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12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

The stages of emotional healing always depends on the individual.

More often than not, the healing process takes a long time and you go through a lot of emotional pain.

Emotional trauma can be caused by a long list of factors, and at this time, your mental health should be your biggest priority.

What you’re experiencing in this emotional state is a crisis.

A crisis is a turning point in your life where you have to rebuild yourself, even if it seems like it won’t go well.

I would love to tell you that not everyone goes through this, that there are people who are safe from going through crises, but I would be lying to you.

There isn’t a person out there who hasn’t gone through a crisis at least once in their life.

Sometimes it’s hard to reach out to people, especially our loved ones, because we don’t want to burden them with our traumatic experiences. 

Somehow, everyone believes that we’re not worthy enough to ask for or to receive help.

Our life experiences make it very hard for us to even ask for help even when we need it desperately.

At this point in time, you will go through different stages of emotional healing.

Whether you’re going through a divorce or heartbreak, with any kind of painful emotions, you will go through these stages of healing.

Everyone has this desire to just be done with it. Do you know what I mean? To just make the pain and the hurt go away, but it takes so much time.

The stages of emotional healing

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

Depends on whom you’re asking, people will tell you that there are five to ten stages of emotional healing.

Everyone goes through these different experiences and some can pinpoint when they went from one stage to another.

To other people, at the time, the lines between these stages are very blurred.

They don’t know when they’re moving from one stage to the next and they don’t know when or how they’ve healed their emotional wounds. 

When you’re trying to heal emotionally, it’s always easier to go to a professional because they can help you navigate through your emotions and heal faster.

Of course, there are different approaches to therapy and everyone goes through different things.

However, it can help you get through these stages much more easily.

You don’t need to fight your battles on your own.

There is always someone out there who will be able to help you, but a professional really is the best option.

You don’t have to go through these stages by yourself.

A therapist might help you understand where your emotions are coming from and how you can deal with them.

Your well-being really should be your biggest priority.

Let’s start by defining all the stages of emotional healing, so you can better understand your emotional experience.

1. Denial

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

The denial stage is the first stage of emotional healing. Denial is a normal human defense mechanism in times of stress. 

You find yourself denying that you’re not doing OK. This is the stage where you say that there’s nothing wrong, that you’re doing just fine.

You might even say things like, “That didn’t happen to me!” which means that you don’t accept the reality of the situation on a deeper level.

Even if you do know that something is wrong, you’re denying the actual cause of the emotions you’re experiencing.

In this stage, you can’t determine the exact emotions that you’re feeling, because it’s all very confusing for you.

2. Grief

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

The pain of loss can feel overwhelming and that’s the second stage of emotional healing.

We don’t always grieve the loss of someone unless they’ve died, but it can be seen as a metaphor. 

You’re experiencing grief after losing someone who was extremely important to you.

As stated before, the reason might be a divorce, a breakup, or anything else that has caused you emotional stress.

This stage will present itself no matter how much you rationalize the issue.

You’ve lost someone who was extremely important to you and this is the emotional response you have.

It doesn’t matter whether you say that you didn’t love him that much anyway or that he was bad for you, you will still experience grief. 

What you need to realize in this stage is that there are no negative emotions. Emotions exist as responses to stimuli around us.

When you’re sad or angry, you’re not experiencing something negative.

Please know it’s simply your emotional reaction to the things that are happening around you.

It’s especially important to realize this fact before you move on to any of the next stages.

Our responses to certain emotions can be bad, but emotions in themselves are not. 

There is no way you can skip any of the stages of emotional healing, so you may as well be aware of this right now.

3. Anger

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

Anger is the stage where you start to become more aware of the things that have happened to you.

Your annoyance can be directed at yourself, your ex-partner, or the entire situation you have found yourself in. 

Yes, you’ll blame yourself and it can be shown in outbursts of angry crying and talking down to yourself.

You may call yourself all these different degrading names because you’ll be mad at yourself for being in this situation.

The anger will also be directed at your ex. You’ll wonder how someone can be that heartless, think that he was never right for you, and so on.

These emotions will continue for quite some time. You’ll feel so angry at the entire world.

However, some of us haven’t learned how to express our anger at all.

Perhaps you’re one of those people who cry when they’re angry, simply because you don’t know how to process this emotion very well.

This is another reason to visit a therapist. It’s really the best option, as they can help you go through these stages of emotional healing much more easily.

