Pain, whether physical or emotional, is the body and minds way of making us turn inwards and focus on something important - to connect with ourselves, to realise something needs our attention and to eventually accept and make the changes needed to heal.

When we look at emotional pain, such as the break-up of a relationship or the loss of a friend, this process is sometimes incredibly long and - in parts - completely devastating but, however we deal with each of the different stages of emotional pain, eventually most of us get to an endpoint one way or another.

Pain is natural. Pain is normal. Pain is actually essential and the quicker we learn to embrace our emotions and give ourselves permission to feel, the shorter the process becomes.

Connecting with ourselves and focussing inwards makes our minds feel safe and comfortable, this is a valuable part of the healing process as it gives us time to really focus on the issue and start to consider what it is - exactly - we need to move forward. However, if we are not careful we can get too comfortable, start to wallow and stall the process of healing.

What’s more, for one reason or another, many of us have been brought up to hide or suppress our negative emotions on the fear of being seen to be weak. We’ve been told to ‘toughen up’ or ‘snap out of it’ and often this leads to us attempting to hide our emotions even from ourselves. For example, after a tough breakup it is normal to drink, binge eat or rebound etc. This is simply a protection strategy we have learnt to keep our minds occupied so we don’t have to move through the grieving process in the proper fashion.

So, how can we speed up the process and come out stronger, happier and more emotionally balanced than ever before?

Well, we have to start by realising that pain isn’t bad. It’s not the elephant in the room which needs to be ignored, or worse, covered over in an attempt to deny it even exists. It is the very thing which will save us from stalling in extended periods of hurt and which has the potential to propel us forward into self-awareness, healing and ultimately, change.

We need to realise that when we feel pain, this is our mind giving us the opportunity for self development, to make new decisions freely and to fill the void with a greater purpose. A purpose simply for us, with no influences. Once we can understand that pain is simply us communicating to ourselves the need for change, then we can move forward to a new life, one designed solely for us.

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Jenni Donato

Jenni is an Award-Winning Mindset Coach & Business Strategist, host of the 'Mindset & Method' Podcast and founder of Altitude - a 6-month immersive coaching experience with 30 business growth experts.