Emotional Health Solutions
Emotional Health Solutions
Increase Well-Being with EMDR and Behavioral Therapies
by Shawniel Chamanlal
All people desire happiness, fulfillment and success and would like to be seen as strong, independent and stable. This drive can lead to constant comparison, competition, high standards and unrealistic expectations, thereby increasing the risk of depression, anxiety and distress.
We experience a lot of emotions, from feeling happy, love, joy and satisfied, to other times feeling anger, resentment and inadequacy. When we categorize our emotions as bad, it can lead to suppressing negative feelings and experiences, which then affects our overall well-being. When we acknowledge these emotions as human traits that everyone—including the most successful—experiences, we can release the pressures and unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves. Learning to accept our imperfections and view our challenges as growth opportunities provides us the choice to change course when things are no longer working for us.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), people who are emotionally balanced are more likely to work toward their goals, find solutions to their problems and form deeper connections. This does not mean these people are always happy, but they understand how to deal with their emotions, whether positive or negative. They handle whatever condition life throws at them.
The goal is not to allow our emotions to control us, but for us to face them and deal with the cause instead of suppressing the feelings. By suppressing our emotions, we may have temporary relief, but this creates internal resistance with time. Internal resistance means the ability to justify that we are okay despite the warning signs in our bodies or overwhelming emotions. To some, this resistance can appear as panic attacks, depression, anxiety, pain and other mental or physical disorders. Our emotions want to be heard and tended to, not ignored.
According to Inna Segal, author of The Secret Language of Your Body, “Emotions do not disappear simply because we don’t feel them or we suppress them.” Rather, they often stay in the body until they are recognized and dealt with. Acknowledging our sources of emotional pain creates more profound healing. Caring for our own emotional wounds should be treated with the same care and compassion as we would give to a loved one.
Emotions can be a good sign of unresolved trauma, unmet needs or lack of balance in our lives. If we do not acknowledge the sources of our pains, we may create deeper wounds. This entails identifying and being brave enough to open our Pandora’s boxes, being real with ourselves to learn the origins of our guilt and shame, and understanding why it’s so difficult to focus on our needs or why we are so scared to be alone in our thoughts.
According to Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A., “Feelings can be our teachers. The more we understand them, the better we understand ourselves, which is essential to self-discovery and personal growth.”
This self-discovery and healing will take patience and courage. People with good emotional health can admit when something is wrong. Reaching out for help takes much courage. The courage to speak out when we are not okay—asking for help despite the fear of vulnerability or rejection—is brave. It is vital to seek help from people whom we can trust, those who show the willingness to help and those who are supportive.
Recognizing when our problems need the assistance of a trained professional is crucial. Working with a mental health professional can create a safe space to explore and address emotional wounds and deal with current stress.
One notable treatment is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which helps to tackle physical and emotional symptoms that result from unprocessed traumatic memories. These memories can trigger emotional and physical responses in the form of intense emotions, physical pain or negative thoughts and beliefs. EMDR helps patients to learn ways to regulate their emotions, deal with stress and assist the brain in reprocessing negative memories more functionally. It helps patients realize that they are no longer in danger and gives them the tools to feel confident in future situations.
Other forms of treatment include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectal Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Therapy, which allow for deeper understanding of how our thoughts, feelings and actions are all interconnected. These therapies also help teach individuals the skills to deal with irrational thoughts and intense feelings as well as in learning radical acceptance.
Whether a person takes a conventional approach to treatment or seeks alternative healing therapies, the most important thing is to work with a trained professional who will support the individual and create a safe medium to explore these challenges without judgment. Find a professional who will help each person learn to practice self-compassion and self-acceptance.
Shawniel Chamanlal is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and EMDR therapist who specializes in helping women to become their truest, most authentic selves, getting to the heart of the matter and moving beyond limiting beliefs. Utilizing her advanced training in EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, energy healing and mindfulness, she treats anxiety, depression, traumas and relationship issues in a nonjudgmental and safe space. Connect with her at 860-385-1472 or WilcoxWellness.com.