Not long ago, I experienced emotional pain that was so great I had a really hard time dealing with it. My younger brother died suddenly in an accident.
For those who have experienced a sudden loss in their lives, you may remember the actual physical pain that engulfed specific parts of your body. At that time it was my heart that hurt the worst. It physically hurt - like I thought I was having a heart attack.
I had never experienced emotional pain of this magnitude before. I felt as though there were cement blocks attached to my feet and a cloud of fog over my brain as I experienced the initial emotions of shock, disbelief, anger, and grief in those first weeks. And I hurt both physically and emotionally. Look below for the recipe I used to help with the emotional pain I was feeling.
Even now, as I write this, I feel tightness and pain in my chest. It is still pretty raw.
So, why does emotional pain physically hurt? Did you know that both physical pain and emotional pain activate the same areas in the brain? The anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex, to be specific (parts of the limbic region).
Pain felt from emotions is just as real as pain felt from bodily injury. It can also be located in a specific area of the body. We all know that when we are sad, we move slower, our bodies just don’t have the same energy that they have when we are feeling excited, our legs and arms drag.
We all feel strong emotions - both positive and negative - hundreds of times in our life and we feel those emotions in different areas of our body. All emotions are a part of life’s experience and there is no good or bad in feeling emotion.
Take a moment and think of a strong emotion you felt recently and pay attention to where in your body you feel it. Most people feel specific emotions in the same general areas of the body.
When we feel emotion, we have a choice to either express it or hold it in. We can express it positively or negatively. Or we can hold it and channel it for good, or stuff it which blocks energy and causes chronic pain. Sometimes the emotion itself is so great, it causes immediate pain.
In the example of grief, crying or weeping is actually a positive expression. It is actually good to cry. Emotional tears release stress hormones such as adenocorticotropic hormone and prolactin, also painkiller leucine enkephalin, as well as manganese. Releasing these from your body leaves you feeling better.
Getting support and love from family and friends helps us feel safe to express our emotions and helps us release them in a positive way. I am so grateful for those who were supportive when I needed them. Prayer helps us express to God those things that we don’t feel comfortable expressing to others. His unconditional love is such a comfort.
I have also found relief through this Emotional Pain Blend of pure essential oils. We know that essential oils have a great effect on the emotional parts of the brain (limbic region). I used this recipe quite a lot for a few months.
I mixed up a big bottle with the ratios below and applied it to my forehead and neck and rubbed it between my hands to inhale. This helped me calm down when I couldn’t do it on my own. It also helped reduce the physical pain I was feeling because of the emotional pain.
Emotional Pain Blend:
10 drops Idaho Blue Spruce
5 drops Idaho Grand Fir
5 drops Sacred Frankincense
Add dilution 50:50
To those suffering emotional pain, I feel you. I know how much it hurts. Turn to God, turn to your family and friends. It’s not only ok, it’s beneficial to cry and release the emotions through tears. I hope and pray you find relief as you go through the hard times in life that we all have. May God bless you with comfort.
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