Unhappy adulthood is often a result of hurting childhood experiences. One of these hurting experiences is termed childhood emotional neglect. This form of neglect is done unintentionally for genuine reasons. Therefore, parents and caregivers may provide for a child’s basic needs and still neglect that child emotionally. However, in addition to its short-term effect comes unbearable scars of its long-term effects, that’s why many adults are still searching for how to overcome childhood emotional neglect mainly because the pain from childhood has refused to heal and is affecting another aspect of their lives most especially their relationship with their spouse and close associate.
What is Childhood Emotional Neglect?
Emotional neglect happens when parents and caregivers are uninterested or ignore a child’s emotional needs. What then are emotional needs? These are simply the feeling of being loved, knowing that someone cares about you, and is always there to encourage you even when you make mistakes.
Emotional neglect is made manifest whenever parents place high expectations on their kids, criticize them, or refuse to listen to them, or nag at them. Oftentimes, ignoring their sad looks, restricting their movement, or using insulting words while addressing them. Perhaps, not giving their kids support whenever they decide to pursue their discovered interest.
Unfortunately, as simple as it may appear it’s a parenting mistake that has destroyed the love bond between parents and their children.
What Are the Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect?
Emotional neglect might not have physical effects like other forms of abuse such as physical abuse and sexual abuse. However, its internal effects are as detrimental as a physical effect. This includes:
- Numbing One’s feeling
- Perfectionist attitude
- Easily get discouraged
- Prone to negative self-talk and thoughts patterns
- Low self-esteem
- Having the feeling of rejection
- Reliving in the past
- Indifference towards other person’s feelings
- Sad countenance
- Poor self-discipline
- People pleasers
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Having the feeling of shame and guilt
- Not trusting anyone.
- Poor communication
7 Ways You Can Overcome Childhood Emotional Neglect
1. To Overcome Emotional Neglect Forgive Those Who Caused You Pain
In order to learn how to overcome childhood emotional neglect, you would have to do things you promised never to do, like forgiving those who caused you pain in the past. However, You might think nobody understands how badly you were hurt either by your parents or caregiver but for your good you need to forgive them. Refusing to forgive hinders your healing process, worsen your condition, and fills your heart with negativity.
As a victim of emotional neglect, you need to realize that those who hurt you had good intentions for you but were carried out wrongly. Therefore, forgiving will bring relief and happiness to your soul.
2. Let Go Of Your Past
Oftentimes, people claim to have forgiven those who hurt them but somehow they are still caught in the web of reliving their past. They find it difficult to move on, they keep on reflecting on how their emotions were shattered in the past. However, no matter how difficult it seems to forget you certainly have to learn how to take your mind off it each time it arises.
It’s pivotal you realize that dwelling in the past hinders you from focusing on today’s activities and enjoying the beauty that comes from them. Therefore, become committed to whatever you are doing at the moment, leaving no room for flashbacks on past experiences.
3. Self—acceptance Helps You Overcome Emotional Neglect
You might feel rejected and worthless as a result of being abandoned emotionally while growing up. However, what matters most is how you see yourself now. Unfortunately, the way you treat yourself is directly proportional to the way others will treat you. If you look down on yourself others will do the same.
Similarly, if you don’t believe in yourself or say negative words about yourself, that’s exactly what others will do. Therefore, irrespective of what you’ve been through, accept, value, and love yourself for there is plenty of room for positive growth.
4. Learn How to Recognize and Control Your Emotions
Those who are victims of childhood emotional neglect are prone to exhibiting negative and destructive emotions. In contrast, you could always substitute those negative impulses with positive ones. In essence, whenever you feel angry about your past, instead of retaliating, give yourself space, take control and replace it with positive emotions. This will prevent you from hurting yourself or others around you.
However, the best way to derive positive emotions is by setting your mind on those things which make you happy. This includes your interest, an adventure you did in the past, a scene from a movie, or past awards and accolades among others. In addition, positive emotions enhance emotional intelligence.
5. To Overcome Emotional Neglect, Choose Your Friends Wisely
Despite how shattered your emotions may be, you could still learn how to overcome childhood emotional neglect by carefully selecting those you associate with. Those you call your friend can make your life better or worse through their words and actions. Perhaps, you still surround yourself with discouraging friends, those who make you feel less of yourself and criticize your big goal, you need to rethink and discard such friends. This is because they will continually tear down your emotions.
In contrast, reselect those you associate with. Make friends with those that accept you for who you’re, encourage you, and bring out the best in you.
This set of friends will help you live above your childhood emotional neglect and have a happy life.
