A very difficult question to answer is ‘What is the best or ideal state of the human mind?’ This question is very difficult to answer because many of us have become so adapted to living with fear, anxiety, and insecurities that we do not even realize that we can be happier in our lives. We claim to be happy, but we are not so happy. To put it another way, we live with emotional pains, but do not realize that they constitute much stress and unhappiness in our lives.
Although, we may be able to confidently mention some of the emotional pains we feel, which include low self-esteem, depression, despair, frustration, anxiety, fear, guilt, and emotional insecurity, we many times live with them without realizing how adversely they are affecting our lives. We only worry about them when they make us feel sick; when we are not as cheerful as we want to be.
A best way to measure the power (or intensity) of an emotional pain is to measure its adverse effect on our level of concentration on things we consider absolutely important in our lives. For example, your disinterest in academic activities, physical exercise, and social activities, and the degree to which you are disinterested in them are indications of the presence of emotional pains. Emotional pains are also many times responsible for our overindulgence in exciting activities, such as prolonged social networking, alcoholism, gambling, video game addiction, and so on.
Common causes of emotional pains include
Pain caused by rejection
Naturally, we want to be accepted, respected, and valued by other people. The proofs are all over the social networking sites: Facebook, Instagram, and so on. People post attractive photos of themselves and anticipate positive feedback. When you tell them they look good, they feel very happy. However, when you make a negative remark about them, this could ruin their mood for the rest of the day.
We also know this is true when we are snubbed, venomously criticized, ridiculed, and ignored. These experiences make us feel unwanted and inadequate, which consequently lower our spirit. Our self-esteem suffers, and we begin to question our self-worth.
You may feel rejected because your opinion in a group discussion is not valued, no one comments on your Facebook posts, you try to make an impression but no one seems to take notice, or your friends stop returning your calls. Rejection can make you unhappy, timid, and angry with yourself. In addition, it can also make you angry with others and with the world in general.
Pain caused by loss
A natural force that accompanies existence is the desire to value something or someone. A person who does not value something or someone is either dead or does not exist; to live without valuing is to live a most excruciating life. Perhaps, what you value is your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, your job, your life goals, your feelings of superiority, your lover, your pet, or all these combined. Losing what you value very much certainly burns the human soul. Your ability to concentrate effectively becomes instantly incapacitated. You may begin to feel sick, and may at this point, be highly vulnerable to illnesses.
Pain caused by failure
We all want a better life, more recognition, more approval, and more respect, all of which can be gotten if we succeed in valued courses. Getting good grades will enhance your chances of getting a high-paying job, which will consequently fetch you some approval and recognition from society. Failure, however, makes you feel weak and incompetent, and is culturally associated with shame and deficiency.
There’s no way you can feel good about failing at something. Competence is valued in human societies, and incompetence is strongly reprimanded. Failing, therefore, has a way of making us feel incompetent and insignificant. And if it has to do with getting better jobs later on, it makes us feel insecure. The feeling of having failed before can also have a strong adverse effect on your self-efficacy and self-confidence. It is this feeling of failure that gives rise to the self-doubt you experience when you want to start something new, learn how to drive a car, give a public speech, or sit for an examination. Past failures, therefore, have the power of causing a morbid fear of failure (or negative expectations).
Pain caused by guilt
When you are to blame for the pain in another person’s life, or their loss, it is easy to experience guilt feelings; guilt lowers your spirit. However, the positive benefit of guilt is realization of wrong (regret) with the desire to change for the better. A person who is regretful and willing to make things right, therefore deserves another chance. We are humans and we sometimes make bad choices because we are misguided and ignorant. But we can also become enlightened and better-behaved in time, if we are given the chance, and those should be two of our goals in life.
I know it is easy to say that emotional pains can be completely eliminated and phased out of our lives, but the truth is that no one can eliminate the emotional pains they feel; we can only manage these pains. You will certainly be hurt if you get a bad grade, lose a loved one, or get ridiculed by your peers. Hurting is good, but it should be brief and mild. Hurting deeply and for a longer time is bad for you. Bad things happen (although, we can control some things, we cannot control all things), and regardless of their occurrences, we should have a big purpose we strive to fulfil in our lives. If you do not have a great goal in sight, such that you consider it to be a determinant of your existence in this world, you may never be able to shield yourself from the undesirable effects of emotional pains.