Why Physical Injury Heals Faster Than Emotional Pain

Good afternoon, everyone! I am late in getting my post out and I am competing with construction workers not 4 feet away from my computer. 🙂 I am getting a new window frame constructed and bay window replaced. The old one was leaking and dry-rotted. But, enough about me.

Yesterday, I spoke about emotional pain and how when we don’t address it, it festers, like an infected wound. Today, there was a search term for how physical pain heals faster than emotional pain, and that is what I’d like to address.

I believe that verbal onslaught is more difficult to heal from than a physical injury because the negative words or feelings get embedded in our psyche, in our soul. They, I have heard, get embedded in our very cells, and if we do not work to rid ourselves of our emotional pain, or at least allow orselves time to heal from it, it just stays there and cotinues to negatively impact our psyche.

Physical injury, on the other hand, heals more quickly as blood is brought to the injured area. With that blood comes oxygen and nutrients, and those help the area to heal. With our emotional pain, on the other hand, it sits and festers unless brought to light.

Unfortunately, it is frequently, if not always, painful to look at our hurting emotions and because of this, we avoid looking at it. We numb it with substances like alcohol or drugs, or engage in compulsive behaviors like cleaning, shopping, or gambling. We avoid looking at it at all costs. The thing is, the cost is high because it affects our ability to be truly happy and at peace.

To look at our emotional pain, I recommended yesterday writing, journaling, with your non-dominat hand. Printing is easier than writing script and that’s what I did. And, it worked miracles. Do not be surprised or dismayed if you find yourself crying or even sobbing when you start journaling. This is natural and is the body’s way of cleansing the soul. At least, that’s what I believe is happening.

Engaging in modalities like massage and deep tissue therapy helps to loosen the stuck feelings from our tissues, our cells, and this speeds up the healing process. It is wise to drink lots of water after undergoing massage, or even writing and releasing your emotions, as that further cleanses the cells.

I also believe emotional pain is harder to heal because we think over and over about things, often obsessing about them. That’s the fuel that feeds anger and resentment, keeping us from being happy and peaceful. And that’s what I specialize in… helping people past anger and resentment to find forgiveness.

So, I hope this article gives you some further idea of why emotional pain takes longer to heal than physical injury. Furthermore, I hope the suggestion of journaling with your non-dominat hand is one you will try. If you do and see some results, leave us a message about what that was like for you.



Must There be Emotional Pain Before it Heals?

Good morning to each of you. May your day be filled with gentleness and peace. The query that got my attention today was “must there be emotional pain before it heals?” This tugged at my heart, and so, I’d like to speak to this question today.

It has been my experience, and the experience of many I have heard talk about emotional pain, that there is pain first from the wound that needs to heal, and then, pain is followed by the healing.

Think of a wound that you get and how it heals. If it gets infected, the wound cannot heal. And, if a scab does form, there is an infection that festers beneath the scab.

This is true of our emotional pain, our emotional wounds. If we gloss over them or shove them away before looking at them, they fester below the surface, showing up in, perhaps, violent ways, but always showing up somehow. Maybe the pain manifests as physical symptoms such as heart disease or heart attack – even cancer – or maybe as irritable behavior.

We can look at these as signals of a deeper issue – one of buried emotional pain. If you think about it, we all suffer wounds to our psyche, inflicted unconsciously usually, but sometimes intentionally. The effect on us is hurt feelings. What do we do with the resultant feelings, with our emotional pain? We stuff them or lash out.

There is an altenative. That alternative is to quietly and gently clean out the wound. We do this by looking at it, feeling the hurt that was inflicted. We may be angry, yet stop and realize that beneath anger is often hurt, so we would be wise to look more closely at the hurt, the emotional pain.

How do we do this, you may ask? Well, I have found the most effective way to clear out emotional pain is to write about it through journaling. Furthermore, deep feelings will arise if we journal, print, with our non-dominant hand. For example, I am right-handed, and in early sobriety I injured that hand, and it was very painful to write with my right hand.

So, I taught myself to print with my left hand. All sorts of deep emotional pains came forth… literally flowed out onto the page. It is this which I recommend for you to do when you have emotional pain, when you have wounds you need to examine.

Additionally, have someone you trust that you can speak to about your pain. If your emotional pain is extensive, a therapist or counselor is usually preferred over a friend or family member because the friend or family member will get exhausted hearing about your feelings. Be aware of this, be considerate of them, and seek help from an outside person.

By writing and then talking about your emotional pain, you will see some transformations occur. You will see the festering of wounds decrease until they are healed.

Tell us, did you try the journaling with your non-dominant hand? If you did, what was the effect? Leave a comment and let us know what that was like for you.


Spaces of Courage

We have talked about emotions – facing and feeling them. It takes spaces of courage to face the demons those emotions present. We have also talked about belief in a power greater than ourselves that can help us dispel those demons. I would like to share the verse that accompanies the image for courage, as it speaks to both issues.

Spaces of Courage

Spaces of Courage

“We all hold feelings, of hurt, disappointment, grief and despair deep within from which we desperately seek relief. We repress it, drink it away, or turn to another to make it right.

“Perhaps, rather than cast the paiin out of our heart or give it to another, it would be better to find the courage to touch that oh-so-vulnerable spot, to hold the pain tenderly, gently… with great compassion.

“If we find the courage to invite in a sacred force to embrace those deep wounds with us, perhaps we will be graced with the ability to befriend our pain and then, to heal.”

This verse was written verbatim when I was traveling in Baja in 2002. I was driving along, sobbing over an unrequited love, and pulled off to the side of the road to write this down. Years later, in 2005, I discovered this church and its gate. The words fit perfectly with the image.

In those intervening years, I had gained the courage to face my emotions, the deep and horrible hurt that I experienced. And although they didn’t resolve right away, I asked for help from the powers of the Universe to help me get through the hurt. Eventually, I was healed from the hurts and was able to move forward. That took courage, which I got from that power greater than me.

We can find the courage to examine our inner-most emotional pain by asking for help from the Universe, God, or whatever we call the power greater than us. In this example, that power led me through the healing needed to cleanse my heart of the wounds it housed.

They say courage is moving forward in the face of fear. I have found that to be true in sobriety. In those situations where I am fearful and move forward anyway, I always ask for and receive help from my higher power. The result of finding the courage to face my emotions has paid off big time, as I have healed most all of my wounds at a deep level, leaving feelings of joy and peace.

You, too, can find the courage to face your emotional wounds and heal from them, rather than repressing your emotions, drinking them away, or turning to another to make them right. Try following what is described in the verse above, and see if it helps. I wish you well in that endeavor.

Tomorrow I welcome guest blogger Stan Stewart, who will present a two-part blog about humility, the next topic in the book. Please join me in welcoming Stan!