Coping with emotions
Whether you’re feeling angry, sad, frustrated, lonely, or anxious - it’...
This physical reaction to stress can have an impact on lots of things in our bodies and make us feel anxious or depressed.
We might turn to unhealthy coping strategies in times of stress, sadness or overwhelm – these are called ‘maladaptive coping strategies. They often bring temporary pleasure, but have undesirable consequences. These can look like:
Using alcohol or drugs to ‘numb’ or ‘cope’ with feelings
Isolating from family and friends
Ruminating (thinking about the problem over and over again)
Spending too much time on social media
Emotional eating/food restriction
1. Let them know you’re grateful they confided in you. Sharing feelings can be scary so make sure you thank them for trusting you.
2. Avoid deflecting or comparing. When you share something deep with someone only for them to brush you off like it’s no big deal, it can feel hurtful. Make sure you let your mate know that their feelings are valid.
3. Ask them what they’d like from you. Open the lines of communication and ask them whether they just need you to listen or help them work out next steps.
4. If you need clarification, just ask! If you’re having trouble understanding how your friend is feeling you can ask, ‘From what I’m hearing, you’re feeling (insert feeling here) – is that right?’
It can feel awkward at first, but the more you talk about feelings the easier it will get.
Practice helps too! Start off easy by expressing positive feelings – “I feel loved when my dog comes to greet me when I get home, because it shows that he missed me”. Once you’ve mastered them, move onto more challenging ones.
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