18 Proven Ways To Crush Emotional Pain, Depression, & Low Self Esteem

7 minutes read

Life as they say, is a summation of the course of human events and activities which we are exposed to over time. For me, I’d like to see life as a race or a journey we travel through; and only those who know how to navigate the twists and turns along the way, can hope to meet a fulfilled end.

I see my journey through life to be quite a fulfilling one so far; despite the emotional pains, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, setbacks, and behavioral evolution’s that have taken place while on this journey. My fulfillment doesn’t come from an “illusion of a completion” but from every little progress I have made every step of the way so far.

emotional Pain image

Source: Flickr.com (anwarnieninqe)

My story with emotional pain, depression and low self esteem

I lost my dad just a few days before I turned 13. And since then, my family dived into an ocean of problems, mostly bordered on finance and the lack of a father figure for support.  I never had a picture of my dad and I to remember the lovely memories we had. The emotional vacuum of his absence that this created in my life, was the beginning of an emotional pain that had deep rooting in me. I felt emotionally adrift from my mom, as such; I poured all the blame on her, tending to see her as solely responsible for taking decisions that I felt affected me in a bad way.

As a youth, I was filled with so much emotional pain and I kept bottling it up inside. This inadvertently affected my social life and interaction with people. I faced harsh rejection over the course of my life which I began to identify with, as I grew older. I saw my “friends” as fake, and I feared they would all push me away if I opened up to them about this emotional pain tearing me apart inside.

Growing up, I didn’t get to enjoy all the good things of life like some of my classmates did. My adolescent age was mostly filled with deep frustration, and I was angry at the society around me. It was common of me to head to my Facebook timeline seeking for the next thing that could fuel my emotional pain or make me express it (albeit most times passively).

My emotional pain led to depression, excessive anxiety at everything, insecurities and a low self-esteem. It developed an emotional wound, which cut me deep and kept me in bondage, trapped by the limiting and parochial beliefs in my mind.

However, I was able to challenge my pain and turn the course of my life around for good, and I would like to share with you all I did to achieve this; and I hope my life story would help you in your life’s journey to overcome emotional pain, depression and low self-esteem.

Acknowledge an emotional pain exists within your mind

The first step to getting yourself rid of an emotional pain, is to acknowledge it exists. An emotional pain is like a wound in your mind; the more you try to hide or deny its existence, it would eat you up from within until it’s too late and you are a complete mess.

Embrace your pain and trace the source

One of the ways people experiencing emotional pain try to run away from the reality of its existence is by trying to numb it with things like alcohol, hard drugs, and sex.

Don’t try to numb your pain by running away from it and using temporal fixes to cover it. Face it, observe its pattern and trace the root of the pain right down to your childhood years. This would enable you to develop appropriate strategies on how to fix your problem.

Point your finger at yourself

It’s easy to blame others for the pain in our lives, and as for me back then, I blamed my mom. Playing the blame game puts the responsibility of fixing your problem on them, and these people we put the blame on most times are not readily available to help or interested in helping either. Your healing process starts when you point the finger at yourself and blame the person you see in the mirror, then you can see in clear terms how you have also contributed to the growth of your pain.

You might not have been responsible for the initial actions that started your emotional pain, but accept that you allowed it to reach up to the state at which you are in. Don’t beat yourself for the mistakes you’ve made that resulted to your pain or get angrier at people you feel are responsible for it. Acknowledge that mistakes are bound to happen in life and move on.

Don’t create an identity with your pain

Don’t identify with your pain. Creating an identity as a result of your pain makes it define you and this can prevent you from breaking out of its bondage.

Think about the positive in every negative

For every bad thing that happened to me in the past, I look at the good things that were created as a result of that. Be the kind of person that sees the ups and downs in life as the needed heat in the oven necessary to harden the cookie to come out perfect. Tend to interpret every “negative thing” as a positive thing.

Don’t be wounded

Yes you can be hit, and hurt, but don’t accept to  be wounded. Believe you are strong enough to heal and forge stronger ahead.