6. To Trash Out Emotional Neglect Become Active
As you learn more on how to overcome childhood emotional neglect, avoid staying ideal, as it makes you vulnerable to self-pity as a result of what you suffered during your childhood days. Therefore, to move to a better life, get involved in doing them worthwhile. This may require you to get a job, learn a skill, engage in your hobbies, or go on adventures with positive friends.
The goal of this is to take your mind off your past hurts and make you see thousands of reasons to live life the good way. Furthermore, avoid being alone for days without reaching out to anyone. That’s why you need positive friends with whom you can share your daily struggles and achievements.
7. Undergo A Therapy Class
Perhaps, you’re still struggling at overcoming childhood emotional neglect then it’s about time you undergo therapy. Therapy classes are not just for the traumatized victim, but all forms of emotional issues. The work of the therapist is to help you heal faster from your past wounds by helping you fix your mind on the present—a form of meditation.
Furthermore, provide you with tips to relate with others better like teaching you the 7C’s of communication. In addition, a therapist is also that listening ear to whom you can pour out your heartfelt pains at any time. I assure you of healing after undergoing a therapy session.
It’s detrimental if you attempt to overcome emotional neglect by doing the same thing that caused you pain to others, especially to your spouse or kids. The essence of you learning how to overcome childhood emotional neglect goes beyond healing yourself but that you also help others overcome and make the world a better place with healthy relationships.
If the tips provided here were helpful, then feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Learning how to control your emotions is an essential skill that can be learned.
Emotions are various forms of feelings, positive or negative, that results in physical or psychological changes which affect our thoughts and actions.
Psychology emotion is often a personality mood. It is our body’s response to the happenings around our environment. Therefore, the ability to control your emotions increases your emotional intelligence and improves your interaction with people.
Our emotions tend to escalate to a point where we find it difficult to control. I remember breaking a mug due to over-excitement because of a gift from my father.
Irrespective of the nature of your emotions, if you cannot learn to regulate them, it may lead to dire consequences.
These methods can help you in your learning.
1. To Control Your Emotions, First Identify How You Feel
Identifying your emotions requires you to do two things:
First, it requires you to monitor your emotions in a given situation. An example of such is how you feel during an argument.
Are you cool-headed or got tempered during an argument? Knowing what emotions you feel during a particular time can help you to control your emotion during that period.
Lastly, this helps you to monitor what emotions you are prone to. Often, we hear people say things like “I easily get angry”, “I am easily irritated”.
Understanding what emotions you’re quick to exhibit is one step in learning how to manage and control your emotions.
2. Question Your Emotion
Taking a moment to question why you are feeling a certain way can help to control your emotions.
A roommate of mine was prone to anger every time he returned from the school market. He’d shout and argue, then throw a tantrum.
To help him manage his emotion, we would first identify his primary emotion – anger. Then we question why he was always angry when he came back from the market. It turned out that his annoyance was a response to the outrageous hike in the prices of goods in the market.
When you’re feeling a surge of emotion, you can take some seconds to question why you’re feeling such a rush. It could be a gift from someone or the death of someone. Whatever is the reason for such emotions, taking a moment to question the perspective of your emotions can help you regulate how you’d act.
3. Intend To Control Your Emotions; Not Repressing Them
You cannot control your emotions by repressing them. We repress emotions because we want to avoid feeling their effects.
Usually, repressed emotions are negative emotions such as pain, sadness, and anger. While repressing such emotions might give you temporary satisfaction, in the long run, it can have dire effects.
Imagine you have a bag and you need to fill it with clothes. The more clothes you fill it with, the less space it has. If you keep stuffing the bag with clothes, it’ll eventually damage the bag.
Our body is like a bag. When we repress our emotions, we’re filling our bodies with negativity. If you do not address these emotions adequately, with time, they can hurt your health.
Rather than repressing your emotions, you should practice expressing your emotions with regulation. When you feel sad, it is okay to cry. When you feel angry, it is okay to punch your pillows.
Whenever you feel the urge to repress your emotions, remember, expression with regulation is what you should rather do.
4. Expression Helps To Control Your Emotions
Our emotions are best expressed through our actions. When you cannot control your emotions, it translates to uncontrolled actions.
The 10 seconds rule state that before we take any action, we should take a deep breath; count to ten, during which we’re analyzing our actions before taking them.
The death of a loved one can cause immense pain and sadness which can lead to the urge to hurt yourself.
To implement the 10 seconds rule, before you carry on the act to hurt yourself, pause for 10 seconds and rethink your actions.
