This post is not meant to be sad but to remind us that humans are blessed with a resilient spirit. Our resilience allows us to flourish, adapt to our environment, and deal with challenges. Consequently, we do not have to live with automatic thought patterns reinforcing our struggles.
It is hardly surprising we may have had an experience or two that left us feeling bruised and battered emotionally. These experiences can include infidelity, toxic intimate relationships, an argument with a friend, toxic group chats, exposure to trauma, and broken relationships with family or social connections.
The stress we experience following these events is not uncommon. We vow never to have this experience happen to us again, but in our minds, we spontaneously or continuously reexperience the situation that caused us emotional pain. Our reliving of emotional distress can interfere with our mental health,
Therefore, self-awareness is crucial to dealing with the situations that drain us emotionally. In this context, we know the people, places, and things that drain us and can cope appropriately. Our self-awareness is vital not only to move us from the people, places, and things but also forward.
The intensity of our emotional pain can range from mild to moderate or intense. Mild to moderate emotional distress is usually temporary and resolves itself in a short amount of time. On the other hand, when the pain is severe, it can significantly affect our functioning and tends to last longer.
When dealing with intense emotional distress, it can become so overwhelming that it disrupts our daily lives. As a consequence, we can experience:
obsessive or compulsive patterns of behavior
Catastrophizing (fixation on the worst possible outcomes)
difficulty adjusting to our daily routines
Feeling hopeless, helpless, shame, guilt
Overindulgence in drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism
Furthermore, when negative emotions are deeply entrenched, they are challenging to move from or even consider situations where the feelings do not have a prominent place in our state of mind. However, our capacity to recover is not so distant a reality whenever we are ready. We can begin with:
Adapting a non-judgmental attitude to our thoughts and feelings
showing ourselves some (a lot) of grace
Behave with awareness of how the experience is affecting us.
Recognize how our thoughts and feelings are affecting our behaviors.
The words to describe how we are feeling may not be immediately available but will come eventually.
Even irrational feelings are valid until we are prepared to be rational.
Constant worry reinforces frustrated responses.
Become aware of the internal and external stimuli that maintain our desire to fight or flee.
Humans are built to adapt. We can separate from our struggles.
Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.