Regardless of the season of life you are in; it is crucial to find healthy ways to deal with your emotions. Emotions can overwhelm, control, and paralyze you if you let them. We have all learned coping mechanisms to help us deal with tough times or unexpected life changes, some are healthy, and some are unhealthy. Your “respond – ability” to challenges determines your capacity to bounce back and regain happiness.
Here are unhealthy coping responses. Have you used any?
Avoiding – This is when you don’t mentally or physically deal with what is causing distress.
Attacking – Responding aggressively to something you find threatening.
Denying – Refusing to accept and acknowledge anything terrible happened.
Fantasizing – Avoiding reality and focusing on possibilities.
Repressing – Hiding and burying uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
Rationalizing - Creating logical reasons for bad behavior or responses.
Distracting – Focusing on something else to ignore reality.
Destructive Thinking – Focusing on negative thoughts that are not the truth.
Unhealthy responses may feel good in the short term but are not beneficial to your long-term healing. The short-term fix only creates a roller coaster of emotions and adds more layers of complication to the situation.
If you want to make a permanent change, feel better, and control how you create your life, you can use these healthy responses instead.
Flexibility – It is instinctual to resist change; however, it can be beneficial if you adapt. You can either evolve or repeat. Evolution is growth.
Adjusting Expectations – Take time to identify unrealistic expectations that set you up for disappointment. Adjust your thinking closer to your reality so you are not repeatedly disappointed.
Being proactive – Focus on what you can control and take action on.
Connecting with others –There are many people with similar experiences. Resist isolating yourself because you feel alone. Seek out professional help if you need it.
Focusing on the positive – Yes, you are experiencing challenges, but don’t let them consume you. Make time to focus on the positive things in your life and remind yourself of them often. Remember, you control your story; this is just a challenging chapter.
Practice gratitude – Be thankful for the things that are going well. There is always something to be grateful for, even during a storm.
Journaling – Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be difficult, but they can help you focus and keep track of your progress. Written records can help you see how far you have come and that you are never standing still.
Healthy coping can feel unnatural to you, but it can help rebuild your life the way you want. You control if you are moving forward in the right direction that encourages your growth. It is possible to choose healthy ways to deal with emotion and be happy again despite a tough time. Your response-ability is your superpower; use it.
Keep going, my friend.
The more you practice happiness, the better you become, and the more joyous your days. If you practice living life, you enjoy and understand it a little bit better. To make your happiness a priority, grab one of our journals today!
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Until Next time.