What are the repercussions of my actions? Is it good or bad?
5. Consider Mild Expressions
Since our emotions are expressed through actions, rather than indulge in negative actions, you should consider being kind to yourself.
From the example above, the alternative to hurting yourself includes talking to a loved one, seeing a therapist, or taking a break from social activities.
Another example is how you relate in the workspace environment. You have a colleague who is bad at meeting up with deadlines, leaving you with more work.
While it is natural to get angry and express it through harsh words, there are better alternatives to that. You could find out why such a person is always late on reports, give a friendly reminder in subsequent scenarios or report to HR.
6. Journaling Helps To Control Your Emotional Journey
Keeping a journal to document your moods can help control your emotions.
Journaling involves documenting your emotional experiences as they come, negatively or positively. Just like you’d keep a diary that has a summary of your daily activities, a mood-journal can help keep track of what emotions you frequent and how well you control them.
Writing down your daily experience can help identify your quickest emotions. It also helps in identifying better ways to work through an emotional phase.
For example, if you feel extremely sad about an event, you can write about it. Note why you feel sad about it and three (3) better ways you would think to respond next time.
This way, if such a situation should reoccur, you’re already prepared because you have written alternative actions.
7. Visit A Therapist To Help You Control Your Emotions
Seeking professional help is recommended when you begin to notice a high emotional imbalance.
Our emotions are influenced by our environment. An unhealthy environment cannot foster the development of healthy emotions. In this scenario, no matter how much effort you put into controlling your emotions, you’ll always find yourself responding negatively.
In this case, it is better to see the help of a health therapist. Therapists are professional personnel trained to help people identify health issues and provide support.
Some emotional trauma could stem from family-related issues to financial burdens.
A therapist identifies the root cause of your emotional imbalance and provides support, sometimes medications, to help you manage your emotions.
Although Rome was not built in a day, they’d spent hours of work laying bricks. Thus, to achieve a high level of emotional intelligence, you need to practice the art of controlling your emotions persistently. The keyword is practicing constantly.
Considering that we interact with people every day, we must learn how to manage our emotions.
Building high emotional intelligence improves your self-confidence and how you’re perceived by others. It is one big step into being a better you.
I need you to picture yourself arriving late for an appointment. Unfortunately, you lost the contract you’ve worked hard for. Heading back home in disappointment, it begins to rain, while hurrying to take shelter, a reckless driver drove past you and spilt muddy water on your outfit. What would be your mood at that instance? An ample number of persons give in to anger, transfer of aggression, retaliating with harsh words, smashing valuables, oftentimes shedding tears to let the pain out.
However, your body and mood begin to return to normality after you’ve relaxed, perhaps taken a nap. You start seeking encouragement to comfort yourself, while in that process, flashbacks on the damages you did a few hours ago start replaying in your head, and you wonder “how on earth did you do all that”? Most times you feel you’re been manipulated by an unknown force and can’t find an explanation. Well, the resultant effect of your mood at all times is controlled by your emotions. Therefore, it’s necessary to know how to recognize emotions, likewise learn to manage them to prevent hurting yourself and others.
What are Emotions?
Emotions are intense feelings with biological origin resulting from neuropsychological changes in the human body. Connected with one’s temperament, behaviour, personality, thoughts, moods, creativity, and motivation.
Where Does Emotion Come From?
Psychologists believe emotions are the results of changes within the body, derived from the heart. While neurologists proposed that emotions are produced by the brain. The brain coordinates everything within the body including emotions.
The brain contains a limbic system that houses various tissues in charge of controlling emotions, also, emotions are coded into the DNA. These issues include;
The hypothalamus which is in charge of sexual response, hormone release, and temperature regularly
The amygdala regulates responses to things happening around such as fear and pleasure.
The hippocampus is responsible for preserving and retrieving memories.
There limbic cortex controls mode, inspiration, motivation, and judgment.
Why Are Emotions Important?
Humans rarely pay attention to their feelings until it gets out of control. The decisions you make daily are influenced by your emotions. Likewise, Our response to our environment and situation around.
Mastering your emotions prevents hurts and enables you to coordinate yourself. If your emotions control you, definitely your entire life becomes disarranged. How to recognize emotions are necessary to aid you to control them and channel your energy in the right direction.
Categories Of Emotions
1. Negative Emotions
These are sets of feelings, behaviour, and response which inflict discomfort, pain, and damages on the initiator and those around. Once these emotions begin to control a person, his energy is channelled in the wrong direction.
