When faced with emotional distress, what do you do to cope with those feelings in a healthy manner? Most likely, you may want a quick fix for the emotional pain, but there is no such thing. Sometimes people may drink alcohol, engage in process addictions or take pills to numb the emotional pain
only to realize that the pain is still there waiting for you until you decide to work your way through it.
When faced with emotional distress, you need to have an
“emergency tool kit” available with potential coping skills to help you manage through the emotional turmoil. Your coping skills may be quite different from other people’s coping skills as this tends to be very individualized. You may find comfort in painting a representation of your thoughts and feelings on a canvas. You may find comfort in pouring out your thoughts and feelings on the pages of a journal. You may find solace in walking- realizing that when in distress, walking provides you with a time to think, cry, and move your body until the edge of the emotional distress has subsided.
Some additional coping skills that clients have shared with me are: going to a park, coloring, listening to music, meditating, yoga, calling a friend, stepping up the self-nurturing by going for a pedicure, massage or
taking a long bath, engaging in deep breathing techniques, exercising, petting or playing with the family pet, learning to ground yourself by taking your shoes off, planting your feet on the floor and forcing awareness into your body by noticing what sensations you are experiencing in your body.
There are no quick fixes for emotional distress. There is no short cut. The only way is through it- one day at a time- sometimes minute by minute. If you find yourself in distress, practice different coping skills and
learn what works the best for you. Your coping skills will not magically erase the pain, but they will help you cope through it. And remind yourself, “This too shall pass……”
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS specializes in helping individuals and couples
heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy deprivation. Ingela Edwards Counseling serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist