What Is Emotional Pain?
Take a moment, recollect the first time you rubbed your knee, now recollect the first time you felt heartbreak. Which memory was more clear? For most people, it would be the last. Feelings of an offensive nature, which have caused us distress in the past appear to the mind more clearly than mild physical afflictions.
Despite this, we manage to monitor our physical or bodily health far more than we take our mental or social-emotional health. For example, we understand that if a small physical injury like a cut becomes painful over time it is a symptom of a more serious infection. But if failing to be a part of a certain social group at school is still emotionally painful following several weeks, we do not realize that it may cause depression.
When our requirement for emotional closeness goes unmet, emotional pain can result.
Emotional Pain & Its Impact On Thinking and Learning
Emotion is essential in education- it drives attention, which in turn drives learning & memory. Learning needs thinking. Our thoughts influence how we feel. Hence, how we feel influences how we think or learn.
Negative emotions can both be the cause or consequence of problems with learning. Anxiety, anger, sadness, or frustration can stop with learning which causes a maladaptive, self-defeating model of behaviour, further preventing learning & stunting mental/emotional growth.
Research proves that happiness has a positive impact on learning, memory, plus behaviour. When we are happy, we ought a ‘clear mind’ and it’s simple for us to focus our attention on the task at hand we also learn, but while we are upset ‘we can’t think straight , our attention is focused on that emotional pain, leaving the smallest room in our brain for concentrating or learning.
Positive emotions such as contentment, acceptance, joy, trust, plus satisfaction can improve learning, conversely, continued emotional distress or pain can hurt our learning abilities. Brain imaging studies reveal that the area for emotions plus memory in the brain is the same, making it much difficult to recollect information while we are frustrated, irritated, anxious, or sad.
When ‘unmanaged emotions’ take over they convert toxic to our well-being plus colour our world in shades of black & gray. It is difficult to manage our lives until we can handle these negative pain-causing emotions.
Managing Emotional Pain at Home and School
Being able to recognize, express & manage a broad range of emotions in themselves also serves children’s mental health and wellbeing. Parents can help children learn regarding feelings and how to manage them efficiently, by doing the following:
- Be a role model for your child – explain to them that having difficult feelings is part of daily life and show them how to deal with them
- Try to know the meaning behind your child’s behaviour also respond accordingly
- Make talking to your child regarding feelings a normal part of all day, life by reinforcing the message, “it’s ok to hold a range of emotions both positive also negative”. You can do this by identifying feelings in yourself and others & encouraging your child to do the same
- Encourage your child to display his or her emotions in healthy ways, such as talking regarding sad feelings or saying why they may be feeling angry plus helping them to become calm
- Explicitly teach your child to show themselves in an aggressive manner as opposed to an offensive manner when faced with a negative emotion
Teachers can help children dealing with emotional pain & ensure a safe learning environment by following periodically on the following questions:
- Does every child of the class feel comfortable sharing their feelings in my class or with me?
- Does every child of the class feel they can make mistakes and also they wouldn’t be shamed?
- Are they bold enough to take risks that will stimulate their learning?
- Have I built a culture of mutual respect so that these children support any other in their learning?
EVERY CHILD Requires A CHAMPION” and this is even further true for a child dealing with emotional pain. Let’s strive to become these CHAMPIONS by creating significant & safe learning environments, starting with establishing significant relationships with children whose lives we touch.