Time does not heal wounds, it is you who heals yourself over time

Time does not heal wounds, it is you who heals yourself over time

A popular proverb says that "time heals wounds," that sometimes you just have to let time pass, holding on stoically day after day, for the wounds to heal on their own. But this belief can convey a misconception: that we don't need to do anything and the wounds will heal on their own.

In reality this is not the case. Or at least not entirely.

If we do nothing, if we do not learn from this situation, the wound is likely to close superficially and at the slightest touch it will reopen. So, often, when we think we have already overcome a problem and we can finally move on, the pain returns, as intense as the first day.

Emotional wounds also need treatment

When we get a physical injury, we know we have to disinfect it to cure it. However, we believe emotional wounds need less treatment and heal on their own. But is not so. The wounds of the soul also deserve attention.

In reality, the only thing that time does is allow us to immerse ourselves in the daily routine, it plunges us into the worries and responsibilities of everyday life, so that in our mind we put aside loss, failure or failure. suffered problem. But that doesn't mean the wound will heal.

In this regard, a study conducted at Harvard University is particularly illuminating. These neuroscientists asked people who had suffered trauma to hear a description of what had happened to them while their brains were being analyzed.

Thus it was discovered that reliving painful experiences activated certain areas of the brain, in particular the amygdala, which is the core of fear, and the visual cortex. At the same time, the deactivation of Broca's area, the brain area responsible for language, was produced.

This means that when people experience a trauma, if they do not transform it into a narrative experience (it means being able to accept what happened and find a place in the autobiographical memory), it will return to being experienced as if it were a real situation and, therefore , it will continue to cause pain.

Therefore, even if in some cases it may be appropriate to resume the daily routine to take some psychological distance from the problem, in other cases the best way to deal with the painful situation is to take a break and look for new horizons that allow us to reflect on what it happened, find meaning in it and move on, seriously.

Healing hurts, but the pain helps to grow

When we put disinfectant on a recent wound it burns and hurts. But we are aware that we must suffer a little to avoid greater evils. Nonetheless, we normally prefer to avoid focusing too much on emotional wounds because we think that if we ignore them, they will heal on their own.

However, there are wounds that need special care. And this means:

- Don't repress emotions by pretending they don't exist. Instead, we need to be aware of what we feel and try to understand why we feel this way. Giving yourself the freedom to express what you feel has enormous cathartic power. Also, repressing emotions doesn't make them go away.

- Accept what happened, however difficult it may be. Although in many situations, especially when loss or failure occurs, our first reaction is denial, it is important to get through this phase as soon as possible, because denying what happened will prevent us from healing. This means that instead of looking the other way, it is necessary to concentrate on what happened, to assimilate it.

- Stop looking for the meaning and learn the lesson. In life, misfortunes can happen to us that seem unfair to us, to which we are unable to give meaning. So instead of insisting on asking why, something that keeps us in a dead end, we can ask ourselves what this experience teaches us, how it can help us to be stronger.

How to know when a wound has healed?

The answer is very simple: when you can talk or think about what happened without suffering. This does not mean that in these moments you will not feel emotions such as sadness and nostalgia, but these will no longer hurt you, because they will be wrapped in a veil of gratitude.


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