As humans, we often show favouritism to the body over the mind. We expect others and even
ourselves to simply “get over” psychological pain such as grief, loss and trauma but these
pains should be treated with the same diligence that we used to care for our bodies.
According to clinical psychologist Guy Winch, here are seven steps we can take to practice
emotional first aid:
1. Pay attention to emotional pain — recognize it when it happens and work to treat it
before it feels all-encompassing.
2. Redirect your gut reaction when you fail – learn to ignore the post-failure “gut”
reaction of feeling helpless and demoralized and make a list of factors that you can
control were you to try again.
3. Monitor and protect your self-esteem – when you feel like putting yourself down, take
a moment to be compassionate to yourself.
4. When negative thoughts are taking over, disrupt them with positive distraction.
5. Find meaning in loss.
6. Don’t let excessive guilt linger.
7. Learn what treatments for emotional wounds work for you.
Practicing emotional hygiene may seem foreign initially but this daily practice will soon
allow you to reboot your emotional health.