Have you ever felt rejected? Most people have. It was one of the most debilitating emotions I experienced growing up. I had constant nightmares about it. I felt all alone in the world with no one to help me.

Human beings are born to connect. If you’ve lost connection with your parent or caregiver, most likely you felt rejected. This pain can affect you at the core of your being, your sense of self-worth. This can lead to deep insecurities and difficulty in making healthy choices for your life. Studies show that the pain of rejection is felt physically and emotionally. Physical pain and the emotional pain of rejection affect the same areas of the brain and trigger the same response.

One effective tool you can practice is to acknowledge the pain without judgment and embrace it with love and compassion. This exercise will send a new, positive message to the part of you that didn’t get what you needed in the past. Above all, be gentle with yourself.