Sometimes, you just need somebody to talk to. Maybe someone you love left you lonely or passed away. Perhaps the stress of the times has gotten too overwhelming to cope with and you find yourself turning to alcohol, drugs, sleeping just to escape, or just staring at your phone for hours. Maybe your work/life balance has you feeling like one day is just like every other day with little to look forward to.
You may even realize you have depression or anxiety and just don’t know what to do about it. How do you stop from being so sad, angry, and stressed out? What can you do to cope in a healthy way?
Here are 7 Ways to Cope with Negative Feelings:
- Mindfulness: Drive off cluttered thoughts by really paying attention to what is happening around you in the moment. What is the texture of the leaf in your windowsill plant? How would you describe its color and shades? Notice how it floats as you drop it to the floor. How would you explain its shape and size?
- Most of us can’t be in the rational part of our brain and the emotional side of our brain at the same time. Activities such as those described above can help our neuropathways exit the busy highways and drive down peaceful and calming roads.
- Deep Breathing: Proven technique to calm anxious thoughts and feelings, taking a moment to breathe in through your nose for 4 slow counts, hold for 4 slow counts, and exhale through your mouth like you are blowing through a straw for 6 counts can be a great way to manage stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts quickly.
- You can pair your breathing with positive thoughts, such as picturing clean oxygen pouring in as you breathe in, and envisioning toxicity pouring away from you as you breathe out.
- Activity: We were made to move. A far more sedentary lifestyle has played a part in increased depression and anxiety in recent years. There are quick and fun ways to incorporate movement into your everyday routine, such as stretching for 5 minutes during work breaks. You can wiggle your toes to the beat of a favorite song, reach up with both hands as high as you can, touch your shoulder with your cheek then roll your neck around to the other shoulder. Walk briskly, outside if possible.
- Play: Often, adults forget to put play into their everyday life. What is play to you? What puts a smile on your face, makes you feel alive, or excited to do? Maybe it’s memorizing the lyrics to a favorite song so you can sing it to yourself even when electronics aren’t available. Perhaps you love fishing and planning out your next fishing trip. The arts and crafters love creating things with their own hands. Spend at least 30 minutes every day playing, and you will find some weight lifted off of your shoulders.
- Grounding: Let your bare feet feel the cool grass for a minute or two while using guided imagery of planting yourself solidly on the ground.
- Positivity: Have you ever found yourself thinking that most of what is said to you is meant in an insulting or judgmental way towards you? What we say to ourselves directly affects how we feel. Your best friend, for example, walks right by you without so much as saying hello. Do you immediately think that they are angry with you? This thought will probably make you feel sad or irritated. Do you think that maybe they are having a really bad day and could use a kind word? This thought might lead to you feeling helpful or concerned, but not bad about yourself. Pay attention to what you’re thinking, and if it’s negative, turn that around to a thought that leads to less harmful feelings.
- Therapy: Talking out your feelings, voicing your frustrations, and problem-solving with a caring, objective professional who is focused solely on you and your health and wellness is a vital part of coping with stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, change, and the hardships of life, relationships, and work. Ground-breaking therapeutic techniques such as DBT, CBT, ACT, EMDR, and many others go far beyond even the healing treatment of talking to a professional in a safe space.
Get Therapy Help at Thriveworks Counseling in The Woodlands, TX
If you’re interested in starting therapy, consider reaching out to Thriveworks Counseling in The Woodlands, TX. We have providers on staff who have the experience, skills, and training specific to helping people manage a wide range of therapeutic issues. We’ll set you up with one of our specialists when you call to set up your appointment. Call us at 281-667-9790 to get started now.
Thriveworks prides itself on vetting skilled and compassionate licensed therapists to help you gather tools to gain even greater mental health. Let us help you thrive.
Written by Kimberly M. Dillon, LPC