Emotional First Aid and ways to practice it


We all are definitely very familiar with the term, “first aid” that was taught to us in schools. This first aid was essential for our physical well-being. But, back then, there was another form of first aid that perhaps our schools and academic institutions failed to teach. That is, “Emotional First Aid”. Something that is equally necessary for our mental well-being.

As humans, not only physical but emotional injury also requires immediate attention. Although we have bandages for cuts, chicken soup for colds, and ice packs for bruises, most of us have no idea how to treat day-to-day emotional injuries such as failures, loss, rejection, grief, etc.

According to experts, many people can treat their psychological conditions just by practicing emotional first aid. Physical first aid helps in stabilizing the condition and prevents further damage. Likewise, emotional first aid is the idea that we take care of emotional injuries when they occur, so they do not become more damaging in the long run.

Well, similar to physical first aid, we can perform emotional first aid in a few steps. First is by being able to identify our pain. Just like how we may examine ourselves after a fall, we can start examining ourselves after an emotional breakdown. This compels us to extend compassion to ourselves and be gentle with our inner selves. We need to avoid beating ourselves up for things that are not in our control. Further, we also need to avoid the germination of our emotional pain. The idea behind this is if we cannot laugh over the same joke again and again then, crying over the same pain, again and again, doesn’t make any sense either!

Redefining our failures is also a crucial part of emotional first aid. Our mistakes do not define us. Rather they help us learn and shape our future. Finding meaning in loss also helps in overcoming emotional breakdown. We can look for things that will do us well even in the worst of the situation. Every dark cloud has its own silver lining! All we need to do is look at it.

SheWriter Anujaa Navaratnaa is a Gender Affirmative Counseling Psychologist, and Transformation Coach, and Mentor.

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