feel the low emotions in life, sad, angry, anxious, depressed etc., we begin to embrace them and view them as opportunities to learn and grow. A great book I have read called “First, we make the beast beautiful” by Sarah Wilson, taught me to embrace my anxiety, and look at it as a strength, rather than a weakness. Having anxiety doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you that you need to fix. For some, it’s just part of who they are. Sarah talks about the great things anxiety can do for us, where she believes ‘it helps to see anxiety as having a meta-purpose beyond the arbitrary of our little souls. Pain is lessened when there is a point to it.’ She also writes about how New York Times best seller and former addict Glennon Doyle Melton describes her conditions – anxiety, depression, addiction as not just things that nearly killed her, but are also her superpowers. Another New York best seller Daniel Smith also realised the importance of his anxiety saying, ‘To be anxious wasn’t shameful, it was a high calling. It was to be … more receptive to the true nature of things than everyone else. It was to be the person who saw with sharper eyes and felt with more active skin.’ These perspectives on anxiety empowers me and when I started to change my attitude into a positive towards not only my anxiety by the whole situation I was in with the depersonalisation, everything became easier and my happiness was coming back. You have a choice to view individual moments with interest and positivity. As challenging as things are, our happiness really depends on how we respond, and when we decide to see the beauty in our struggles, life can be a lot less stressful and whole lot more meaningful.
Breathe and let it go
When changing our attitude/perspective on the pain we feel, we have to process some things and let them go. We can do this by just allowing the pain to pass through us. Don’t resist it. Witness it, feel it and then let it go. This is easier said than done, but the more you do this when pain arises, you will learn that in order to free ourselves from things that bother us, we need to deal with it and let it go. Once you let it go, it’s gone and it will never bother you again! Everything I have felt within the past year, all came to the surface for me to deal with. It was so intense, I couldn't avoid it. I had to feel depressed and pain and to learn to let it go, in order to free myself of anxiety that had been holding me back. I am so grateful for this experience because it has set me up with a positive and strong mindset that will enable me to handle anything that comes my way.
Whatever you are finding stressful or negative in your life at the moment, stop and look at it differently. Turn it into an opportunity to grow and learn. Learning to see the meaning and the light that comes from dark experiences has made me a more positive person. I no longer fear pain, sadness, loss and other low emotions because I understand they are all part of life that we will all experience. It’s definitely hard at first when it hits you all at once, but through experiencing the lows, I know how to handle pain and truly appreciate them, as they have taught me to treasure the highs and love the hell out of every moment I have. Look at pain as something that raises you up, rather than bringing you down. If you have your own techniques to deal with negativity or inner pain, drop me a comment below. I would love to hear from you!
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