Furthermore, staying on negative emotions for long increases stress hormones and eventually affects your health negatively. How to recognize emotions with negative effects are easy to spot on the surface and is controlled majorly by the amygdala. There are so many types of negative emotions;
A state of displeasure and hostility. Control by the amygdala in the brain. There is a release of a chemical known as catecholamines which leads to an outburst of energy. Signs of anger include;
- Sweaty palms
- Frown looks
- Forming fist
- Increase in heartbeat
- Grinding of teeth
- Clenching jaw
- Shaking and trembling
- Sarcastic responses
- Yelling and shouting
- Absence of humor.
This is a state of being terrified and uncomfortable induced by someone or something. To recognize fear lookout for the following;
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Sweating uncontrollably
- Raised of eyebrows
- Discomfort in the stomach
- Short breath
- Quick short movement.
A mental disorder with a feeling of depression, unhappiness, and worthlessness. Oftentimes, when things don’t go as planned sadness steps in. Likewise, when one experiences a loss. Methods use in recognizing that one is sad includes;
- Lack of focus/concentration
- Moody looks
- Too much sleep or lack of sleep
- Loss of interest
It’s a feeling of resentment, envy, fear, and insecurity towards someone or something. This is caused by low self-esteem. Signs of jealousy include;
- Giving of false compliment
- Quick to criticize
- Unnecessary show-off
- Unhealthy comparison
- Celebrate failure
- Ignore achievement
Research shows that adults above 65 years feel the heat of loneliness more. Loneliness is a feeling of separation and abandonment. How to recognize emotions displaying loneliness include;
- Drawn to possession
- Negative thought system
- Easily gets annoyed
- Frequent illness
- Cut-off from others.
2. Positive Emotions
These are sets of pleasurable sensations that are always desirable. Once activated it brings peace and enthusiasm. It erases a pessimistic attitude, gives your reasons to live, reasons to help others, and guides you to make profitable decisions. Also, it’s a feeling of gratitude, influenced by the amygdala in the limbic system. There are so many types of positive emotions.
I honestly think happiness is being present and finding joy in every momentAimee Marino
Therefore, Happiness is a choice to maintain inner peace despite your current circumstances. How to recognize true happiness entails;
- Worrying less
- Living in the moment
- Celebrate good
- Enjoy nature
- Love/value yourself
- Laughing out loud
A neurological feeling of happiness and satisfaction with one’s current stage of life while hoping for something higher. Signs to note about contentment includes;
- Being true to yourself
- Setting your needs within your financial carrying capacity
- Confidence in one strength And talent
- Cheerful mood
- Been realistic
- Healthy routine
- Lack of envy and greed
It’s an emotional feeling of affection and attraction towards someone or something which propels you to the extent of sacrificing your all to see them happy.
Hence, they are included as one of your priorities. To tell if you’re in love or someone loves you, check out for the following signs;
- Spending time with loved ones
- Constant thought about what you love
- Notice every little change about that person or thing.
- Speak about that person/thing all the time.
- Cherish and values that person/thing.
- Feeling of happiness around that person/things.
- Been caring
It’s the state of dependability and reliability on someone or in your ability. Signs of trust includes;
- Respect boundaries
- Doesn’t compromise
- Forgives easily
5. Positive Anticipation
This is an eager expectation for an upcoming event. Positive anticipation induces emotions to cope with stress and disappointment.
How to recognize positive anticipation emotions is often trickish because not everyone can differentiate between positive or negative anticipation. Signs include;
- Hyper activeness
- Positive thought
- Planning and orderliness
- Been nervous
How To Manage Emotions
In addition to how you can recognize your emotions, here are ways to control them most especially the negative emotions.
1. Give Yourself Space
The moment you discover two to three signs of your predominant emotions is displaying, deep within you, you’re aware of the usual out-burst around people.
Immediately, excuse yourself from among others to prevent further retaliation, especially signs of anger and jealousy.
2. Develop a Thankful Heart
Don’t spend your entire day complaining about what isn’t right, use that period to appreciate the wonderful things in your life, around you, and in the lives of others.
A thankful heart is an antidote to loneliness and sadness.
3. Take control of Your Emotions
Your emotions are subjected to your will depending on how you use them. For instance when the light goes off, usually you begin to panic due to darkness.
However, don’t give in to fear, decide to take control and search for the nearest source of light, probably your phone. By so doing your bravery and courage comes alive.
4. Generating Positive Energy Helps Manage Negative Emotions
To trash out, negative emotions surround yourself with Positive personalities. Who would encourage you to live out your best version?
Also, read, watch, and listen to something that fills your mind with positivity and hope.
