Opening Up for Healing

March 15, 2021

Louis Tay

Pain, grief, and trauma in life are inevitable – yet, it can at times feel relentless far after the experience.

How do we find healing from our pain?

Psychologist James Pennebaker tried to figure this out in his research. He began by examining how different types of trauma – abuse, assault, losing a spouse – were related to later health problems. He initially thought that the type of trauma could be related to the severity of future health problems. However, it was not the case.

Rather, one of the biggest determinants was what people did after they experienced their trauma. Those who self-disclosed with their friends, counselors, or support groups were more likely to experience greater healing. Specifically, they were less likely affected by future health problems than those who did not open up.

How are you dealing with your own experiences of pain

I encourage you to find a trusted individual who can lend a listening ear. Indeed, this is not a promise of full relief. But - you may find some closure. Or perhaps uncover a glimmer of growth through this process. Or experience more profound compassion for those who have been in the same boat.

Life can be challenging – but many fellow travelers are willing to share the load and bring some comfort.

As Maya Angelou, an American Poet and Civil Rights activist, said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Find someone to share your difficulty and pain with today.

Be well,

Dr. Louis Tay

Tay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. He has expertise in well-being, assessments, and data science.  Be sure to check back each week for another wellness tip of the week!

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