Living Your Best Life: What Is Inner Pain?
Inner pain is psychological pain. It is mental or emotional pain, an unpleasant feeling about something intangible. Because it’s such an abstract concept, many people find it easier to ignore their intense, fluctuating sense of unease. Unfortunately, ignoring unpleasant thoughts and feelings doesn’t make them go away. In fact, suppressing them only increases the risk of irrational thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Edwin S, Schneidman, an expert in suicidology, has defined inner or psychological pain as “how much you hurt as a human being. It is mental suffering; mental torment.”
Here are a few things you can do if you’re feeling helpless about a problem, feeling guilty about a past incident, or feeling like a failure in life.
How to Stop Feeling Helpless
Many life circumstances can plunge us into feeling helpless or hopeless. Two examples are substance addictions and clinical depression.
If you have a strong addiction to a mood-altering substance like drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication, then will-power is not enough to help you break free. You need to ask for professional help in your local area. If, say, you live in Tampa, Florida, then look up Tampa FL addiction counseling centers. Most of these facilities offers outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and community housing.
If you have clinical depression, then you should see a therapist. Again, this is not something you can heal on your own. You need someone to help give you a different perspective on how life works. There are many researched methods to ease the symptoms of clinical depression, including some ingenious novel solutions like brain training.
How to Cope With Chronic Feelings of Guilt
Guilt has a poisonous effect on the psyche, and it triggers other negative emotions in its wake, like feelings of rejection, anxiety, depression, loss, and loneliness.
Guilt occurs because we seek a strong connection with others. So when we have harmed another person, we often seek atonement by punishing ourselves through negative self-talk.
Besides feeling guilty because we have hurt someone’s feelings or injured them, we could also feel guilty for surviving a calamity like a war, a hurricane, a car accident, or a plane crash. We feel guilty because we escaped while others suffered or died.
A simple way of resolving guilt is to apologize to the other party. It’s also important to forgive yourself. It’s important because sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you apologize to the other party and they forgive you—you might still continue to berate yourself.
How to Deal with a Deep Sense of Failure
Sometimes it’s not what you did but what you didn’t do that makes you feel awful.
Fortunately, this is the easiest type of psychological pain to heal. You can get some perspective on what happened in the past by talking to others either directly or indirectly involved in the incident or event. For instance, if you had a business failure, you can talk to your previous business partners or your spouse to reflect on the causes. This will help you realize what mistakes you made and help you avoid making them the next time.
The interesting thing about failure is that it isn’t as absolute as you tend to believe. When you get a realistic perspective on why you failed, you can always try again or try something else.
Psychological pain, of course, is a complex, deep subject, but these three examples of what to do if you’re feeling helpless, afflicted with persistent guilt, or overwhelmed by a sense of failure will help you realize that it’s possible to heal with the right help and advice. When you feel conflicted about something, it’s easy to imagine that you can’t do anything about it. But a happier life is possible if you decide to ask for help to find a way to resolve your issues.