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9 Tips to Recover From an Emotionally Challenging Situation

9 Tips to Recover From an Emotionally Challenging Situation

Part of the human condition involves dealing with emotionally challenging moments, but some of them are much more difficult to recover from than others.

For example, although everyone’s experience will vary, it can take years to fully recover from the death of a close loved one. We all have our own coping mechanisms for situations ranging from a death to a breakup. However, here are some tips that are universally helpful.

1. Keep a Journal of Your Feelings

Your feelings aren’t going to go away because you opt not to deal with them. Instead, they will pop up in unexpected ways and may take much longer to deal with if you don’t face them head on.

One of the best ways to do this is to write in a journal on a regular basis. Make sure that your journal is completely private so that you can freely write all of your thoughts and feelings, no matter how bad they might seem. Doing this will enable you to purge your feelings, which makes it easier to move past them.

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2. Seek Out a Like-Minded Community

Talking to people who are like-minded can offer you a safe sounding board for your feelings and fears. If you are afraid to openly express your current feelings to someone you know, you can utilize an anonymous app or online services such as Paralign or Samaritans.

Both of these services are free, and they stress the importance of getting your feelings out via writing. Paralign will even connect you anonymously with other people who are dealing with similar issues so that you can receive the support you need from like-minded individuals. Samaritans offer anonymous email support for people who are dealing with suicidal feelings.

3. Create Space for Yourself

Sometimes, an emotionally challenging situation requires people to give a lot of themselves to others. During this time, they may be unable to deal with their feelings because they are too busy helping others.

If this has happened to you, it’s important to make some space for yourself so that you can begin the recovery process. Making space could mean anything from taking 15 minutes out of every day just for you all the way to going on a solo retreat in a cabin or hotel room for a couple of days.

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4. Consider Counseling

A staggering 16 million American adults suffer from at least one major depressive episode per year. This is often caused by situational depression, which is something that you may be able to successfully deal with more quickly by enlisting the help of a trainer counselor.

A professional will listen to you without passing judgment or telling you what to do. Instead, they will provide a safe space for you to vent and show you how to deal more effectively with your emotions. Counseling doesn’t have to last forever in order to work. In fact, most people attend an average of eight or fewer sessions per year.

5. Meditate Daily

Often, the easiest way to gain some perspective on our issues is to take a break from them. The entire goal of meditation is to be mindful and avoid dwelling on your problems or emotions.

If you can work yourself up to truly meditating for 5 to 15 minutes per day, you will benefit by taking a break from whatever is challenging you emotionally.

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6. Put Down the Snack Food

It is normal to be attracted to comfort food and snacks when you’re feeling upset or depressed. Studies have found that comfort food offers a strong positive association for most people, so it’s okay to indulge for a day or two.

After that, though, you’ll only do yourself more harm if you persist in eating junk food. Adding more vegetables and fruit into your diet will actually make your body feel better, which in turn can have a positive impact on your mental health.

7. Start Exercising

When your stress levels are through the roof, it can feel impossible to fit in some exercise. Unfortunately, this is exactly when you need it the most. If you can make time for even a 20 minute walk each day, you’ll lower your cortisol levels.

Most people also experience a boost in their ability to talk about their issues during physical activity. This should make it easier for you to get your feelings out, which is a critical step in your recovery. You may even want to consider taking a walk before therapy or journaling.

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8. Be Honest with Those Who Have Hurt You

Is your current situation linked to emotional pain that was caused by someone else? It may be necessary to express this pain to them in order to truly move forward. The important thing to remember is that you always have the right to say how you feel, but you don’t have the right to expect a specific response.

In other words, after you’ve said your peace, the other person might not apologize or admit to any wrongdoing. Getting your feelings out will still help you as long as you don’t place expectations on the other person. Also, remember to stick with saying how you feel instead of making personal attacks.

9. Finds Things to Be Grateful For

Science has proven that expressing gratitude can improve your mental and physical health. Therefore, even if you currently feel like the world is a dark cesspool, it’s vital to look for anything that you can feel grateful about. Make a gratitude board or journal and challenge yourself to express gratitude for at least one thing per day.

This doesn’t have to be overly complicated. It could be something as simple as “I’m grateful for pizza.” The point is to look at things in your life that are positive in order to help you move past the negative stuff.

Ultimately, only you can ensure that you do fully recover from an emotionally challenging situation. If you choose to continuously dwell on what happened instead of taking positive steps, you may continue to feel emotional pain for many years. Instead, start taking helpful action right now, including adding the 10 mood lifting superfoods to your diet.

Featured photo credit: Michelle Tribe via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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