Emotional Validation: Accept to Heal

You have been neglecting your emotions, your needs and internal universes for a long time. It is time to validate what you feel to accept yourself as a person and start making changes that revert to what you deserve: calm, balance and well-being.

Having good emotional validation strategies at our fingertips is like having a first aid kit at our disposal. If life treats you badly, you apply that band-aid that relieves pain and reminds you that it was just a bad day, not a bad existence. If sadness embraces you, you make use of that calming ointment with which to understand that every emotion has its purpose and that understanding it will allow you to move through that moment better.

The art of validation is not only oriented towards the people around us . We know that it is essential to recognize the feelings of others, the needs and particularities of those we love. Doing so improves relational dynamics; It is true. However, it is good not to neglect the most decisive relationship of all: the one we have with ourselves.

We make no mistake if we say that the lack of internal validation is the biggest problem in psychological matters. We move through the world almost adrift, not knowing how we got to those islands of suffering . Why am I feeling this discouragement? Is there maybe something wrong with me?

People are like transatlantic ships carrying accumulations of emotional knots , irrational ideas and unsolved stories that plunge us into unhappiness day by day. Nothing is as decisive as working on those internal needs.

Why is emotional validation important?

"You are dramatizing, do not get like that for that, it is not worth suffering because of what they have told you, you oversize everything ...".  Many of us have received such unfortunate phrases and comments on our own skin. Sometimes it happens. There are many who grow up in a family environment poor in emotional caresses , distorted in what refers to how to educate a child in psychological maturity.

Studies , such as those carried out at Wayne State University in Michigan, indicate the importance that the role of emotional validation by the mother can have on the development of the child. Constant attention to the child's emotional realities and their recognition favors the development of self-awareness and is a predictor of the good development of the child's personality.

Thus, if we do not receive this type of affective and validating "pills" at an early age, it is common not to give them to ourselves either. The lack of external emotional reinforcement makes us unaware of this process. And this leads us to underestimate ourselves, to fall into harmful relationships, increasing the risk of anxiety disorders or depression.

Let's dig a little deeper.

What is self-validation?

Validating your emotions does not mean putting on a layer of unfounded optimism. It has more to do with an intelligent, skillful and compassionate emotional dialogue that allows you to work in the following dimensions:

  • Self-validation is accepting our inner experience : emotions, feelings, and thoughts.
  • Now, acceptance is not seeing as positive or appropriate every thought or emotion that passes through the mind. For example, I may experience anger at seeing how my coworker gets promoted and I don't. I know that this internal state is not correct, but I accept it and validate it to understand what is happening to me and transform that situation. "I feel anger and envy , but instead of being encapsulated in this state, I must try harder to improve myself and achieve new achievements."
  • Validating thoughts and emotions allows us to handle them much better.
  • Once we better connect and accept our internal realities, we get to know each other to develop our personal skills.

Validate yourself: how to do it?

Validation is an essential concept within psychological practice . It is part of every clinical context and is, for example, one of the most basic tools in dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT).

Marsha Lineham , creator of this therapeutic approach, points out the following: "validation by the therapist implies making the patient see that their emotional responses make sense and are understandable within their current history and context."

Now, in what way can you start to validate yourself? These would be some strategies that Dr. Lineham herself gives us.

  • We must learn to be present. Being aware of the emotion we feel here and now is the key to health. In general, we are used to leaving the discomfort we feel today for later.
  • Recognize, label and accept. Every thought, sensation, emotion and feeling must be recognized, and then named and given space. We cannot repress it, acceptance is liberation to understand what we feel.
  • Why do I feel this and where does it come from? Every mental process has an origin and starts from a context. If I feel disappointed despite having a good job, it is possible that in reality I have always wanted something else, another occupation.
  • Accept without judgment. We must not be our worst judges or our worst enemies. Everything we feel is valid.
  • Transform, channel and raise awareness . Every emotion and every thought demands something and informs us of some concrete fact. Once we understand your message, it is time to take action, to generate changes to achieve balance and well-being. In case of not achieving it ourselves, we will become aware of the need to request help.

To conclude, all these processes to validate yourself take time, will and practice. Accepting ourselves, taking care of ourselves and telling ourselves that there is nothing wrong with us is an exercise in psychological health that we must begin to practice.