How Emotional Could Hurt More Than Physical Pain
We tend to monitor our physical health more than our emotional health. For instance, we get physical health check-ups regularly, but the idea of getting a mental check-up is foreign to most of us. We tend to be more proactive in dealing with physical injuries than emotional injuries.
However, did you know that emotional pain hurts more than physical pain? That’s right. Pain caused by emotional distress such as rejection, loneliness, guilt, failure etc., is more deeply felt and cause longer-lasting damage to your health and quality of life than that caused by physical injuries. In extreme cases, it may even make you question if your life is worth living.
Here’s how emotional pain could hurt you more than physical pain:
Emotional Pain Damages Your Long-Term Mental Health And Self-Esteem
Physical pain has to be very extreme and traumatic to affect your personality or psychological health. Most of the time, you’ll forget your physical pain as soon as you’re healed. However, just one episode of emotional pain is enough to cause substantial damage to your emotional health.
For example, a critical boss is likely to make you feel like you’re not good enough for any job, damaging your self-esteem for many years to come. Similarly, bullying during your childhood can make you grow up into an introverted and shy adult. And if you were rejected by someone you love, that single painful experience can lead to several years of lack of trust in people, avoidance, and loneliness.
Emotional pain can very often times leave very painful reminders…
Emotional Pain Leave More Reminders Than Physical Pain
Unlike physical pain, emotional pain leaves several triggers, associations, and reminders that reactivate the pain whenever you encounter a similar or related situation. For example, if you get a call that your parent has died while enjoying a romantic lobster meal with your girlfriend or boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, you’re likely to take several years before you can enjoy Valentine’s Day or lobster without getting extremely sad.
However, if you accidentally break your leg while playing football; you’re likely to resume playing as soon as you’re healed fully. Recalling how you broke your leg may hurt, but not as much as receiving news of your parent’s death.
Emotional Pain Can Lead to Self-Destruction
When we happen to see a stranger being hit by a car, we’re likely to scream and run to find out if they’re okay. But, this doesn’t always when someone is being bullied across the street. This underestimation of emotional pain, often causes people to engage in self-destructing activities such as drug abuse, self-cutting, careless sex encounters, suicide etc, when they can no longer bottle up their painful experiences. However, it’s very rare to find someone choosing to destroy his life because of physical pain.
Emotional Pain Can Lead to Numerous Health Problems
While reflecting on a past painful incident can enable you to find closure, brooding over it will only make you angrier and increase your stress levels. And as you may already know, emotional stress contribute to a series of health problems including increased blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, chronic inflammation, lowered immune function, altered brain chemistry and more.
All these reasons point to one important lesson: you and I should start giving our emotional health just as much attention and care (if not more) as we do to our physical health.
There has been research indicating that emotional pain is worse than physical pain…
New Research Indicates That Emotional Pain Is Worst Than Physical Pain
New brain scanning technologies are revealing that the part of the brain that processes physical pain also deals with emotional pain. And in the same way that in some people injury can cause long-lasting chronic pain, science now reveals why some will never get over such heartbreak.
Emotional pain can take many forms; a relationship break-up or social exclusion, for example.
But it does not get any more extreme than losing a loved one. Physical pain warns us not to do something, walk on a broken ankle for instance. And emotional pain too can be a warning – “don’t go near that sort of man again”, “avoid women like her”.
But sometimes-physical pain can become chronic, long outlasting its original purpose, and emotional pain is the same. But in some cases according to this study, emotional pain is deeper felt and lasts a lot longer too, consider this, the conclusion is that emotional pain is worst.
In a finding that calls into question the old saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, psychologists used four experiments to discover how people get over emotional or physical pain.
In their paper “When Hurt Will Not Heal: Exploring the Capacity to Relive Social and Physical Pain”, the authors propose recent discoveries suggesting social or emotional pain is as real and intense as physical pain.
The researchers asked participants to relive their past painful experiences by writing in detail what had happened and how they had felt.
In the first two studies, students were asked to relive both emotional and physical pain, answering a series of questions and then recalling in detail an experience of physical injury, or an experience of betrayal by a person who was close to them, or both…