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How To Cope With Negative Emotions
Coping with negative emotions can be difficult, draining, and challenging if you do not have the right tools in your mental wellness toolbox. Negative emotions can bring you down, and the longer they stay negative, the higher the chances of a depressive episode occurring. Ultimately, you may end up and a downward spiral if you do not learn how to cope. You are not alone in this, and there are ways to cope with these negative emotions. Continue reading to find out some helpful tips!
Catastrophizing And Having A Game Plan
Blowing things way out of proportion can be seen as catastrophizing events. Which basically means that you think everything negative that happens is the end of your world. I have had to learn to control this one myself. When something bad or negative happens, you have to stop and ask yourself what the worst possible outcome could be and what the best could be. There is a higher probability that the worst case scenario – what you are playing out in your head – won’t really happen anyway. If it does, coming up with a game plan can honestly help your mind to think that even if the worst does happen, you already have a plan ready to go and will, therefore, be okay. When you feel okay, it will help take away those negative emotions.
Try To Think Logically & Reasonably
When our moods are low – thanks to our negative emotions – it makes it harder for us to think logically. But when we start to have those irrational thoughts, we have to start questioning them. Is this logical? Am I over exaggerating? Is this real? You have to make sure that you can recognize when your thought processing may be askew. One way to do this is to call a friend of someone you trust and try to see if you are being reasonable and realistic. Another way to challenge the thoughts is to write them out and ask yourself questions. Breaking down your own thoughts, whether you do it internally or write them out, is a way to ensure that your negative thoughts and emotions are not being blown out of proportion. If they are, then realizing this can help make you feel better.
Try To Relax
I know, trying to relax when you are having a bout of negativity flood your mind is sometimes easier said than done. But knowing how to relax is a key element in learning how to cope with negative emotions and stress. Things like learning progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, going for walks, and deep breathing are all valid ways to help your distress and relax. If anxiety is a trigger to these negative emotions doing some of the stuff mentioned above can help as well as focusing on your breathing and trying grounding techniques since these can help reduce your anxiety and help you relax. ‘
Learn Your Triggers
It’s hard to tell what can set you off into a downward spiral sometimes, but knowing your triggers is a great way to help prevent being triggered in the first place. An excellent way to learn what sets you off is by thinking about previous times you had negative emotions and what situations you were in. Were you doing something? Interacting with someone? Did you hear or see something that upset you? Did the feelings themselves set your off? Try to think about all these things and continue to ask yourself questions to pinpoint what your triggers were for those previous episodes. Write them down and make a list. Knowing your triggers from the past can help prevent future incidents.
Letting Go Of The Past
Letting go of the past if hard to do. But it can feel mentally freeing. At the end of the day, we have to learn that what happened before is in the past. Until we invent a functional time machine, there is no way we can undo what has already been done. This is something that we have to remind ourselves of every day and every time we start to think about how we should have/could have done something different. Remember: Progress not perfection.
One Day At A Time
To keep our negative feelings and emotions at bay, we have to remember to take things one day at a time. One hour, minute, or second at a time if we have to. Projecting what may happen to something that has yet to happen will hurt us more than help us. While it is good to make plans for things that are upcoming, worrying about it will only make you feel worse. Take some deep breaths. Make a list of things you have to do to prepare for the event, and then move on with your day. Be present in the moment and try to remember the phrase, “One day at a time,” because jumping into the future or being trapped by the past is not good for our mind, body, and soul.
Bad Days Happen
Bad days happen, it’s that simple. They don’t discriminate because they happen to everyone. I have never met anyone that has never had a bad day. Have you? No, right? So keep that phrase in mind and when you are having a bad day that gets you stuck inside negative emotions keep repeating, “It’s just a bad day and tomorrow will be a new day.” You have no idea how powerful repeating that can be for you mentally. That phrase has gotten me through some pretty crappy times. Try to hold on to that no matter how bad you are currently feeling. Try to think of the following day as a fresh start.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.