Cope with your Emotions when you are feel you are really struggling
Do you find that your emotional pain is too much to cope with?
Do you find that you use ways to avoid your emotions and memories of the past?
Do you have emotional pain that won’t go away?
In this article, which I have split in two parts, I will provide strategies that will help you to learn how to cope with your emotions. This will help you to increase your sense of safety that will replace your avoidance with better coping strategies. This will in turn help you to live a more comfortable life with yourself and others.
In this part I will explain why it is important and other important things to consider. In the second part I will provide the different coping strategies.
Also, in order to heal, it is first important to understand that you are no longer in the same environment as your traumatic past. You, as an adult, can now make new choices and decisions that are right for you. This could include starting to learn new and better coping strategies.
It is about learning how to be comfortable with the here and now.
Before you have started your healing journey, you may be oblivious to the ways you cope with emotional pain in your life. You may have adopted some coping strategies that are not healthy for you:
Here’s a list of some common coping strategies used by people dealing with this problem.
Which ones apply to you?
- I spend a lot of time thinking about mistakes I have made
- I think about things in my past, people who have hurt me
- I feel afraid about my future
- I can’t let go of the pain I feel
- I worry a lot about the future, what can happen, what might not happen
- I tend to isolate myself from people a lot
- I avoid situations that I think will be distressing
- I block my feelings with alcohol and / or drugs
- I use drugs and / or alcohol to give me confidence to face difficult situations
- I often take my feelings out on others by being aggressive or trying to control them
- I often do things that are dangerous such as cutting, burning myself, picking, hitting or pulling out my own hair
- I practice unsafe sex with strangers or have frequent unprotect sex
- I use food to cope either by eating too much, not eating enough or by throwing up what I eat
- I often feel that I don’t want to live. I feel suicidal and think of ways of taking my life
- I avoid pleasant activities, such as social events and exercise
- I throw myself into helping others, my children, my family, everyone else except myself
- I don’t know when to stop working
- I have on the main given up on myself that things will get any better for me.
- You don’t need to carry on doing these things or feel bad about yourself. Understand that if you know better you will do better. Often we get ourselves in a habit and routine of doing things and we struggle to know how to do anything different.
The first thing to try and understand is how bad you are feeling. Just to gauge where you are right now. Click this link to read more about it here.
One thing I must stress before you read the list is that anything new you try, please give yourself time to learn it. It is also important that you do anything new regularly so your mind will start to remember what to do. So the key here is to be consistent, patient and kind to yourself.
It is also not about doing things perfectly all the time, it is about trying to find something to reduce some of the harm you are causing yourself.
As well it is inevitable mistakes would be made but that’s fine as well. Be kind with yourself as you would be to someone else who is learning something new. You would not expect them to be proficient at it after a few tries? Give that care and attention to yourself and change will happen.
These healing strategies are not about working through your healing past. That’s something totally separate. These are short-term distraction tools that will help you cope better with the therapeutic process and also prevent you from doing things you regret.
Another last point is that you don’t need to do all of them. You may find that just doing one or two of them works well for you. As I said, experiment and find out which one works best for you:
I am a Therapist based in Sutton Coldfield, UK also available online.
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