How to practice emotional first aid - Guy Winch
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One of the reasons it is so important to be aware of these kinds of ‘unofficial’ emotional injures is we have a finite amount of emotional and intellectual resources – a limited amount of brainpower – and emotional distress takes up a big chunk of it leaving us left with which to focus, concentrate on our schoolwork or projects or hobbies. For example, in one experiment, participants were asked to image being lonely in the future for a few minutes. That brief thought experiment caused drops in intellectual functioning and even in IQ scores. By applying emotional first aid we can not only soothe emotional pain, we can free up intellectual and emotional resources.
Emotional distress is not the enemy though, it is a part of life and it can provide important information. For example, feelings of guilt can alert us we might need to take action to resolve an issue with a friend or apologize to a relative, thereby helping preserve and maintain our relationships. So emotional distress and negative feelings do have their use as long as we do not get stuck in dark places or paralysis for too long.
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