Keys to Coping: Managing Emotions Via Healthy Outlets
It can start with the tiniest infraction that sets off a much larger chain reaction. Like an avalanche, one bad moment grows in intensity, consuming your mind and triggering destructive behavior.
This is the pattern that so many people face, leading to addiction, damaged relationships and a spiral of life consequences.
Whether you seethe with rage or sink into despair, the key to taking back your life is understanding what triggers these moments, what can be done to prevent them, and how to redirect negative energy when it happens.
Find Your Emotional Trigger
Soul searching is the best place to start, and it often helps to do so under the care of a trained professional. Using a wide variety of methods, therapeutics and counseling, the clinical team at Evolve Recovery Center can help work through your emotions that spin out of control.
Remember that most episodes have a triggering moment, even if it isn’t obvious until later. Your actions are a result of your thoughts associated with that situation, so it may take time to fully understand the underlying problem.
Identifying that problem is the only way to avoid it, or mitigate its power in the future.
Prevent the Trigger from Happening
After identifying a problem, the next step is avoiding the circumstances that trigger your negative response. Here are a few questions to clearly define:
1.) Besides you, who else is typically involved with these events?
2.) What typically happens right before the episode?
3.) Where do you get triggered most often?
4.) When do you tend to have moments that lead to episodes?
5.) How do you feel right before your emotions spiral out of control?
Not every situation is avoidable. If you’re triggered by work, family or elements that are outside of your control, then you will need additional mitigation techniques. Some of those are detailed below.
However, there are a handful of universal techniques to de-escalate stress, including practicing meditation, drinking water, eating nutritional food, getting regular exercise and quality sleep. Believe it or not, each of these fairly regular activities has been linked to a decrease in anxiety and depression.
Evolve Recovery Centers provide holistic patient treatment, which includes building healthy habits to reduce overall stress and tension. This, combined with avoiding triggering situations, can be enough to prevent most problems.
Redirect Your Energy in a Healthy Way
Despite the best preparation and self care, triggering events may still happen. It is in those moments where early intervention techniques like these can redirect the energy or stop the avalanche from happening:
1.) Leave the situation: As early as possible, identify what is happening and how to extract yourself from continued exposure. If possible, go get fresh air outside and a moment of zen. It is almost always better to disappear for a while than to stay and risk lashing out.
2.) Do something physical: If you need to physically release energy, find a safe space to walk, run, yell, laugh or otherwise discharge your emotions. Remember that privacy is not guaranteed at work or in public.
3.) Focus on your mental state: Keep tabs on your emotions while leveraging your favorite yoga or meditation techniques. Depending on your mental state, it may be better to clear your mind or channel your thoughts.
4.) Check your vitals: There are measurable, physical effects of stress on your body. You will likely feel your heart rate skyrocket as your body tenses up. The best way to diffuse this response is to do the opposite. Work on breathing exercises that slowly bring your heart rate down. If your shoulders are slumped, arms are crossed, or some other defensive posture, then fight the feeling by choosing to be loose. Practice good posture and your body will help your mind navigate the situation.
Healthy coping mechanisms are a key component of the holistic patient care offered by Evolve. We believe that by finding the right combination of responses, patients can reduce the impact and frequency of their triggering moments.
If this sounds like care that you or your loved one might need, then we encourage you to contact Evolve Recovery Centers today.
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