The Hidden Benefits to Emotional First Aid

What if you could feel less loneliness, rejection, and failure?

These are really tricky emotions because they convince you that their destructive narratives are true.

My friends don’t want to spend time with me.

There’s no way I’ll get that promotion.

Of course I gained weight. I’m a fat slob.

I’ll always be alone.

I’m such a screw-up.

Does any of that sound familiar?

If you broke your leg, what would you do? You wouldn’t try to walk it off and let it heal on its own. You would go to the hospital and get a cast on it.

But what happens when you have an emotional setback? What happens when you feel that loneliness, rejection, or failure? How do you treat something like that?

You treat it with emotional first aid.

When you have the thought patterns listed above, you need to H.A.L.T. and practice emotional first aid by asking yourself, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?”

Emotional first aid is just as important as physical first aid. The health effects of emotional pain can be just as serious. And like a broken leg, you can’t just “shake it off”.

As psychologist Guy Winch explains in his TED talk, loneliness causes high blood pressure, chronic depression, and it suppresses the immune system.

Left unchecked it can lead to poor psychological habits such as rumination, replaying a bad experience over and over. Without emotional first aid, you can be at risk for developing clinical depression, eating disorders, and even cardiovascular disease.

What’s 1 strategy you use for applying emotional first aid? Do you treat yourself to a special snack? Do you call a friend?

Watch the full TED Talk here: