3 Tips on How to Cope with your Emotional Pain

Do you experience feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, irritability or feeling overwhelmed?

How do you cope with painful emotions?

Do you face them head on?

Do you take a peak at them and then quickly find something else to take your mind off them?

Do you resist your emotional pain completely and bury yourself in work, food, socializing, alcohol or other coping mechanisms?

 

Most of us resist our emotional pain because it just feels easier.

We are afraid to feel the pain.

Yet the only way to overcome such emotions is to face them and work through them.

Thoughts and emotions that continue to persist can be a form of stress as they create a cascade of physiological reactions in the body.

Furthermore, chronic stress results in long-term physiological deregulation, which in turn may cause cardiac, digestive, adrenal, hormonal issues, headaches, anxiety and so forth.

None of us want or need the added stress and the negative health impact!!

So the big question is how do we face our painful emotions and thus reduce our stress?

Here are 3 tips to face your emotions, work with them and then make it easier to let go.

Non-Judgment:

  • When you are experiencing a painful or difficult emotion become aware of your thoughts.
  • If you are sad, you may be thinking, “this is horrible” or “I don’t want to feel like this”.
  • All these thoughts are judgments that the feeling of sadness is “bad” or that something else is “better”.
  • Rather than labeling your emotions as “good” or “bad” view them as an observer or impartial witness without judgment. As neither good nor bad.
  • And yes, it does take awareness and practice!

Acceptance

  • As we learn to not judge our thoughts or emotions as “good” or “bad” it becomes easier to simply accept them.
  • Acceptance may happen quickly or may take time – either way it allows you to be closer to the feeling of peace that many of us desire.

Remain in the present moment.

  • By wanting to feel a different emotion (than the painful one you may be experience) – you are avoiding the present moment.
  • Mindfulness is about being in the present moment – and that includes being with what we may view as positive or negative feelings.
  • In the present moment we learn to face our emotions with kindness and love towards ourselves.

 

Know that whatever you are experiencing is an opportunity for learning and growth.

No matter how challenging it may seem at the time.

Written by Avdeep Bahra, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Avdeep Bahra is an occupational therapist that uses various mindfulness based techniques to enable clients to work through their emotions and to over-come self-limiting beliefs.

Avdeep offers one on one appointments, mindfulness meditation classes and mindfulness workshops in the Greater Toronto Area. She has co-facilitated at the University of Toronto on spirituality, health and wellness. Furthermore, she has educated viewers on Rogers TV on the topic of holistic health.

Avdeep has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapy services may be covered under your benefits.