5. Consider Others Before Giving in to Negative Emotions
Your emotions may appear superior to your will and you assume you can’t control it. That’s when you should reflect on the effect the outburst of your emotions would have on others. Hence, calm down and subject your emotions to your will.
The signs on how to recognize emotions are useful in detecting our personal feelings at all points in time and telling how others are feeling. From a psychologist’s viewpoint, our environment influences our emotions. Hence, become conscious of the things surrounding you, which your mind is exposed to. Take charge of your emotions.
Perhaps, you have experienced the effect of negative emotions, do well to share in the comment section below.
The rambles of traditional medicine sellers through loudspeakers is the hallmark of Arewa markets. We buy a myriad of regimens to strengthen our physical health, but the noun ‘mental health’ sounds unfamiliar to our intellects, even though many people suffer from mental health conditions in Arewa. To the average northerner, the mentally ill are those communally neglected people that are left to roam the streets with rags, eating insects, worms, and whatever is within their reach in the garbage and dumping sites. Well, you will no longer look at mental health from this angle after reading this post.
Are We Mentally Healthy?
Mental Health simply means emotional well-being, the ability of a person to cope with the normal stresses of life. Look at its positive side, and do what is beneficial to his/her immediate community.
Research has shown that one out of four people suffers from one mental health condition in Arewa. This means, if there are 8 people in your family, 2 are mentally ill, one might ask: why don’t we see them eating sand or greeting the clouds? It’s because mental illness is wider than what we imagine it to be.
My question goes: are you always able to manage with normal stress, see positivity, and do what is beneficial to others? We all are/might be patients at some point in life I suppose.
Time to Change Our Mindset
An average northerner does not count mental disorders among the major causes of physical ailments and morbidity. Also, an average northerner does not believe that western medicine can cure/manage mental disorder patients; hence, we associate mental illnesses with entirely different causes. Take a look at the following instances;
Children with attention deficit disorders who struggle with understanding concepts in school, yet we call them dullards
People with schizophrenia hear, see, and react to hallucinations, they relate with subjects that aren’t real. For that, we blame sorcery, witchcraft, or jinn possession
We believe people with amnesia (memory loss) and dementia (continuous loss of cognitive function) are caused by magical attacks from rivals.
Those suffering from social phobia and find it hard to relate with others and prefer staying in solitude are tagged as arrogant and masu-ji-ji-dakai. If they try socializing, they end up with anger issues due to anxiety disorders and we say they are jarababbu.
Someone afflicted by depression is tagged mai-ƙunci. After enduring and they decide to opt for suicide, they get judged by the community as someone that has no trust in Allah’s plan (maras tawakkali)
Whilst all the above boldly mental health conditions in Arewa and many more could be prevented by family support or managed by doctors, out of unawareness and negligence, we subject the patients to stigma and inhumane treatments.
How Do We Handle the Patients?
Most families regard it as an insult to have a mentally ill individual as their member; others imagine it to be a curse upon the lineage. For that, families and companions relate to the mentally ill in the following inhumanely ways;
Turning deaf ears to the stress, and not giving a damn about the emotional stability of fellows
Restriction of amnesia and dementia patients from meeting friends and guests in a bid to conceal their situation
Chaining schizophreniacs with shackles to restrict movement and ensure the privy of their status
Taking panic attacks and epilepsy (not purely psychiatric) patients to traditional or religious rehabilitation centres, where they get whippings and incantations. A pity!
Giving food leftovers to the mentally ill, abandoning them to sleep on the streets with some even raped in the process.
The Good News Is…
When talking about physical health, we all know that some diseases are curable while others are manageable but none is invincible. The same applies to mental health, by consulting your primary care physician. You can be referred to a mental health specialist for proper treatment of your own or your loved ones’ mental disturbances.
The common signs of mental disorders include:
- Extreme anger and frustration
- Difficulty to sleep or sleeping excessively
- Excessive fear of events or imaginary situations
- Excessive eating or depressed appetite
- Inattention, depressed mood, and fatigue
- Alternating episodes of fanaticism and depression
- Restlessness for not taking a drug or drink
- Hearing, seeing, believing, or reacting to things or events that are not real.
When you have any of the above signs or notice any of them with a friend or family member, you shouldn’t delay consulting doctors for the condition to be curbed before getting worse. Just like malaria, mental illnesses are trials one should not be ashamed of suffering, seek out proper care. Please.
In addition, you should keep an eye on this space for subsequent posts about mental health awareness and improvements.
Remember; healthy mind, healthy life!