They will teach you how to express these emotions properly without hurting yourself or anyone around you.

4. Confrontation

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

Either after you have calmed down from your anger or even during the previous stage, you’ll move on to the fourth stage, which is confrontation.

You’ll want to confront the person who’s causing you so much pain and suffering.

This is the stage where you’ll allow yourself to believe that there is a way to get rid of all these emotions that are making you feel so bad.

You may even be willing to go back to your ex.

Either way, in this stage of emotional healing, you just want to be done with this emotional roller coaster.

It may also include a very aggressive confrontation with yourself.

You may try to come up with reasons for your behavior and confront yourself about what went wrong.

5. Bargaining

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

In the bargaining stage, you’re putting yourself in a situation where you’re ready to negotiate for your wellness. 

What does this mean? You might want to try again, you’ll want him back just to end the pain.

A lot of people say that when they hit this stage of emotional healing, they went back to their ex saying things like: “I’m ready to forgive you if we go to therapy together,” or, “I’ll never hurt you again, just please come back.”

You’re desperate to get your partner back, just because you want the pain and the grief to end.

This is one of the scariest stages of emotional healing because you’re not thinking straight and it may lead you back into the arms of an abuser.

6. Depression

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

If you’ve made it to this next stage, then that means that you haven’t gone back to your ex and you haven’t restarted your relationship.

Even if it continues to hurt, this is the best outcome, but in the depression stage, you’ll experience grief and sadness in their ultimate forms.

Keep in mind that unfortunately, you will go through this.

In this stage, you experience all of your emotions at once, which pulls you into a depressive state. You’ll be curled up into yourself under a mountain of blankets.

If you find yourself in the depression stage, you’ll stop taking care of yourself and this is the lowest you’ll fall.

Your self-esteem will be at an all-time low and your emotional responses to anything will be extremely reduced because the only thing you’ll feel is sadness. 

In this stage, there won’t be any emotional processing, as rather than that, you’re just reliving everything in your mind and you need time for yourself.

The most important thing in this stage is to have someone around you to help you.

You’ll need someone to remind you to do basic tasks like eating or having a shower.

When you look at all the stages of emotional healing, this is probably the most severe one but the good thing about it is that it’s not the final stage, so it will get better.

7. Regulation

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

A lot of people talk about the regulation stage. There’s not much said about this, but we do go through it, even if we’re not aware of it.

This is when you’re trying to get yourself out of your depressive state.

You want to regulate your emotions because the overwhelming anxiety and sadness you feel are ruling your entire life.

In this stage, you’re trying to create a safe and calm environment in which you can heal.

This isn’t a coping mechanism, it’s just you trying to get yourself out of a very dark place.

When you find yourself in this stage, you may make or order the most delicious foods that make you happy.

You could redecorate your room, take a bubble bath or you might even start journaling. 

The depression is still there.

You might not be able to be as socially active as you were before or you still can’t say that you’re happy, but you’re getting there. 

You’re doing all of these things to calm your nervous system and it’s working (slowly but surely).

8. Reflection

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

Out of all the stages of emotional healing, this might be the most important one.

Instead of overthinking things, you make a mental list of the things that happened or you do physical things to express your emotions.

This is the stage where you might try to express yourself through art forms.

Even if you’re not really good at painting, drawing, dancing, or writing, they can still be used to help you.

This is when you are going to retell your emotional story and at some point, you’re even going to get tired of it. 

If you’re seeing a therapist to do this, they can include all of these activities as a part of the healing process.

It’s going to help you understand the emotions you’ve gone through, without putting you back into a depressive state.

You’ll be able to see things how they are.

When we experience emotional trauma, our brain can make us forget the most traumatic memories as a coping mechanism, to keep itself safe.

In this stage, you’ll be able to see things clearly.

9. Emptiness

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

You can’t compare emptiness to depression, simply because this emptiness isn’t a bad thing.

Think of this stage of emotional healing as having a clean slate that you’re now working with. You’re preparing yourself for new experiences.

In the previous stages, you released all the things that were keeping you from moving on and being happy.

In the ninth stage, you’re at your most vulnerable.

You’re finally in tune with your emotions and after not being able to properly express them, you might find yourself crying at the smallest things.

Even after crying, you’ll go back into this state of emptiness that will at times feel uncomfortable. However, it is very much needed.

This stage of emotional healing, like the others, is there to prepare you for new experiences and help you overcome your past.