Find your purpose in life

You purpose in life is something you can always do without getting bored of. Something you do without being induced, something which you go to bed with and are happy to wake up with in the morning and keep going. For me, I kept Larnedu going when it made $0 because my sense of purpose comes from serving others and I was doing that by helping thousands of students reach their goals and succeed via Larnedu.

Life is not a sprint but a marathon

I could’ve graduated high school at 16 but I ended up doing so at 18. I could’ve been a Mechanical Engineer at 21, but now it may take me longer, or I may not even end up as a Mechanical Engineer after all.

My mentor is about my age and is a Mechanical engineering graduate. He runs an eCommerce business, which achieved over 1,000,000 pound in sales in 2016. He’s good with programming, and he’s generally one of the smartest and nicest person I know. It’s easy to compare myself to him or those like him that have achieved a lot at a relatively young age. It’s also easy to compare myself to people I seem to have “achieved more” than, but would these thoughts help me? No!

I’m happy with every little progress I have made along the way, and my confidence doesn’t come from external accomplishments but from internal fulfillment.

Don’t be sad if you’ve not achieved as much as you thought you would have by now. Sometimes success comes slowly and your fulfillment and happiness should be based on every little progress towards your goal. Always remember that no one gets out of here alive, so you’d still leave whatever you accomplish here.

Open up to true friends

There are still good people in the world that truly care about you. You may never have “perfect friends”, but don’t let negative beliefs or thoughts stop you from opening up to people that sincerely care about you.

You’re not alone pal.

Keep evolving

Take up new habits that are focused on changing the way you are for the better. Be happy with every progress you make along the way, and when obstacles appear; strive to overcome them.

  • Read books
  • Learn new skills
  • Interact with others
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Travel

Don’t always seek comfort

While comfort may sound good, it may not be the best thing to take you to where you want to be. Strive for achievement of goals rather than seeking for comfort.

Someone has been through worse

For whatever you think you’re going through, always know that someone has probably been through worse and made out of it. For every situation you are today, be rest assured there is another person somewhere who would give the world to be in your shoes.

Be careful about what you put in

Always filter what you get into your body and mind. Avoid unhealthy foods, drinks, habits, beliefs, friends, environments, and news. Your body and mind is a direct result of what you put inside, so guard the inflow of things that influence your body and mind.

Practice Stoicism

People think of the Stoics as emotionless beings. It wasn’t emotion that the Stoics were opposed to; it was negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, jealousy, and fear. Stoicism was built for hard times, and so practicing it would help you navigate through pain, anxiety and depression.

Practice Meditation

Meditation has so many benefits, and it was one of the biggest things that helped me combat pain and depression. Perhaps one of the biggest highlights about mediation is that it stops you from thinking about all the risks and anxiety of the future, and perfectly positions you to live in the moment which gives you the ability to strive for a positive change.

Seek peak experiences

  • Go on vacation and experience new cultures and people
  • Go around town and do acts of selfless service.
  • Go to the spa, relax and get a massage.
  • Go play a fun sport with your friends.


Working out in the gym helped me release some pain. I always feel much better after every workout, and my confidence has increased by 100 folds ever since the first day I made it a habit to visit the gym. The gym also takes your mind off a lot of negative things and gives you the sense of satisfaction as you achieve a healthy body, with evident results showing on your body.


You don’t need to take sleeping pills to sleep. Exercise, get busy, then come to bed relaxed, and you will be tired enough to sleep on your own.


I’m not a perfect case study of someone who has learned to overcome pain, depression and low self-esteem. I still struggle with pain that arise every now and then. However, I’ve learned to combat it, at least, way better than before. The best way to solve a problem is taking a conscious effort towards challenging and overcoming it. So do so now and set yourself free from the emotional pain, depression and low self-esteem that has plagued you for long.

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Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

2 Responses

  1. T. Matthew Toe says:

    Thanks for educating me.

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