Ask a 10 year old what you should do if you get a cut in your knee he will advise you to clean it and use an antibacterial ointment and bandaging it, if we catch a cold he will recommend us to rest and have chicken soup, or if we break a leg we need to get a cast on it so that it mends correctly. Actually we teach our children to take care of their bodies from a very young age and they usually learn these lessons well.
But ask an adult what you should do to combat the dull aching pain of loneliness, the sharp unnerving pain of rejection or the sheer disappointment of failure or probably to revive ourselves from a sense of low self esteem, any form of loss/ psychological trauma/ guilt the person will be at a loss to give remedies to these common psychological injuries.Every household has a medicine cabinet for physical injuries but sadly we do not possess any such cabinets for the psychological injuries we sustain in our daily lives.
Applying emotional first aid to such injuries can prevent many of them from affecting our mental health and emotional wellbeing.Treating such injuries accelerates their healing and simultaneously prevents complications and mitigates the severity of any that do arise. Ofcourse when the psychological injury is serious emotional first aid treatments should not replace seeing a mental health professional.
We often neglect our psychological wounds until and unless they begin to impact our daily life functioning, we never leave a cut on our knee unattended until it reaches a stage where we have walking difficulties but why do we leave our psychological wounds unattended till it becomes unmanageable? This discrepancy in our competence is extremely unfortunate. Recent progress in psychological research has opened up various treatment options for these psychological injuries that we experience quite often.
Its time we take our mental health seriously, we need to practice mental health hygiene as seriously as we do our dental and physical hygiene practices. Its time we start owning a psychological medicine cabinet with emotional equivalents of bandages, ointments, fever suppressants and ice packs.Because if psychological aspirins exist it will be extremely foolish if we do not use them.