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The Secret to Dealing with Emotional Pain in a Healthy Way

By Michal Spiegelman

jasmineSaturday was a difficult day. We said goodbye to our dog of 13 years, Jasmine. She had cancer and it got bad really quickly. I gave her Reiki throughout the process, and it was beautiful to be able to support her and help her be at peace through her transition.

The sadness and emptiness we feel since Jasmine is no longer with us is understandable. After all, she was part of the family for the last 13 years.

There have been other times in my life where I’ve dealt with sadness and grief. Having learned something from those past experiences, this time I made sure to be a participant and an observant at the same time and be intentional with how I’m dealing with the emotional pain. First, I allowed myself to be sad and to feel the pain.

Why is it important to feel the pain?

I’ve suffered from vertigo twice in the last 10 years. The first time was when my son, our oldest child, left for college. Looking back, I suppressed my sadness, tried to wear an “all is ok” mask, and kept myself overbusy so I wouldn’t feel the pain. The second time was when a dear friend passed, and once again, I escaped to overdoing so I wouldn’t feel the pain. In both cases, the vertigo was a physical manifestation of my suppressed pain.?Pain is meant to be felt. Suppressing it does not mean it isn’t there.

How do you manage emotional pain so it doesn’t affect your health?

Dealing with emotional pain in a healthy way starts with awareness. When you go through an emotional roller coaster, pause, observe, and be aware of your emotions. Be aware of unhealthy ways you deal with these emotions–what type of armor do you put on that prevents you from feeling??What unhealthy things do you do to suppress the pain?

Dealing with emotional pain in a healthy way is not possible when your automatic reaction is to suppress the pain. Awareness helps you to pause, evaluate, and make a conscious choice to feel the pain, and then when it’s time, you release it.

In the days following our goodbye to Jasmine, I made the following choices that were the most supportive and loving to myself:

I took some time to be alone and reflect.

I spent time with family members.

I shared the news only with close friends who knew and loved Jasmine.

I respected my desire for privacy and did not share the news on FB (sharing it now comes from a different place. It comes from a desire to share my growth and learning that followed my experience so I can help others).

I rested and took walks in nature, and I checked in with my inner-self periodically to see how I can best nurture my body, heart, and soul.

I took care of ME.

When it was time to shift from sadness to peace, I focused on gratitude to help me make the shift, feeling grateful for the wonderful times we had together. And I reminded myself that Jasmine is no longer suffering.

There was something else I did that was really important, and I want to share it with you.

The secret to dealing with emotional pain in a healthy way?

A few days before sending Jasmine on her new journey, I had a conversation with a coaching client who left her daughter in her new dorm at college and traveled back home. We were talking about the opportunity she has to allow herself to experience different emotions at the same time: sadness and joy, fear?and freedom.

Every difficult experience we go through in life is an opportunity for growth.


The secret to dealing with negative emotions in a healthy way is by owning, feeling, and expressing the emotions and giving ourselves permission to feel happy, grateful, and free at the same time.?

We have a choice to hold on to the pain for a long time or to stop suffering. We can choose to create a dance between feeling sad and feeling happy, and to live in peace together, until the sadness is released and we feel better.

It’s OK to feel pain and difficult emotions. It is part of life, and can even be a healthy part of life, if you learn to deal with emotions in healthy ways.

I?d love to hear your experience in the comments area!


Meet Michal
Michal Spiegelman

Michal Spiegelman is Medical Intuitive who helps women get to the root source behind disease, disharmony, imbalance, stress, and trauma-related conditions.

Having studied in Israel, Germany, England, and the U.S., Michal is a Certified Professional Coach, a Reiki Master, and a former social worker who brings years of experience working with a variety of modalities into her intuitive teachings, coaching and mentoring.

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  1. Diane Roney

    So sorry about your beloved. I went through that last year with dog. She made her transition. Peacefully in my room. I laid down with her and made her comfortable. I didn’t deal with it well, but I knew she was okay. Thanks for the article.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Thank you, Diane! It sounds like your natural instincts let you to nurture and support her during her transition. She was lucky to have you!

