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Tools for Emotional Pain

Tools for Emotional Pain

The first step in converting emotions is to take responsibility for what you are feeling. This is the start of expressing, releasing, and sharing the pain.

This exercise will require about 10 minutes of quiet time in a place where you are not likely to be disturbed. Begin by meditating for a few moments.

With your eyes closed, recall some event or situation in the past that was very upsetting to you. It may have been an argument, or some time when your feelings were hurt, or some random encounter that made you angry. Once you’ve settled on an upsetting situation, try to recall as many details about it as possible. Create a mental movie of exactly what happened.

The first step to dealing with the pain of this situation is to identify exactly what you are feeling. What word best describes how you feel because of this event or situation? Try to come up with a single word that encompasses as many of the feelings as possible, your best description. Now, focus on that word for a few seconds.

Let your attention gradually shift from that word to your body. What physical sensations are you feeling as a result of reliving that emotion? Every emotion has both mental and physical aspects that cannot be separated. Our feelings occur both in our minds and in our bodies at the same instant. Feel the sensations that this incident you are thinking about has created. Have your hands automatically clenched into fists? Do you feel a tightening of your stomach? A pain in your gut? Notice the physical experience of the emotion, and localize it to a specific spot on your body.

The next step is to express the feeling. Place your hand on the part of your body where you sense that the feeling is located. Out loud, say, “It hurts here.” If there is more than one location for the pain, touch each place and repeat the phrase, “It hurts here.”

For every emotional hurt, we have the power within us to make the pain disappear. Our reactions to external events localize in our bodies. We create emotions, which create physical pain. When we understand that simple fact, we can learn to change the way we respond to outside events. We can choose the way we react to incidents in the world.

Once the pain has been located and acknowledged, and after you’ve taken responsibility for it, you can release the pain. Place your attention on the part of your body where you are holding the pain. With ever exhalation of breath, have the intention of releasing that tension that you are holding. For half a minute, focus on releasing tension and pain with every breath. Let it go. Breathe it out.

The next step is to share the pain. Imagine that you could speak to the person who was involved in the incident that you have recalled for this exercise. What would you say to that person? As you consider this, remember that the person was not the true cause of your pain. You had the emotional reaction that manifested in physical pain.

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Exercises, Spirit, , , , , ,

Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2003).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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29 comments

+ add your own
11:51AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

thank you so much

2:20AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Thanks - that is a very valuable exercise in taking responsibility for our own pain.

There's nothing wrong in pointing out to the 'pain-inflicter' the impact of her words or actions.

1:14PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

it really works thank you!!!

11:53AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

Thank you.

7:31AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

Sending a healing colour to the painful area is also effective, whatever colour feels right at the time. Also visualising a sheild over that same area may help to ward it off in future.

5:02AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

great article, thanks for sharing

6:08PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

interesting thanks

2:41AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a wonderful tool...give it a try.

10:24PM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

All so necessary to help us heal, so we can move on and fill our lives with bliss!

10:12PM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

I have been saying, my whole body feels sad, it's physical, for so long. This is the first time
someone else has validated that emotions have all-body and mind ramifications.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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