10. Acceptance

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

The tenth stage may be reached within weeks, months, or even years. It really depends on the individual.

This is one of the stages of emotional healing that will present itself when you least expect it.

It’ll come to you like a moment of enlightenment. You’ll realize that you now accept your past and the way it turned out.

You’ll also accept yourself. This experience has made you wiser, stronger and a much better person.

Of course, we would all want to be able to avoid any type of suffering during our life, but the fact that it happened is just another lesson you’ve learned.

The stage of acceptance can be very painful in certain cases.

It can bring about a feeling of sadness once you realize that you’ve actually lost this person forever.

And it’s not just about losing your ex, but that you’ve also lost the version of yourself you were before this entire disaster happened.

You lost a lot and accepting it will be the only way to move on with your life.

11. Forgiveness

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

The next stage of emotional healing is the stage of forgiveness, but it sounds quite strange when you think about forgiving your ex.

During therapy, or when healing yourself, you’ll have to confront everything you went through in order to let go of all the emotional trauma.

You’ll have to forgive. You don’t have to forget the things that were done to you, and you don’t have to take him back if he tries to redeem himself.

No, this stage exists as a way to help you move on with your life.

Holding on to grudges is very exhausting, so in this stage, you’ll have to let go of them and forgive.

Forgive yourself for everything.

Forgive yourself for all the times you forgot your own worth, forgive yourself for all the things that have happened, and prepare yourself for a new life.

He doesn’t deserve to be a constant part of your thought process, that’s why you need to forgive him as well.

Forgive him for not knowing how to treat you right, forgive him for all the painful emotions.

You might wonder why you would ever do that but darling, you’re starting a new life now and you’re taking responsibility for yourself.

This is the moment when you should realize that you’ve learned a lot, that you’ve raised your standards, and that no one will ever be able to treat you so poorly.

12. Transformation

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

The final stage won’t be silent, you will feel it in every fiber of your body when you pay closer attention to it. 

You’ll transform all of your painful experiences and emotions into something new that will help you become the best version of yourself.

You’re finally transforming yourself from your PTSD and moving on with your life. 

This is your moment to shine and correct your past behavior.

The things you have learned during your healing process and what you’ve experienced will help you in your transformation.

You can imagine yourself as a caterpillar turning into a gorgeous butterfly.

You will be able to correct your negative emotional patterns.

Your transformation will take place and with all the new experiences that you will gather, your entire past will just be a huge lesson you had to learn.

Transformations like these don’t come easily to any of us, but you’ll make it there. Slowly but surely.

This is your moment to shine. As the final stage of emotional healing, it will make you shine the most.

Conclusion

DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

As stated earlier, the stages of emotional healing aren’t the same for everyone.

You might jump from stage one (which is denial) straight into a depressive state, simply because your trauma is too strong.

One pattern doesn’t suit everyone, but this is a very generalized list of the stages of emotional healing.

What you need to understand, though, is the fact that you will get through it, even if you’re still just in the first stage and you can’t see further than that.

You might be in an extremely bad place where you can’t do anything other than cry. But all of it will pass.

You need to validate your own emotional state, work through these things, and transform yourself into the best version of yourself.

Even if things seem undeniably bad right now, you’re not the only person in the world going through it. You’re not alone, even if you think that no one understands you.

Just please, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t throw in the towel because the pain in your chest is unbearable. 

You’ll get through this just like you have gone through a million other issues.

There is someone out there waiting for you.
DONE! 12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

Even if the person out there is just yourself, ready to start a completely new life, be aware of this. You’ll love yourself more than anyone ever has.

There will be times when you doubt that someone else will love you, but there’s someone waiting for all of us.

There’s someone out there who will love all of your scars and understand all of your emotional wounds.

Don’t think that you are less worthy simply because you need to go through these stages of emotional healing. My dear, you are healing!

Isn’t that fact in itself just beautiful? To know that you’re out there working on yourself and moving on from all the trauma that you’ve experienced?

All of these stages will be more obvious to you at the very end of the healing process, when you look back and reflect on everything that happened.

You’ll then be able to pinpoint each and every stage you went through, so don’t despair.

You’ll heal from all your negative emotional states and you’ll heal all of your emotional wounds. 

Even if they are invisible and they are the ones that hurt the most, you are strong enough to overcome them. Believe in yourself.

12 Stages Of Emotional Healing That Will Help You Move On

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