  2. Paula

    Now that I have a dog that I’m madly in love with, I see how a dog is part of the family. I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ve experienced too much loss in the last two years, I can’t think too deeply about anything, I’ve lost my mother, my brother and another extremely close friend of the families. In the last couple months another Aunt and another Uncle, they didn’t pass but because of some family drama they no longer speak to me so it’s a complete loss makes me sad.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      It must be hard to deal with so much loss in a short amount of time, Paula. I pray that you find away to bridge the gap between you and your loved one who are still alive. So glad your dog cheers you up!

  3. Sue

    Pain, yeah whatever I feel pain either recalling something from the past or something I’m dealing with now I just be with it.
    Because the attempt to escape from it will just cause more pain for me and that’s the reality of my disease . I just be with it.
    I can reach out to someone Then in feeling pain is when I need support from a compassionate person that will listen and not judge or fix it. Allow me to experience the pain without running away from it.
    And today I don’t have to eat over it.
    Finding that way to just live with it not judge it since we live in a time of instant gradification and wanting a quick get away. That doesn’t work today. Finding a way to live in the pain it a matter of some point finding a way of being with the pain so that I can get know what it’s all about. Some ways I deal with pain :
    I go to see a sunrise at the beach and have my time with God and prayer.
    I go to a crystal shop and look at all the crystals and smell the oils.
    Reach out to a trusted compassionate friend.
    Mediation, quite time, with deep breathing
    Go for massage.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      you reminded me of times where food was my escape, Sue. When I got rid of sugar, flour and wheat and started to weight and measure my food I didn’t numb my feelings any more so they came up to the surface more than ever before. Thank God I found healthier ways to deal with the feelings. Thank you for the reminder that we want to share our pain with a compassionate person. That’s true! We want to share it with a person who will not judge us and will love us unconditional.

  4. Leanne

    So sorry for your loss.

    Myself . i have endured alot if loss of loved ones. I think i have fought the pain. The more that i have experienced great loss i realize its a part of life. And to be grateful for the special people in our life as long as we have them. But it still hurts and i still grieve. I wonder why im here and feel i must do what i am left to do. And i remind myself its Gods place and trust him with everything

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Yap! pain and loss are part of the deal, Leanne! suffering – is optional.
      Good idea to seek for a spiritual support!

  5. Patty Kenny

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am learning that it’s OK to feel. At first I didn’t think I was “allowed’ to feel my sad hurt feelings. I am grateful today that it is OK for me to feel pain and sadness and not use. I can feel and let it go. Having fur babies myself I am sorry for your loss.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      It was really great to meet you last week, Patty!
      Yes – It is ok to feel!
      sending you love!

  6. Monica

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss! You are my hero! I know the next time I am in a painful situation I will remember your post and reread it for inspiration and support. Feeling my feelings is a new concept for me. Allowing myself to even have feelings is a challenge. I was always told to put a smile on my face and act happy! Today I am getting in touch with my true feelings. It’s a journey that I am glad you are a part of:) xo

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Yes, Monica! we are walking this path together! when I grew up, I got yelled at if I dared to cry or show emotions. Just like you, I acted as if….
      I know that my mother did the best she can.
      as adults, we accept responsibility for our feelings and we can learn to manage them effectively.
      Big hugs, my dear!

  7. Rossie Turner

    So sorry about your loss. But she is not gone, she will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.

    • Michal

      Well said, Rossie! Sending you love!

  8. Lara

    Love how you continue to teach as you heal and grow. You are a light unto this world. Thank you. Hugs!!!

    • Michal

      Love you, Lara! You’re my student and my teacher! I learn so much from you!

  9. Flor de Maria

    I?m sorry for your loss Michal.
    A long time ago I?d learned and decide to not suffer any emotional pain, I let myself feel it and then identified or evaluate, learning why is this happening and let it go, not easy, but after a crisis in my life, I got back to living a past situation and put me in a very hard stressful days, after years of suffering, after my business and my health went down I decide to stop, think about myself and then remembered one important thing that have learned in the past from Metaphysic science, that we are in this planet to learn how to be happy? so step by step I started from the beginning and put all on practice again ?really hard to start again?but worth it? then a friend call me to tell about Reiki class at School of Massage, so here I am, getting back to who I am? all we are spiritual beings living humans experiences that we need to learn from.
    Thanks Michal for being

    • Michal

      Flor – so great that you decided to take charge of your happiness. Sounds like you were able to turn things around. I’m so glad that you found Reiki (or Reiki found you…) and that you are going through our training. Reiki is such a powerful tool to release stress and become happier!


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