Emotional First Aid


I recently watched Guy Winch deliver a speech on Emotional First Aid. As soon as I heard his premise, I knew he was right: We don’t hesitate to put a bandage on a cut or a cast on a broken limb, yet we routinely fail to address the emotional wounds of life. In fact, most people spend more time taking care of their teeth than they do taking care of their souls. As a result, many of us go through life with festering, infected emotional wounds which inevitably lead to some serious consequences.

Here are the big five “wounds” he covers in his talk:

  1. Failure
  2. Brooding and Rumination
  3. Guilt
  4. Rejection
  5. Loneliness

And here are a few of the consequences of letting them go untreated:

  • Sickness
  • Stress
  • Addiction
  • Lowered productivity
  • Getting “stuck”
  • Less energy
  • Shorter lifespan

It was a great reminder that we can’t afford to ignore negative emotions. The cost of doing so is far greater than the cost of simply dealing with them.

Winch offers a few “first aid” suggestions, but to be honest, I found them rather lacking. Here’s what I’ve seen work in my own life when it comes to negative emotions: I go on a walk, breathe deeply, talk to God about what I’m feeling, get his perspective, remember my true identity, soak in his love and grace, and focus on moving forward. 

It’s not always a quick fix, but I have found it to be a solid foundation to build on.

What do you do when you get an emotional wound?







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