You Have To Feel To Heal

How You Can Relieve Yourself Of Emotional Distress Now

March 15, 2016 | By Dr Fleur Appleby-Deen

Look at the people around you. What are they thinking? How are they feeling? Are they concerned about as many issues as you are? Do they have trouble sleeping at night because they can’t get their minds to rest?

Every single person in the world deals with emotional distress, anxiety and fear of, well, everything! Many of us have what I describe as a pot that is brimming with painful emotions that we work very hard to try to suppress. No wonder we are all exhausted! 

Today, we are told through various media that we need to be true to ourselves and not bottle up our emotions; but unfortunately we are human, and it’s a lot harder than it seems to live your true self. 

So let it out. Have a good cry. Repeat. (Men out there, don’t be afraid to cry too!) Recovery from a burnout usually signals a personal transformation – give yourself space and time to grieve, release old, negative thoughts, and get to know your own emotional landscape.

Most people focus on the following areas when they are feeling anxious or lost. Read on to learn how you can take control of your emotions, beat anxiety and fear, and live your best self:

Feel Fear

How do you comfort yourself when you are fearful? Fear is part of human biology so you can’t get rid of it completely, but for those of us dealing with a burnout, fear can become the dominant feeling. This forces your body into stress response mode (sympathetic nervous system activation), and IT becomes difficult to begin the healing process. Do you comfort yourself as you would a frightened child? Or bully yourself a little more?

Compassion is a key ingredient for human beings to feel happy and fulfilled. We are wired to care about others and feel empathy, so cultivating compassion for yourself is so important to living the best version of you – treat yourself with tender love and care. This doesn’t make you weak!

Feel Spiritual

What is the point of your life? Now I know this is no easy question, but it is important to create your personal answer to this question or you may feel trapped in a sense of unease that will stress your mind and body.

Feel Active 

It is essential to have some kind of active spirituality practice in life. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, human beings are wired to respond positively to spiritual activities, including prayer and meditation, spending time in nature, gathering in a supportive community, reflecting on why you are here and what is meaningful for you. 

Feel Purpose

The spiritual part of your life is what helps many people with burnout find purpose and perspective. For me it helped me connect with my inner knowing, the part of me that exists beyond the physical senses. When I started to trust my inner knowing more than the rubbish that the media fed me, life started to get way more fun.

Let Go Of Addictions

Do you constantly live with a sense that there is a hole in your life? Something that you may try to fill up with work, success, money, TV, shopping, alcohol, drugs, worry, sex and relationships?

Temporary fixes only harm us further and make it harder for us to deal with the real issues stirring up inside. That hole can only be filled up by going inwards and experiencing your inner world – who you are behind the story of who you think you are.  

Allow that little light inside of you to shine bright when you are feeling anxious or fearful. Remember, you are not alone – many have transitioned through burnout and found lives that are infinitely richer, more rewarding and successful. It’s a tough journey but you will get through it. It’s all going to be ok.

Read the personal story of Dr Fleur's own experience with burnout and recovery here.