Everyone knows that if you have a physical injury, you should administer first aid. But what do we tend to do when we have an emotional laceration? Too often, we do the emotional equivalent of pouring lemon juice into an open wound. This approach is detrimental to our mental health – how could it not be?
We tell ourselves we’re stupid. We isolate ourselves into further loneliness. We do the very things that deepen our despair, like making stories (never in our favor) about why our friend didn’t wish us a happy birthday. And too often, negative behaviors can follow. Binge eating, self-harm, and substance abuse most certainly don’t arise from an atmosphere of self-compassion and putting the smackdown on our inner critic.
Psychologist Guy Winch proposes a form of emotional hygiene, which, like physical hygiene, exists to prevent future complications.
Here is an interview with Guy Winch, from National Public Radio’s TED Radio Hour.
Here is Guy Winch’s TED Talk.
Head Bandage image courtesy of cbenjasuwan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net