4 Ways to Cope with Difficult Emotions

By: Tracy Wrocklage

stressed woman covering her face with her hands
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Everyone experiences difficult emotions at times. No one is happy and positive all the time. Even the most joyful people go through periods of sadness, anger, and stress. Have you recently experienced a sudden loss? Have you experienced a traumatic event and are being triggered by current circumstances? Are you struggling with negative emotions because you feel stuck and are unsure what your next move should be?

It is vital to remember life does not always move in a straight line. There are ups and downs….no matter how much self-discovery or positive thinking you have done. The key is not to avoid negative emotions but to find ways to cope with them healthily. As Jon Kabat-Zinn stated, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”.

Here are some ways to process uncomfortable feelings to move toward personal growth and empowerment:

  1. Allow yourself to sit in your emotions and feel them. We so often want to run and escape our emotions. Sometimes, sitting in them and just feeling your emotions allows them to pass. Give yourself some time and just allow yourself to feel.
  2. Remind yourself that this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever, not even those intense emotions that feel like they will never go away. Think back to other times when you experienced difficult feelings, over time, they dissipated.
  3. Practice self-care. Be kind to yourself. The last thing you need while experiencing uncomfortable emotions is beating yourself up for not coping with them the “proper” way.  Take time to do things that make you feel good. Take a walk in nature, drink a cup of tea, write in a journal or meditate. Taking care of yourself while you are coping with uncomfortable feelings creates an outlet for the emotions to flow.
  4. Talk to someone. Seeking therapy can help you develop healthy coping skills. A therapist can help you identify your emotions and develop healthy ways to process them. A therapist can provide you with extra support to help you during this emotional time.

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